she said, he stuttered

chatter of clouds

i was watching this recently. its an interesting sort of revelation.

to make it more interesting, it was linked here

Sep 17, 12 12:42 am

It was a poor conversation in which art was regarded as image/geometry/object and not much more. This seems to be a typical example of architects' frozen 18th. century image of art which is bounded in a canvas or three dimensional sculpture/design.

Revelation is  Zaha's answer or lack of it to Kipnis' question on parametricism? Or, her comment about hand drawings? Are these such big deals? If someday parametricism becomes a unified method, I don't think it would generate forms we attribute to it today. 

A lot of stutters all over the place.

Sep 17, 12 4:29 am

Or, in Zaha Hadid's case make that early 20th century Russian constructivist paintings and sculpture. Patrik describes her paintings so affectionately that it is easy to dismiss as a fan mail. An in-house spinner.

Sep 17, 12 4:43 am
chatter of clouds

Orhan, for me the discussion underlines the radical difference between zaha and her office director/senior designer patrick schumacher in terms of approach (though i think, in temperament, they are well matched) . i have always felt (as was stated during the interview) a radical irreconcilable difference between the distinct approaches and this is overtly felt when comparing hadid's work prior to schumacher and the work that has his imprint (and "his (drl-esque) army's) all over it. in my opinion, zaha's best works arises from a sensibility that sems very much "unparametric", for many reasons.  i believe that many of the  criticisms that the parametricist's might levy against the minamalists might well be levied against a lot of her work. it (her renown iconic  work) is not about material performance, it is not about material intelligence, it is not about a semiotic transliteration of program (you will find a discussion of parametric semiotics in one of schumacher's books) on and so forth. like minamilism, her work is about the tension between solid and void and not about repetition within the same work (in the video, she tries to draw a similarity between the parametricists' thought process and hers in the way that she varies the same project...but she is just overreaching and being diplomatic to schumacher), it is about dialectics of continuity and disruption and not about the monolectic of a system based on laws and alogrithms....etc.

so, it is a very interesting video in that sense rife with the tease, overt and subdued, of this paradoxical irreconcilability. you might also know of the ZHA deparment within her office  dedicated to conducting archi-coding research. note her stance on the role of the digital platform within design and the role of hand drawing....note his stance by comparison. anyway, to again go back to the work - this schism shows through.

by the way, schumacher is much more lucid as a writer - he very much likes the run of his words; however, i agree with some of what the critics had to say his approach is too positivistically driven, too ideological even (i already linked to this ). he stutters because he has  much to say and yet cannot reach the punch line. she doesnt have much to say because she has her punch lines. its an interesting dynamic. far more watchable than Will and Grace.  zaha is pretty much in her context here. i think, to open up, she needs to be affectionately and cunningly  teasing a german.

Sep 17, 12 7:07 am

Hello members!

I would like to introduce myself as CAD drafter and would like to get answers from forum members.

Looking forward to your kind support!


Sep 17, 12 7:19 am
i r giv up

tammuz, stop blabbering.

Sep 17, 12 11:14 am
chatter of clouds

Orhan, I suspect you're being a bit too rashly cynical and not giving credit to the space between the lines  or the interruptions, do i unlike my own post? accidentally, i liked me

Sep 17, 12 11:21 am
25 characters in length


I'm inspired to now invent a whole new TV show, a sitcom noir entitled Does your architect wear boxers or blobs?

He's chronically going to a shrink because of his near fatal case of gynecologist envy, and she's still waiting for her gynecologist to give her the thumb's up.

Otherwise, I'm working on a new book entitled Inspiration makes me laugh.

Positive reviews all around.



Sep 17, 12 1:00 pm

tammuz, what do you think about the vast but highly controlled open areas and the "I am big you are small" stairs leading up to the minimalist building in Baku, worthy of a dictator? On top of it, as you might know, in long winters a lot of ice build up there.

As also pointed in Leopold's blog, seems like the major problem with Patrik's argument is what he says about these matters as in, it is his job to deliver goods and political questions must be asked on those stairs. Did people ask questions here?

I don't really question the parametric building method. As far as I am concerned, architecture could use new ways of delivering the ever evolving programs.

