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1

M. Tafuri. Architecture and utopia: design and capitalist development, 1976.

2

P. Mondrian, De realiseering van het neo-plasticisme in verre toekomst en in de huidige architectuur (1922).

3

V. Flusser, Hacia una filosofía de la fotografía, 1990.

4

Concepto alternativo al freudiano “retorno de lo reprimido”, proposed by P. Sloterdijk and applied to architecture by J. R. Moreno Pérez.

Heterogeneous Assembly: New Project Dimensions at the Heart of Technographic Culture

Real State Boom House. Sub-project of curtain manufacturing from Lluís Alexandre Casanovas and his mother, María Luisa Blanco. Photo by Pol Rebaque.

At the start of the twentieth century, neoplasticism or De Stijl and constructivism was added to architecture for the first time ever as a historical cutting edge theme: the total union of the arts and their projection about the environment and different ways of life as the root cause for a sociopolitical transformation that was yet to come. It is a singular fact that the key to this revolution drawn up by artistic practices was architecture: if art fluctuated around reality without touching it, architecture could assemble the connection between the two, fully reaching and affecting reality. Vindicating this strategic position, when Le Corbusier and Bauhaus entered the problem shortly afterwards, they ensured the integration of the architectonic assembly with the “never even once questioned” machinest of civilization. Through the creation of CIAM, experimental European architecture vindicated the privileged role of technical integration for excellence in the colossal process of economic change, as well as social and cultural changes accelerated by technological development. Years after the splitting up of CIAM, Manfredo Tafuri confronted the profession with the position’s own ambiguity, leaving it with an intricate knot of questions that were still relevant about the role that the practice has in a social space1.

The productive integration of modern architectural assembly demanded a reduced complexity and depth that was inherent to the problems taken on historically by the avant-garde advancements. This, in the long run, made it rigid. Today, new technologies are what exercise this privileged technical mediation between subjects and the environment that architecture wanted for itself. With technology the dream of the union between the environment, technique, and creative, cutting edge assembly seems to have solidified. As Mondrian praised, thanks to new technology, imagination and creativity come out at the encounter of each and every one of the daily fragments that surround us2, converting themselves into resources that are available so that we put together a way of life that we desire, and it goes without saying, through compulsive consumption. In this turbid state of “liberation” architecture lost its “configurative” role, but it also found its place in new forms of economic worth, exercising itself as what Vilem Flusser called techno-image: scenes capable of codifying orientations for existence, life models, and valued regimens that indicate where, how, with whom, and with what we have to assemble ourselves within this world3. This ambivalent condition was anticipated by Tafuri. Since avant-garde architecture “form” had to be understood as “image”: a heterogeneous tavern composed of territory, landscape, preexistence, and practice in one particular form and not in another. Its paradigm would be the Obus Plan for Algeria, with which Le Corbusier tried to recover, in part, the diversity of the assembly.

The paradoxical condition of the images, capable of magically vinculating reality and fiction, facts and dreams – in this resides its economic value – rapidly intensified in the heart of technographic culture: not only in architecture, but also in all surroundings easy to visually measure, there lies a potential techno-image.

This leaves architecture in even more confusing circumstances economically, materially, and culturally. Today this is being explored by a series of projects that wager to once again elevate the horizon of the political imagination of architecture, taking head on the current situation. Pieces such as Jardín Hospedero Building and Nectarífero de Husos Arquitectura in Cali, the Veranos de la Villa or the headquarters of Save The Children of Elii in Madrid, the Real Estate Boom House of Lluís Alexandre Casanovas in Cardedeu, the Jardín Cosmopolita Kleos de Antropoloops for Luces de Barrio (Nomad Garden) in Sevilla or the plentiful research conducted by Andrés Jaque, all search for heterogeneous balance providing concrete and virtual depth on the surface of the real, that is, “editing” models registered on that surface. In a streak of luck and return to the misunderstood4, the question mark is restored which was canceled a century ago regarding how the ways of living and relating would change if our daily environment were shaped from creative, collaborative, and critical management of a reality whose crash defined a new type of ecological background.


Text translated by: Kaitlyn P Delaney

Notas de página
1

M. Tafuri. Architecture and utopia: design and capitalist development, 1976.

2

P. Mondrian, De realiseering van het neo-plasticisme in verre toekomst en in de huidige architectuur (1922).

3

V. Flusser, Hacia una filosofía de la fotografía, 1990.

4

Concepto alternativo al freudiano “retorno de lo reprimido”, proposed by P. Sloterdijk and applied to architecture by J. R. Moreno Pérez.

Autor:
Paula V. Álvarez es una arquitecta con sede en Sevilla, fundadora de la práctica editorial Vibok Works . Su trabajo reúne investigación, edición, diseño y escritura desde una perspectiva experimental y crítica. Su principal interés de investigación es cómo el encuentro del enfoque académico de los Estudios Culturales y de la Ecología de los Medios con la experimentación arquitectónica desde inicios del s. XX hasta nuestros días puede habilitar una comprensión más profunda de la renovación de las técnicas de arquitectura en el seno de la globalización electrónica y la cultura tecnográfica.

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