Thursday, 24 March 2011


^Building, Matteo Thun, 1983

We can’t help who we are attracted to, we have no control over which person draws our eye in the tube carriage, just as we are not always in control of our thoughts, they wander off without us to whatever takes their fancy, day dreaming precisely at the moments when we should probably be concentrating, working on something. It can be irritating being turned back into a lusty teenager through no desire of your own, or drifting off unprompted into puerile, fanciful worlds of escape in your head, but on the other hand it is those moments when something truly singular sparkles into life.

It is in those moments that our rational minds briefly lose control of our waking instincts, momentarily relinquishing authorship over our thoughts, letting our bodies and our intuition guide us. It is right then, if we pick up a pen or a pencil, and use all the skills at our disposal to take our flight of fancy seriously and frame it, capturing it, that we can extract from the ebb and flow of our daily lives — always so concerned with satisfying the judgments of others — a pure cross section of ourselves, a distilled fragment of subjective creation.

The sketch and the Capriccio, the former capturing the fleeting structure of an idea as it passes by, the latter being the flesh added to its bones, the full flight of fancy, the private and passionate love affair between the artist/architect and his imagination, drawn out and expanded into vignettes of autoerotic intensity, which if pursued with enough zeal begin to stand on their own as inspirational artifacts, intriguing specimens from the intimate obsessions of our fertile minds. It is in the caprice of our fancy — the beautiful face we cannot stop staring at, the ideal place we keep trying to imagine — drawn out and expanded, that we will find the coming together in one space, in one scene, compressed, of the very subjective ground of our anterior architectural instinct.

NB, this post was initially published in The BiBlog

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Roll Over & Differentiate My Data Sets Baby.....................................................Patrick Schumacher & Some Old School AA-Speak

^annotation in personal copy of LOG21 by blog author

This is not something I am dogmatically imposing, I’m just observing that I, my friends, my students, naturally adhere to these principles without fail. Their hand would fall off rather than draw straight lines. Is anybody here drawing a triangle, a square, or a circle? Ever again? No!

you will always work with laws, with rule-based systems of differentiation. These can be applied meaningfully, for instance, in the adaptation of facades to create an intelligent differentiation of elements. You can do this by taking data sets like sun exposure maps and make them drive an intelligent differentiation of brise-soleil elements, which are scripted off the data set. But you can also apply this sort of technique to urbanism. We’re talking about urban fields, about the lawful differentiation of an urban fabric according to relevant data sets.”!

You can always identify where the rigid forms still persist, where there is still too much simple repetition, where there are still unrelated elements. You can always ask for further softening, further differentiation, and further correlation of everything with everything else. There’s always more to script and correlate to intensify the internal consistency and cross-connections and resonance within a project and to a context. It’s a never-ending trajectory of a project’s progression. The intensification of relations in architecture reflects the intensification of communication among all of us, everyday and with everything.

Extracts from "Parametricism And the Autopoiesis Of Architecture" by Patrick Schumacher in the winter 2011, 21st edition of Log magazine, published by AnyoneCorporation, & edited by Cynthia Davidson

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Frivolous & Serious Play

^drawing of Wonderwall, New Orleans, 1982-1984 (dismantled)

Extract from Charles W Moore's essay "The Yin, The Yang, and The Three Bears"

"Buildings, I have insisted for a long time, can and must speak to us, which requires that we grant them freedom of speech, the chance to say things that are unimportant, even silly, so when they are grave or portentous we can tell the difference. I have taken it as my particular mission to emphasise the light and sunny moments. I’m calling some of my projects Frivolous and Serious Play; I think the two are not inimical, and that both can be joyous."

^Wonderwall, New Orleans, 1982-1984 (dismantled)