Cite Analysis

Cite Analysis

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“Stories are one means of organizing and interpreting experience, of projecting idealized and anticipated experiences like in architecture, a distinctive way of formulating reality and idealized ways of interacting with it.”1

“What terms do we use to speak about glass? Technical and material terms? Economic terms? The terms of urbanism? The terms of social relations? The terms of transparency and immediacy, of love or of police, of the border that is perhaps erased between the public and the private, etc.?”2

“Every voice is united in applauding elegance, propriety, simplicity, spirit in writing; and in blaming fustian, affectation, coldness and a false brilliancy. But when critics come to particulars, this seeming unanimity vanishes; and it is found, that they had affixed a very different meaning to their expressions.”3

“Despite their partial rhetoric, the fact that the architect’s words may indeed drive his thoughts but are not sufficient to encompass the meanings of his achievement. . .”4

“Hence, while all texts can be objects, not all objects are necessarily texts. Texts always contain something else. That something else is the approximation or simulation of another object. A text does not represent or symbolize this other object, it attempts to reveal or simulate its structure.”5

“[Ada Louise Huxtable’s] words shaped what came next for New York. She made up names for what was happening to the city and to culture. By naming, she created an arena in which discussion could occur.”6

“Every corner of Babamukuru’s houseevery shiny surface, every soft contour and foldwhispered its own insistent message of comfort and ease and rest so tantalisingly, so seductively, that to pay any attention to it, to think about it at all, would have been my downfall. The only alternative was to ignore it. I remained as aloof and unimpressed as possible.”7

[1] Arie Graafland, “Introduction: A Research into Human-Machine Technologies: Architecture’s Dream of a Bio Future” in Critical and Clinical Cartographies: Architecture, Robotics, Medicine, Philosophy, ed. Andrej Radman and Heidi Sohn (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), 49. To suggest that architecture has a storied history with the medium of text would be an understatement. Treatises have sought to disseminate methods of practice for as long as there has been a discipline of architecture, and, if we consider the Minotaur’s Labyrinth or the Tower of Babel, architecture existed as a character in myth long before its disciplinary codification.

[2] Jacques Derrida and Hilary P. Hanel, “A Letter to Peter Eisenman,” Assemblage 12 (1990): 9. The high point, or at least the point of closest contact between text and architecture, is seemingly at an end. Having thoroughly deconstructed the master narratives of History and Meaning, the master narrative of Poststructuralism leaves us in a dispersed field of unrelated architectural projects. Derrida’s destabilizing of the certitude of meaning has in some sense become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

[3] David Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste” in Four Dissertations (London: A. Millar in the Strand, 1757), 3, accessed February 10, 2019 via Google Books. Despite its unstable nature, text is one of the common fields between disparate intellectual positions. No matter how different the project, whether it’s the digital, the postdigital, the new materialist, or the historical materialist, they each still translate something into text.

[4] John Whiteman, “Between Reason and Experience: The Words and Works of Hiromi Fujii” in The Architecture of Hiromi Fujii, ed. Kenneth Frampton (New York: Rizzoli, 1987), 22–23. It’s exactly that field that this fold sets out to explore: text as the place of architectural discourse.

[5] Peter Eisenman, “miMISes READING does not mean A THING” in Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings 1963–1988, ed. Mark Rakatansky (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 190. Where, historically, architects have attempted to interrogate the textual-linguistic qualities of architecture itself, this fold only takes that as a part of its survey, instead searching for larger instances of translation, appropriation, and medium specificity.

[6] Alexandra Lange, “Criticism = Love,” Open Letters 7 (2014). The articles within explore text in an expanded field, covering historical and contemporary power structures of language and architecture, shared qualities between artistic media, multiple instances of being “in-between,” and the often-ignored speech act.

[7] Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (Banbury, UK: Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2004), 71. In the end, the purpose of this self-reflexive exploration of text is to reappraise certain disciplinary pasts, consider new futures, and, hopefully, start new conversations about our use of language.