I could be cynical but I wasn't. And, what's with the interesting conversation as Zaha is checking her text messages on her phone.;.)

Sep 17, 12 2:37 pm

Btw, as I state for along time now, I am committed to kynicism but not to cynicism... 

Sep 17, 12 3:05 pm
chatter of clouds

Orhan, you are posing questions for an obviously undermining and besides-the-point purpose that is in no way related to what i find interesting in the video.  also, i really don't see how whether i say yay or nay apropos your questions - to come across as condemning and condoning- would really be interesting, especially that you have resorted to  hyperbolic comparison vide nazism . and in any case, i did not refer to all projects of hers, i referred to what many would consider to be her iconic designs. this is one of those far less taut and more bastardized designs i sense. by the way, if you watch the fly over/through videos of the design, you don't see those steps. you see zig zagging ruptures in the landscape exposing accessible spaces beneath. i think the design intention was not carried through and there might have been cosmetic compromises. i would defer to the original design because of that. in any case,my interest is not defining or defining this project.

furthermore, parametricism, in the designerly sense, is not merely about a method of delivering architectural programs evolving or otherwise. there is quite clear.

Sep 17, 12 3:44 pm

When Patrik wrote that article on the state of British architectural education, he said something we all knew, but never bothered to mention. Too many units were riding the "British speculative fiction" tube. Default:::cyborgs, algae, collapsing governments,"lyrical" contraptions. He was calling for; more architecture, less speculating about external matters.

In terms of architects hijacking the political process proper, in Patrik's case it works not to, because ZHA is aligned with the victorious sides of world government, due to the fact Zaha was born into them.

It is actually not a bad side to be born into.

Sep 17, 12 3:49 pm

Hyperbolic? Why can't I point it to what it is?

Delivering ever evolving programs have a compound meaning of "building."  Both as an object and process. I thought it showed my good intentions.

ciao, the victorious side of "world government?" "Actually not a bad side to be born into?" What the hell are you talking about? It is very nebulous.

Sep 17, 12 4:08 pm
chatter of clouds

ciao, only regarding the poetic/lyrical...i think that it was a needless addition to the criticism of vapid themes and scenarios. that he chooses to attack a sensibility as well as a rationale (or lack thereof) is quite telling and consistent. aesthetically, he is underlining his ideology at that point and not , in my opinion, being reasonable in presenting it as defective sensibility. in fact, i think that, given the work the DRL are doing, if they will allow some recognition of the romanticism that underlies the imagery, the love of the exotic, and a recognition of the non-reified placeness of many of these creations and ways of thinking, if they recognize that they are operating on the level of the imagination -something that the architectural, whatever its pretenses of objectivity and scientificity, is supremely involved with- then, it would be ...more honest, as trite as that might sound. but maybe, the architectural imagination is unlike the literary imagination- or its reversal in one aspect: the the producer of literature would be deemed crazy if he were to believe that his or her fictions were true, it is only the consumers of his literature who may suspend disbelief.....but, in reverse, it is primarily the producer of architecture who must suspend his disbelief.

Sep 17, 12 4:10 pm

but, in reverse, it is primarily the producer of architecture who must suspend his disbelief.

I like the sound of it but how do you suppose the architect can eject (or suspend if you will) the process/dealings/client/site/occupancy? It works in art, but only at the end, when the artist ejects all the process of making the work from the finished object. 

In literature, imo, nothing is suspended. It is more like manipulated or planned into making/writing. If anything, architect might benefit from "not" suspending the disbelief. What do you think of that?

Sep 17, 12 5:17 pm
i r giv up

tammuz, i'm fairly sure you have williams syndrome.

Sep 17, 12 5:42 pm

i r giv up, c'mon now..!

Sep 17, 12 6:11 pm

You seem to be concerned with a lot of soft issues. Yes, few "poetic/lyrical" projects use coding to illustrate their fictions. I think that (along with the redundancy of speculation and lack of realism), is what Patrik had a problem with. To some it was like seeing illustrators bringing the same stories to life. This is changing now.
Many people assume DRL is Patrik's program, but nothing at the AA ever works like that. From what I know of DRL (I was a diploma student), they do what you mention, except maybe for "non-reified placeness"  (I guess you mean regionalism?). If their work was not so rigorous, both in coding and subject matter, its output would be like the projects coming out of RCA's fine arts program.

