Monday, February 4, 2008

Lynn's Fold, Bodies and Blobs

From what I can interpret from Lynn, he first states that architecture in the past has been based on proportions of the human body, which as a result, is a disadvantage because architecture is restricted to a “closed system” of a “common module.” He further explains that the concept of “bodies,” should be free-forms and should not strictly conform to any standards or proportions. His concept of bodies reminds me of the gestalt concept, which is a configuration or patterns of elements that are unified as a whole and cannot be described as a sum of its parts.

Lynn believes “parasitism does not attack an already existing host” but rather configure the host to make it integral. He stresses that parasites, although foreign and difference from the host, is stable and gives order. More or less, parasites are positive addition to a host. I was pretty skeptical with what he said because the first thing that comes to mind when I think about parasitism is an attack or infection to the host. The parasites live off the host and exploit its well-being, like a tick on a dog. However, my mind changed when he explains parasitism in the context of architecture. He states that parasite is the “active agent of unification.” The two bodies, although different, lives mutually and finds some way of coexisting. In some examples of parasitism in architecture, the parasite building that leeches on the host building actually complements the building as the whole in some inbalanced fashion.

Lynn’s idea of monstrous bodies counters what we learn in architecture school today. He explains that there can be three disparate bodies, all with its own module and proportion system, and it can still be classified as a unified whole. He uses the example of the sphinx where it is read as a whole even though there are three different parts: the body of a lion, the human head, and the small goddess. If we applied this concept in architecture school today, it would be like designing a building that is part church, part museum, and part aquarium all pieced together like Legos. This would be a nightmare for classical/traditional buildings. I would like to see examples of monstrous bodies in architecture.

I thought it was important that Lynn mentions that architecture is "one vector mingled with many other political, social, economical, institutional, and cultural forces." He believes these forces of architecture are analagous to the forces or gestures of the human body. The gestures emerge from thousands of tiny perceptions of cells, proteins, enymes, etc. then the abundance of those create organs which then forms bodies, which then in turn articulate similar gestures in the tiny cell stage. He emphasizes that the formation of these bodies are not the result of just one force, but a symphony of forces.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My First Class

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