Jan '12 - Mar '12
In Manfredo Tafuri's 'Architecture and Utopia' an inherent opposition is expressed within all modern art as, "those who search the very bowels of reality in order to know and assimilate its values and wretchedness; and those who desire to go beyond reality, who want to construct ex novo new realities, new values, and new public symbols."
This blog takes this perspective as a starting point. Attending graduate school in architecture during one of the most intense economic downturns in history is daunting, but it also serves as motivation to reevaluate the position of architecture in society given the omnipresence of anxiety and doubt concerning the discipline. It is a time in which we as architects/urban theorists/intellectuals, given a brief reprieve from maintaining employment, can pursue the edges of what architecture actually is.
And so the focus, at least to begin with, of this blog will be on viewing architecture from a critical perspective and questioning the total performance of built form. Beyond viewing architecture as an object, we will be looking for perspectives on architecture which "go beyond reality" and "construct new realities." Is it possible for architecture to be transformative? Or is the realm of societal and cultural change sealed off from the influence of buildings? Personally, this is an essential question which should be posed during one's pursuit of graduate education in architecture/urbanism.
We will be discussing student work within Cornell University's AAP in relation to influential texts which highlight contemporary issues in design, although others are always welcome as long as the material is provocative and relevant.
This blog will document areas of discourse and architecture/urban achievements occurring in the master's program at Cornell's AAP in Ithaca, NY. While it will feature many students' work, I would like for it to maintain a discursive focus, illucidating the theoretical objectives of the work occuring here.