Don't get me wrong, that type of artwork is very seductive in terms of storytelling, but the architectural input, is simply non-existent. Like you said: It is primarily the producer of architecture who must suspend his disbelief. Bingo, However, it is the task of the architectural researcher (usually a student or young practitioner) to know how they will apply their work architecturally. I could get really specific here, but Patrik called out a few running themes with precision.

I mention Zaha's background because she was born into a liberal Iraqi family, that is the extent of what I know. BUT, it is a curious observation that she is building in a post-Saddam Iraq.

Sep 17, 12 9:20 pm
i r giv up

no, i'm not kidding.

he's got decent verbal skills, but when it comes down to it, he's still clinically retarded.

hence williams syndrome.

Sep 17, 12 9:25 pm

ciao - I just looked through those projects that schumacher was criticizing - from my perspective I think those degree projects would have been excellent early studio exercises, but I agree with him that this kind of dystopian non-realism in too many final projects really does not bode well for architectural education. 

Sep 18, 12 2:17 am
chatter of clouds

Orhan, its kinda obvious, so i won't really expound; you could wish to read me in an absolutist way if so you wish thats fine by me. do i really need to say "yes, but i meant to say...." where some generosity of thought on your part could cover that area. aside from that, again, i'm interested in how this all would relate to zaha hadid's work and how parametricism figures in (or not).

ciao, although again not topical, but i think there are lots of gaps in schumacher's thoughts; many assumptions, many mis-takes...all done intelligently by an intelligent person. i believe that such notions of material performance and the like are being presented , whatever the pretense is, to the degree of being an ideology and therefore dogmatic (this is, incidentally, is a  criticism levied by this chain of materialists-positivists against their theory-centric predecessors - by the way, a post highlighting the simultaneous contemporaneity of parametricists and the activist-urbanists/architects (not the dystopia fetishists) so much in vogue now would be interesting) ...something zaha cautions schumacher  against in the vid. it is an interesting role zaha is playing here whilst still being complicit.  

also, ciao, in no way did i mention -nor do i suspect the likelihood of- the unfeasibility of harnessing such methods for real projects. and i do not understand where you found space to insert this: "few poetic/lyrical" projects use coding to illustrate their fictions".  if you read carefully, i am in fact recognizing that there is a lyricism that goes unrecognized in such work when the creations touch upon the beautiful - irrespective of the jargon and even the intention. in my opinion, drl graduates (or indeed any equivalent program in other schools) the like of daniel widrig, for instance, is testimony to that. must i really look at his work as the result of material performance of whatever? not as the result of an individual and educated sensibility that actually still traditionally dictates material through the influence (as subtle as this may be) of visual metaphor and analogy (procedural, formal...). this, i have said that this was my belief in another post, i believe is where the proverbial foot is shot. the personal in the guise of the impersonal, the contingent in the guise of the incontigent, the choice in the semblance of necessity. it might seem that Pythia spoke far too esoterically, associatively, through eisenman and that now she only salivates a trickle of 0's and 1's. But this is only what it seems.

Dr. Archinect, have you measures to operate on this mobile cyber hemorrhoid "i r giv up"? i remember being banned for simply admiring one of your editor penises in my younger days. and that was out of admiration only.

Sep 18, 12 3:50 am

the thing that bugs me the most about schumacher is that he rarely (if ever) refers to people or human behavior in his writing - it's always "program" and "interaction."


from that website:


I am looking for an original, skillful, sophistcated, creative engagement with contemporary design tasks that might become real briefs, perhaps high density, mixed use urbanism in urban brown field sites … interpreted in a progressive understanding of the dynamics of postfordist network society … where an intesification of relations and communicative interactions between the different programme components would be desired … The task here would be to device new repertoires that could facilitate the organisation and articulation of inceased communicative complexity, maintaining legibility in a dense, complex information rich scene. …


so - he's basically interested in urban infill (what planning depts have been doing for the past 20 years - what new urbanists have been trying to recreate in a rather sanitized way) - except he's trying to cram all this "interaction" into singular forms, instead of providing a base structure, simple rules, and allowing for it to play out on the street and mutate and change.  if he were truly interested in anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism, he'd be exploring issues of ownership (and there are architects who have been doing this sort of shit for decades), not endlessly churning out authoritarian sculpture that negates the sort of programmatic complexity he is trying to create.


