11:00am - 11:30am
Serie Architects, India
The invention of the human, according to Bernard Stiegler is tied to technics, which forms the horizon of their existence. For Stiegler, the history of humanity is incomplete without accounting for the history of technics. This argument is first made in his thesis Technic and Time by defining human evolution as technical in order to ontologically ground the technic. That which represents the fundamental experience of time and can be re-enacted giving raise to the process of individuation. In short, the study of the genesis of technic, human and time together holds clues to understanding the vector of the individuation process.
For Deleuze on the other hand, it is the virtual that generates the process of individuation when effected by intensity. Virtual according to him stems from the pure past as a ‘field of problem’ - or ideas - and remains as a pre-individual memory. When the passive ‘self’ gets determined with the eternal return of this virtual, it unhinges time, paving a way for the future, which is a random event, ungrounded from the base, without foundation, something new, a creation, an actualisation that drives the process of individuation.
Both Stiegler and Deleuze using Simondon’s work on individuation tried to conserve the past in the form of memory, though varyingly through techné and the virtual respectively. Techné along with virtual (poésis) in ancient Greek was associated with building operations intertwining of both these strands of thought leads to the act of a wondrous creation (thaumazein) that brings forth something new.
Prior to the autonomy of Architectural discipline’s epistemological formation in pre-classical age, the Greeks conceptualized the activities of building operation through techne, poiesis and mimesis; all embedded in the experiential dimension of skills and not abstract concepts. But Architectural design today privileges thinking over making, and it goes in the pedagogy too. This ontological making of an architect takes us back to the word designo, an Italian renaissance from where the story unfolds. The Albertian Paradigm gave birth to the modern Architect and all of us, who are part of this architectural atmosphere carry an Alberti within us. In this mode of being, design forms are shaped in the mind and imposed upon matter without understanding the inherent ontology of matter, which is Simondonian counter form-matter model.
Drawings and models became hypnomnesic memories for architectural ideas that offered the architect unprecedented control over his/her buildings. For the first time, visual representational modes (drawings, perspectives) were used as notations to communicate the design idea to both the patrons and for construction work. Notation as a process of externalization of memory - something that writing did to philosophy – separated the perception of architecture as a brain activity from the craft-based, bringing back Plato’s idea of gnostike. It made possible the maturation of critical intelligence giving way to the development for Architectural Individuation. At the same time, the aesthetic dimension of its conception was taken away from medieval builders making them artisanal-tools.
Discrete in Architecture
According to Mario Carpo, Digital has a potential to create a participatory space through the system of trace to make architecture discrete. Through a detailed reading of the Stieglerian technical history of Architecture, while simultaneously looking through the Deleuzian intensities of actualizations this paper will attempt to open up new avenues of looking at architectural making, particularly in the age of Digital technology which is the new stage of grammatization after writing.
11:30am - 12:00pm
Inter/ Intra-subjective territorializations: Modes of re-assembled territorialities with/in a de-assembled park
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
A territory has multiple borders, beyond its material ones: it is formed and framed through its every interaction with a subject. The multiple borders emerge from a territory’s diverse framings along with the complex relations it develops. The framings and the relations trigger dynamic territorialization processes, which might appear associated. The paper investigates how diverse territorializations are created through the case-study of an Athens centre park: Pedion Areos. Emphasis is given on the role of subject-object interaction, since its synergetic multiplicity is conceived as a process of becoming, capable of revealing modes of territorializations. For this reason, a park with a wide spectrum of different subjects/ actors-territory interactions throughout the timeline is selected: to name but a few, migrants, State, TV shows, activists, “residents”, “citizens”, refugees, urban planners-architects, homeless, drug users. Diverse descriptions of the park provide access to such information. The paper organises each case’s properties into a table, and it notes all references to locations on a terrain’s map, in order to form a system capable to reveal how territorialities dynamically emerge. The references imply forces, such as attractions and repulsions among locations, which do not only show the borderline of a territory - that is how the territory/ park is de-assembled in pieces and re-assembled into a ‘new’ park(s) -, but also qualitative properties of its content, context as well as constrains for being assembled with other re-assembled parks. Through diagrammatic operations in this system, the paper goes deeper on more complex modes of territorialities formed inter/intra- subjectively.
12:00pm - 12:30pm
Bernard Tschumi’s Parc de La Villette as reinvention of the concept of territory: “Follies” as a dispersed and differentiated reality
Department of Architecture, ETH Zürich; School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens; Faculty of Art History and Theory, Athens School of Fine Arts
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, shed light on the disjunction between code and territory, sustaining that “[t]he territory arises in a free margin of the code, one that is not indeterminate but rather is determined differently” and draw a distinction between milieu and territory. They also explain how “perpetual transcoding between milieus”, which each one is characterised by its one code, takes place and highlight that the territory emerges through a process of decoding. My paper departs from the disjunction between code and territory and the distinction between milieu and territory, as understood by Deleuze and Guattari, in order to interpret how the notions of territory and program were interrelated in the case of the entry to the competition for the Parc de La Villette by Bernard Tscumi. Particular emphasis is placed on Tschumi’s intention to “distribute programmatic requirements across the entire site in a regular arrangement of variable intensity points, referred to as ‘Follies’”. The central gesture of Tschumi’s design for the Parc de La Villette was the method of superimposition of lines, points and surfaces. The system of points, lines and surfaces in La Villette and the “combinatoire” used for the “Follies” aimed to promote a non-hierarchical transformative language, and to relativizing the preeminence of form rendering it (the form) the result of the “combinatoire”. Special attention is paid to Tschumi’s use of the grid as common denominator that serves to activate the objects that are superimposed. The main objective of the paper is to explain how the above-mentioned design strategies of Tschumi are related to the way he understands the concepts of territoriality, exterritoriality, exterritoriality and their relationships.
12:30pm - 1:00pm
Architecture, Flesh, Automatism
Jindal Global University, India
This paper tracks the spatial transformers in Czech Surrealism around Breton’s “Situation of the Surrealist Object” 1935 Prague lecture. This encounter is also an exceptional mutation, accelerating a juggernaut of waves of surrealist pressure into the metaphysical urban context and functionalist spatial practices of modernizing Prague. Objects of analysis include the case of Czech interwar avant-garde photography and architecture, where austere functionalism seems to become flesh defamiliarised, with prior lucid objects and spaces overtaken by strange vegetal impulses, sub-sentient spaces, and predatory landscapes emerging from everyday locations.
The modernist forms of coiling and uncoiling psychic processes tension modernist locations into a wonderland of dry mechanical spaces, chance encounters, and cold surfaces, sounding a cacophony of automatism/s inside and out. The dreams of pure automation of modern architecture and the methods of pure psychic automatism of surrealism interlace into a tensioned psychic realism, useful to navigate a proto-utopia of controlling modern architecture (which never arrived). This automation-automatism dynamic is also key to understanding the migration and mutation of a liberated surrealist thought, legible in Czech avant-garde architecture and photography (e.g. the architecture-becoming-landscapes of Tiege and the uncanny street photography of Štyrský).
This examination of the deluge of impulses, alien terrains, and the hyper-object of desire anchoring surrealist visuality will be examined through the lens of Guattarian schizo-analysis in architecture and photography (from crisp objects to covert ecologies). The work examines this transitory period with emphasis upon this visual evidence for enunciating these flows: of the body-in-space objectivity mutating into the sensory construct of the “flesh of the world” (after Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology); the surrealist circuiting between thick and thin spaces; modernist surface theories becoming de-laminated in Czech surrealist works; and invisible secret gardens blooming everywhere.