just read the Detlef Mertins interview...excellent article and very representative of the school (as I am finding out). unlike a friend of mine who attended Colubmia recently I will not be saying "I spent 70 grand to learn Maya.", but he also said everyone listens to him when he speaks now. I wonder if Penn on my resume will have the same effect? via Passive thinking I believe I made the correct choice on grad school. "Passive Thinking" is a very important part of Peter Leeds stock investing strategy, I mention him since his advice has helped me make turn my school loans into a form of income. Look, I've been investing in small cap stocks for years and this guys name always pops up: he is canadian, does not watch tv or read news reports, and is a self-made millionaire, so if this guy says choosing a stock must also be agreeable in your mind via passive thinking then there is something to it. if you only actively use 10% of your brain then whats the other 90% doing...
this leads me directly into the slight paradoxes of being an architect... if you were to read the table of contents of Joan Ockmans' "Architecture Culture 1943-1968" and then K. Michael Hays "Architecture Theory since 1968" you might get a list like this, which could summarize the theoretical evolution of architecture:
Nine Points of Monumentality
Designing a New Industry
Eight Steps Towards a Solid Architecture
The Seven Crutches of Modern Architecture
The New Brutalism
Architecture and Ideology
Form and Function in Architecture
Semiology and Urbanism
Everything is Architecture
Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology
Linguistics in Architecture
Design versus Non-Design
The Architectural Paradox
Architectural Design as a System of Research Programs
Architecture and Politics in the Reagan Era: From Postmodernism to Deconstructivism
One or Several Masters
----having presented this in a poetic fashion you have probably 'passively' formed an idea in your mind of what I might be suggesting. for you to have actually formed an 'active' thought you would have actually had to read all those essays within the last 24 hours with no rest, so that all the memories are still accessable in your mind. they say you loose 80% of your memories formed in a day when you sleep, which is why you should never sleep before an exam. now the first 'stanza' of this poem lists extremely short texts that in very plain english give architectural theory a clear direction ideologically. a clear direction of ideology is something we all can access via active thought (10% of the brain). jump to the second 'stanza', the question arises, is 10% of the brain enough to create ideological directions for architecture... the answer is still yes, 10% of our brain pushed in other directions may still be enough. and then bam, the third one line 'stanza', kind of like the statement 'fuck it', maybe everyting can fall under our 10%-brain actively-created-ideology or maybe everything can't. fourth 'stanza', look its complicated but we can still do it with only 10% of our brains. fifth 'stanza', its way too complicated and we just proved it with 10% of our brains, we need to access more somehow, but we can still at least talk about it even though we really can't...sixth one line 'stanaza', 'fuck it' its so damn complicated now that maybe we don't even have 10% of our brain to think about the 10% of brain thinking about architecture. 'what?!' exactly, its beyond the 10%, and even a mutliple of people using their 10% really isn't enough, a social ontological project does not really help...
meanwhile, the architecture being built from 'stanza' 1 to 'stanza' 7 is revolutionary, pushing all trades and technologies to new limits and one the biggest names in this revolutionary architecture is Frank. O. Gehry, who clearly uses his 90% of the brain to create and the 10% of the brain he uses to talk about how he does it is rather vague, just emphasizing my point about 'stanza' 6. but then there are other people using 10% of the brains to talk about the architecture, but really more after the fact instead of in-the-facts-becoming.
so what is the slight paradox?
- with 10% of our brains we realize we can not just use 10% of our brains to make architecture
- by admitting we can not use just 10% of our brains for architecture we admit that any comprehensible theory of architecture is ultimately impossible.
- by admitting there really is no comprehensible theory of architecture our 10% of the brain then argues: what is the point, lets just quit thinking and start doing.
- then we just start doing architecture and all of sudden we do not know what we are doing and we ask a question.
- we start actively thinking about architecture again, but we are talking about the process of thinking about architecture at another level. for example - we've been here before so lets analyze this from afar.
- so we admit that architecture is not linear in that it does not happen from thought to production in the way we envision it.
- we admitt non-linearity
- our 10% of the brain then argues again, what's the point if its all non-linear, we will never get anything done in a timely fashionanyway, so lets make non-linear architecture linear somehow.
- but then non-linear really isn't non-linear anymore, its a complex style that is performed in a linear manner, start to finish.
- to keep your 10% on top of this issue you then find it excuseable you can not think about everything actively and admit passive thought is cool.
- so you just start actively doing stuff in various directions hopeing what you are currently thinking about passively will come to fruition in a manner you can actively understand.
- so architecture becomes this process of active thought with fuzzy directional ideology that is being DONE in hopes of bringing forth the passive thought behind the motion of DOING, which in turn will clarify the fuzzy directional ideology. by claifying the fuzzy directional ideology, the DOING is DONE, and the ideology has no more direction, but it becomes a finished experiment, a memory in active thought but of little relavance to what you are DOING now or passively thinking.
errrr....is that even a paradox?
here is a quote from our main man Jacques Derrida which kind of sums up what I am trying to say - (i replaced the word philsophy with architecture)
"For Architecture, during its history, has been determined as the reflection of poetic inaugruation." (p.28, "Writing and Difference", The University of Chicago Press)
final note: this all very relevant to my studio and forms and algorithms class.