domingo, 13 de julio de 2008

Grandes Exitos Contemporáneos 1: La Selección de Charles Jencks

Cualquier compilado, por más valor que tenga, no deja de ser la selección subjetiva de un material cuasi infinito, ordenado forzosamente bajo premisas dudosas, recortado arbitrariamente y ubicado fuera de todo contexto. Pero para el extranjero en el tema, es un principio de conocimiento, una detección de posibles puertas que podrá transgedir impulsado por la ansiedad que desde allí se genere. Es mejor que la nada y siempre un buen acompañante a tanto impacto gráfico que nos domina. En primera persona, los impulsores de las ideas con fundamento más exitosas de las últimas décadas nos cuentan el porqué de sus proyectos. De utilidad obligatoria para comprender nuestra época, y el huracán que la generó. Imperdible trabajo.
A modo de muestra: un texto del gran ing. Peter Rice, de nuestro amigo Peter Eisenman y el índice de textos.
Charles Jencks + Karl Kropf. Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture.West Sussex, 1997, Academy Editions

PETER RICE The Role of the Engineer 1994
To call an engineer an `architect engineer' because he comes up with unusual or original solutions is essentially to misunderstand the role of the engineer in society. It is easiest to explain the difference between the engineer and others by comparing how each works and what they do. Designers such as the famous car stylists, like Pininfarina, or Giugiaro, work essentially by seeking to understand how they respond to the context and the essential elements of the problem: their response is essentially subjective. Different architects will respond very differently to the same problem. Their solutions will reflect their style preference and their general belief in an appropriate response to a problem ...
The engineer when faced with a design challenge will transform it into one which can be tackled objectively. As an example, the engineer might seek to change the problem into the exploration of how to exploit a particular material completely within the context of architecture.
Thus the Lloyds building became an exploration of the use and properties of concrete. And the engineer's contribution was to try and make the structure an essay on expression in the use of concrete. But it was the properties of concrete which motivated the search and the solution.
Similarly at the La Villette `greenhouses' in Paris. The architect defined the architectural intention, and the engineer transformed the simple architectural statement into an essay on the nature of transparency and of how to use the physical properties of glass to convey fully the concept of transparence. As an engineer I worked essentially with glass. It was the properties of the material which motivated the development of the design. Thus although we can say that there was originality and aesthetic choice in the way that the design developed, this way forward was directed by the need to express the properties of glass in full.
I would distinguish the difference between the engineer and the architect by saying the architect's response is primarily creative, whereas the engineer's is essentially inventive ...
This is the positive role for the engineers' genius and skill: to use their understanding of materials and structure to make real the presence of the materials in use in the building, so that people warm to them, want to touch them, feel a sense of the material itself and of the people who made and designed it. To do this we have to avoid the worst excesses of the industrial hegemony, to maintain the feeling that it was the designer, and not industry and its available options, that decided; is one essential ingredient of seeking a tactile, trace de le main solution.
A building does not have to be made of brick or stone to achieve this, but rather it is the honesty and immediacy in the use of its principal materials which determines its tactile quality. That was the essential reason for the use of cast steel in Beaubourg .. .
This then is a noble role that the engineer can assume - the role of controlling and taming industry. The building industry has an enormous investment in the status quo and, like lago, will use every argument to demonstrate that other choices are irrational and not very sensible. Only the engineer can withstand these arguments, demonstrate the wrongness of the position of industry and demolish its arguments. In this scenario, the engineer becomes critical and can save his soul.
In general, though, the most powerful way that an engineer can contribute to the work of architects is by exploring the nature of the materials and using that knowledge to produce a special quality in the way materials are used ...

