14 May




...catalogue all the source data per building. ...collect everything--textual references, bibliographical notes, analysis notes, CAD drawings, and Piranesi's drawings.

...refer to the above project as the Encyclopedia Ichnographica.


...discovery of the two states of Piranesi's Ichnographia Campus Martius today at the Fine Arts Library of the University of Pennsylvania.


0231 0232 0233 0234 0235


I found that Cornell and I had/have virtually identical kitchen sinks, and that Cornell's 'studio' looks very much like my basement.

Journalists will surely write about your art after it sells for lots of money. That's the only guarantee I can think of.


"Reenactionary Bilocating Architecturism" by Saint Catherine de Ricci and Louis I. Kahn


"De Spectaculis II" by Tertulian and Piranesi


OMA USA splitting from OMA Europe??

The Architecture of Split Ends


Humans are perfectly capable of knowing the truth, however, humans that are openly truthful remain a rarity.

If real truthfulness didn't exist, then there wouldn't be anything to lie about.


Here's a little of what I read this morning:
"Posthumous fame seems, then, to be the lot of the unclassifiable ones, that is, whose work neither fits the existing order nor introduces a new genre that lends itself to future classification. ... This is what society can least come to terms with and upon which it will always be very reluctant to bestow its seal of approval."

"Mother, I must marry her! She's going to be a famous Posthumous-Modern architect!"


Could the above be an outline for an architectural fiction or something? Yikes, a series of 365 architectural fictions, each entitled Calendrical Coincidence.

Read lots of interesting things in the last 12 hours... ...collect the best quotations later today.

May 14, 13 11:39 am

Three other variations on the theme remain for special comment. This trio have in common the idea, typical of synthetic eclecticism, of creating a new building type by combining elements from two of the most famous buildings of antiqity, the Parthenon and the Pantheon. Thus, perhaps, something new is created, something taking of the universally acknowledged excellences of these archetypes. It is too much to say that the combinations surpass either of the paradigms, but it cannot be denied that the resulting contrasts of form are productive of novel and provocative aesthetic effects. Similar juxtapositions of well-known and heavily associated forms were a commonplace in the projects of imaginative architects at this time, such as Boullee, Gilly, and Valadier; and Robert Mills proposed a combination of a Doric colonnade and an obelisk for the Washington Monument.
--Carroll L. V. Meeks, "Pantheon Paradigm" (JSAH: 1960.12, 142).


Aldo Ross's Modena cemetery design of 1971 has been one of the most widely discussed architectural projects of the past decade. Now under construction, on the basis of a revised plan of 1976, Rossi's cemetery demonstrates his use of established architectural types, in unexpected combinations, to convey specific ideas about architecture and life.

Some critics, such as Manfredo Tafuri, have taken the view that the meaning of Rossi's design cannot be verbalized. This articale seeks to demonstrate that the oposite is the case. Here, Rossi's sources and writings are explored in tandem, in order to unravel the complex message contained in his cemetery design. In particular, Rossi's debts to Piranesi, Boullee, Loos, Hannes Meyer, Le Corbusier, and de Chirico are discussed.
--Eugene J. Johnson, "What Remains of Man--Aldo Rossi's Modena Cemetery" (JSAH, 1982.3, 38).


Eternal Wrest in Pieces.
--just thought of that while typing the above.


His book is designed as a megastructure, and we all know now their fate today.

Read together, they avail us of the opportunity to be placed both "within" and "without" at one and the same time, which none of the books on their own would allow.
--Chris Fawcett, "The Rites of Criticism" (JSAH, 1980.5, 155-6).


He asserts that as early as the 18th century,Piranesi discerned that a wholly organized world os not a paradise but a nightmare. The full consequences of these contradictions, however, were not worked out until the 20th century.

I trust that Tafuri's advise will be similarly ignored.
The great value of Architecture and Utopia lies not in its political prescriptions but in its wealth of insights into the relationship between architecture and social theory since the Enlightment. Therein also lies its great frustration. The book touches on a bewildering variety of topics from Abbe Laugier to Andy Warhol until it seems less like a sustained argument than a series of brilliant asides. The pace is as rapid as the scene in Godard's "Breathless" in which the characters race each other through the galleries of the Louvre.
--Robert Fishman, "Utopia and its Discontents" (JSAH, 1980.5, 153-5).