@orhan:  If someday parametricism becomes a unified method, I don't think it would generate forms we attribute to it today.


IMO - more user-modified/hackable aggregation - more horizontal - think aldo van eyck, yona friedman...  the way it's employed right now is at the benefit of the same eisenman layering and gestural bullshit we've seen for the past 25 years.

Sep 18, 12 10:12 am

Sure it would be easier to just recognize things for their beauty. With Daniel Widrig you can probably get away with saying that and examining the role of metaphors. He is a great designer, however, I don't think he codes much or even looks at "material performance," he models. That makes his work less convincing than simulation or code-based research.

a post on the simultaneous contemporaneity of parametricists and the activist-urbanists/architects so much vogue now would be interesting. I've seen a few reviews where these 2 camps meet. They definitely have a lot to talk about, and share many similar interests.


I think you misread a few things, just looking at your interest in: user-modified/hackable aggregation. Ever heard of Cedric Price? Try doing that without parametrics.

Sep 18, 12 3:54 pm
chatter of clouds

ciao,    i mentioned beauty as a result of a rich imaginative process, therefore i am primarily recognizing the imaginative process. - his work resonates on more than a parametrically-servile manner. my opinion is that widrig's is more successful in is design than some other drl (and other computationally/parametrically led programs) graduates because he must himself have recognized the seductive allure of patterns and forms made possible by these methods. i don't see your point of ascribing to him a descrption of being a modeller; he surely is using programming in an artistically opportunistically ambiguous manner, muchlike other experimental designers and indeed in keeping with the history of computational art and design (-i think never have their been such a will to present it as a revelation of quasi-scientific objectivity, as a holy grail product of necessity-it is a very germanic attitude)   . modelling implies that the design had been sorted out prior to the computational element - seeing his work, i find that difficult to believe. in short, and by expanding on your judgement of his work, a good designer is far more potent, interesting and empathetic than a process; he will employ the process imaginatively, open endedly, culturally, historically...not servilely and dogmatically, not expressed within a closed loop.

you say that he is not concerend with material performance, i say that neither are the larger percetage of purportedly "material-perfromance" centric designers are.  they are very much working  analogically and they can't recognize that these are analogies; these are not simultaneous with the material. 

we/they are thus not talking about material performance, we are talking about "material performance"..we are at the level of drawing analogies out of how natural or artificial systems work. this semiotic fold/collapse between the source of the analogy and the outcome of the analogy - perhaps this is the site of the suspension of disbelief but precisely by recognizing (whether after the fact or otherwise) this "suspension of disbelief", we recognize that there is grounds for suspension of disbelief. preemptive alibis.

ok, now how do you see Cedric Price figuring in here or in toasteroven's critique? personally, i find his work quite pithy and with much foresight, even subdued dry  humour...not glorified by hindsight as "process-led" (or rather, process-fetishizing) parametricism seems to be about.

just to add, i am only posing these questions and taking on this argumentative stance to perhaps elicit, for my myself, new perspectives on this matter from what others will add. i might well be making errors.

again, to connect all this to the topic....the confluence of  a good designer of contingecy, of paradigmatic intermittent exchanges between -and ruptures of-  continuity and discontinuity all gathered in terse and tense lyricism with, on the other hand, a mind of a consumate syntagmist, who works within the laws of varations and repetitions and, indeed, with hyper-laws of variations and repetitions (since the law itself is repeated and varied)....has it been successful? has schumacher, methodologically, really been successfully relevant to hadid's work?

Sep 19, 12 3:42 am

one quote i like from Zaha re: her early drawings, wrongness, and a current preference for hand drawing she says "through computing you can never get it that wrong"

Sep 23, 12 10:28 pm

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