Yale School of Architecture (Enrique)

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    Operative Theory

    By Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke
    Oct 9, '06 10:44 PM EST

    My current bouts with procrastination have steered me towards some interesting architecture books. Right now, I am meandering through R.U.R's Atlas of Novel Tectonics. Note that I have already commented on Sanford Kwinter's The Judo of Cold Combustion, an introduction that makes the not-so-inferential leap from science to science fiction. However, I have made it through most of the book, and it is really refreshing to see an example of well-written, well-conceptualized operative theory. The book seems to shift between different levels of provocation. But the thing that is really interesting is that Reiser's exegeses can only operate within the bounds of architecture. Writes Reiser:

    This [book] therefore is not yet another plea for eclecticism but a shift for modernism into new and unforseen territories. This is a critical stance that can only be worked out architecturally. Taking the specific problematic as a starting point, how does one produce multiplicities in formal arrangements? How does one produce multiplicity in structure? How does one produce multiplicity in structure? This is the content of the book. (2006:28).

    As one who easily navigates outside the operative and normative realms of architecture research, I thought the above statement was like a breath of fresh air -- a restatement of how architectural analysis can develop within the wonderful, impossible konvoluts of its own history and logic.

    And speaking of fresh air, check out Log 8. Instead of coming with a postcard, the issue comes with an air freshner. It seems like that little gaffe, a most significant macguffin, is a true perruque. Inside the pages lie a series of articles by folks like Mark Jarzombek, Glenn Murcutt, etc -- a fairly concise, erudite introduction to an operative criticism of sustainable architecture. The issue ends with my favorite Archigram project -- the L.A.W.U.N. LogPlug. Imagine the infinite, hyperrational grids of Superstudio's Continuous Monument, and then imagine that every quarter of a mile or so there are these fake logs and rocks into which you can plug in your favorite portable devices. Fun stuff indeed.

    And finally, has anyone noticed that Eyal Weizman's persistent ubiquity of late? Not only was he in Log 7, but he was also in the latest issue of Grey Room.

    • 1 Comment

    • liberty bell

      Jeez that lawn plug looks so fresh, and it's actually about 40 years old?!? I love Archigram, I did a study on them in 1987 as a student but I really didn't get their genius at that young age. Awesome.

      Sniff sniff...mmm, smells yummy!

      Oct 10, 06 11:19 am  · 

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