May 14, 13 7:31 pm
boy in a well

maybe Piranesi works something more like this:



except his hedonism is in the architecture. 

I've always found Tafuri's writing to be like stumbling into a conversation between two old friends that's been going on for a long while and there is no time to write an entry for the late comers. The Goddard simile is nice

May 16, 13 5:00 am

It's odd to think that Piranesi works like Koolhaas does, especially since it's certain Piranesi did not know Koolhaas. If Piranesi's hedonism is in the architecture, then shouldn't Piranesi's architecture (that exhibits hedonism) be shown? I wouldn't say that the Carceri, for example, exhibit "pleasure or happiness as the sole or chief good in life." And the architecture in the Ichnograpia Campus Martius exhibits more inversionary themes like life/death, Pagan/Christian, love/war, and lots of spectator activity (which is more passive than active).

It's interesting to compare Tafuri's more rapid-fire passages with what was in architectural journals/magazines at the same time the passages were written. The passages are very much like taking all your bookmarks and then writting a sentence or two about each of them, and then grouping the sentences into paragraphs. I believe all the rapid-fire passages could have been very precisely footnoted.


from the vaults...

Piranesi's Birthday 2007.01

Piranesi's Birthday 2007.02

Piranesi's Birthday 2007.03


It's Piranesi time to the nth degree.

May 16, 13 10:56 am

As of yesterday afternoon, there's a 150 lb. bear loose in my neighborhood--actually sighted at the juncture of Pennypack Park, Fox Chase Farm, Lorimer Park and the Medical Mission Sisters' property, aka 'deer and cow country' and just down the hill from where I'm sitting right now. I'm still enjoying going out deer spotting in the early evenings, but I did avoid going on the horse trails last night; I stayed on the paved path along the creek, where you could tell there were less people out than usual, but noticeably more bikers.

I just realized there might be some significance to a strange little story from last week. One of the regular evening dog-walkers (in Pennypack Park) told me that his dog was suddenly afraid to cross the foot-bridge over Rockledge Brook (which runs into Pennypack Creek). I said, "Sometimes they know something [that we don't]," and the owner smiled with an appreciative glance. The bear was sighted yesterday right along Rockledge Brook less than a quarter mile upstream from the foot-bridge.

May 14, 14 10:48 am

Spoke with the mailman a couple of hours ago regarding the bear in the area, and told him about the dog afraid to cross the foot-bridge. He then mentioned another strange little story from last week--while delivering mail to the houses whose yards back up to Pennypack Park, particularly the section that Rockledge Brook runs through, a dog from one of the houses was barking like crazy for so long that one of the neighbors called 911. The mailman also told me that a trap for the bear has been set on the Medical Mission Sisters' property.

Some of the local news reports are saying that the bear here is the same bear sighted at the Philadelphia/Bucks County border, like almost 10 miles away. I have a feeling that that is incorrect, and that the bear sighted here yesterday has been around here for over a week now. (Yes, Tony, if we had gone deer spotting along the entire length of the Shady Lane trail last week, we may have encountered more than just those five deer.)

Coincidentally, one of the items the mailman delivered today was a copy of Tracing Eisenman, which I successfully/cheaply bid on last week. To my surprise, the book is signed by Peter Eisenman himself, twice even.

Get it? Peter Eisenman tracing Peter Eisenman, literally.

May 14, 14 1:16 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

Was looking for some inspiration.

May 14, 14 7:11 pm

Did you find any?

Just got back from a short walk in the park--no deer and no bear sighted, but right at the end of the walk a young woman jogging wearing black sweat pants, a gray tank top and black boxing gloves. I'll tell ya, there's all kinds of unexpected wildlife around here.

May 14, 14 7:37 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

Haha...yes I did...doing this competition and brain got stuck...related but not directly to thus post unspired my brain to move forward....tangents are derivatives (calculus 101).

May 15, 14 7:57 am

First state and second state of the Ichnographia Campus Martius side by side...9179c

It remains a mystery as to why Piranesi changed all the circuses into an identical form, except the identical circus form is the only clue.

May 17, 16 9:34 am

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