PETER EISENMAN, The End of the Classical: the End of the End, the End of the Beginning, 1984
Making more explicit use of literary theory, in particular that of jacques DerridA (with whom he collaborated on the Choral Works in 1988), Eisenman presents in this essay a heated polemic against the Classical and Humanist paradigms in architecture. In their place he posits architecture as fiction, free from the weight of past or future.
The Not-Classical: Architecture as Fiction
What can be the model for architecture when the essence of what was effective in the classical model - the presumed rational value of structure, representations, methodologies of origins and ends, and deductive processes - has been shown to be a simulation?
It is not possible to answer such a question with an alternative model. But a series of characteristics can be proposed that typify this aporia, this loss in our capacity to conceptualize a new model for architecture. These characteristics, outlined below, arise from that which can not be, they form a structure of absences. The purpose in proposing them is not to reconstitute what has just been dismissed, a model for a theory of architecture - for all such models are ultimately futile. Rather what is being proposed is an expansion beyond the limitations presented by the classical model to the realization of architecture as an independent discourse, free of external values - classical or any other; that is, the intersection of the meaning free, the arbitrary, and the timeless in the artificial.
The meaning-free, arbitrary, and timeless creation of artificiality in this sense must be distinguished from what Baudrillard has called `simulation': it is not an attempt to erase the classical distinction between reality and representation - thus again making architecture a set of conventions simulating the real; it is, rather, more like a dissimulation. Whereas simulation attempts to obliterate the difference between real and imaginary, dissimulation leaves untouched the difference between reality and illusion. The relationship between dissimulation and reality is similar to the signification embodied in the mask: the sign of pretending to be not what one is - that is, a sign which seems not to signify anything besides itself (the sign of a sign, or the negation of what is behind it). Such a dissimulation in architecture can be given the provisional title of the not-classical. As dissimulation is not the inverse, negative, or opposite of simulation, a 'not-classical' architecture is not the inverse, negative, or opposite of classical architecture; it is merely different from or other than. A 'not-classical' architecture is no longer a certification of experience or a simulation of history, reason or reality in the present. Instead, it may more appropriately be described as an other manifestation, an architecture as is, now as a fiction. It is a representation of itself, of its own values and internal experience ...
The End of the Beginning
While classical origins were thought to have their source in a divine or natural order and modern origins were held to derive their value from deductive reason, `not-classical' origins can be strictly arbitrary, simply starting points, without value. They can be artificial and relative, as opposed to natural, divine, or universal. Such artificially determined beginnings can be free of universal values because they are merely arbitrary points in time, when the architectural process commences. One example of an artificial origin is a graft, as in the genetic insertion of an alien body into a host to provide a new result ...
A graft is not in itself genetically arbitrary. Its arbitrariness is in its freedom from a value system of non-arbitrariness (that is, the classical). It is arbitrary in its provision of a choice of reading which brings no external value to the process...
The End of the End
Along with the end of the origin, the second basic characteristic of a 'not-classical' architecture, therefore, is its freedom from a priori goals or ends - the end of the end ...
With the end of the end, what was formerly the process of composition or transformation ceases to be a causal strategy, a process of addition or subtraction from an origin. Instead the process becomes one of modification - the invention of a non-dialectical, non-directional, non-goal oriented process ...
This suggests the idea of architecture as 'writing' as opposed to architecture as image. What is being `written' is not the object itself - its mass and volume - but the act of massing. This idea gives a metaphoric body to the act of architecture. It then signals its reading through another system of signs, called traces. Traces are not to be read literally, since they have no other value than to signal the idea that there is a reading event and that the reading should take place; trace signals the idea *_o read ...
But further, knowing how to decode is no longer important; simply, language in this context is no longer a code to assign meanings (that this means that). The activity of reading is first and foremost in the recognition of something as a language (that it is). Reading, in this sense, makes available a level of indication rather than a level of meaning or expression.
Therefore, to propose the end of the beginning and the end of the end is to propose the end of beginnings and ends of value - to propose an other `timeless' space of invention. It is a 'timeless' space in the present without a determining relation to an ideal future or to an idealized past. Architecture in the present is seen as a process of inventing an artificial past and a futureless present. It remembers a no-longer future.

Indice de Textos Seleccionados
CHARLES JENCKS The Volcano and the Tablet
1955 JAMES STIRLING From Garches to Jaoul: Le Corbusieras Domestic Architect in 1927 and 1953
1956 JAMES STIRLING Ronchamp: Le Corbusier's Chapel and the Crisis of Rationalism
1960 KEVIN LYNCH The Image of the City
1961 N JOHN HABRAKEN Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing
1961 JANE JACOBS The Death and Life of Great American Cities
1962 ALDO VAN EYCK Team 10 Primer
1965 CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER A City is not a Tree
1965 CHRISTIAN NORBERG-SCHULZ Intentions in Architecture
1966 ALDO ROSSI The Architecture of the City
1966 ROBERT VENTURI Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
1969 CHARLES JENCKS Semiology and Architecture
1970 GIANCARLO DE CARLO Architecture's Public
1975 CHARLES JENCKS The Rise of Post Modern Architecture
1975 ROB KRIER Urban Space
1975 JOSEPH RYKWERT Ornament is no Crime
1976 ALDO ROSSI An Analogical Architecture
1977 KISHO KUROKAWA Metabolism in Architecture
1977 KENT C BLOOMER AND CHARLES W MOORE Body, Memory and Architecture
1978 LEON KRIER Rational Architecture: The Reconstruction of the City
1978 ANTHONY VIDLER The Third Typology
1979 CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER The Timeless Way of Building
1980 DOLORES HAYDEN What Would a Non-sexist City Be Like? Speculations on Housing, Urban Design and Human Work
1980 CHARLES JENCKS Towards a Radical Eclecticism
1980 PAOLO PORTOGHESI The End of Prohibitionism
1980 SITE Notes on the Philosophy of SITE
1982 MICHAEL GRAVES A Case for Figurative Architecture
1982 OSWALD MATHIAS LINGERS Architecture as Theme
1983 KENNETH FRAMPTON Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance
1983 LUCIEN KROLL The Architecture of Complexity
1984 MEMPHIS The Memphis Idea
1987 KISHO KUROKAWA The Philosophy of Symbiosis
1989 STEVEN HOLL Anchoring
1991 FRANK 0 GEHRY On his own House III
1991 ITSUKO HASEGAWA Architecture as Another Nature
1991 ERIC OWEN MOSS Which Truth do You Want to Tell
1993 FRANK 0 GEHRY On The American Center, Paris: An Interview
1993 JEFFREY KIPNIS Towards a New Architecture: Folding
1993 GREG LYNN Architectural Curvilinearity: The Folded, the Pliant and the Supple
1996 ARATA ISOZAKI The Island Nation Aesthetic
1996 CHARLES JENCKS 13 Propositions of Post-Modern Architecture
1969 IAN MCHARG Design with Nature
1984 ANNE WHISTON SPIRN The Granite Garden
1984 NANCY JACK TODD AND JOHN TODD Bioshelters, Ocean Arks and City Farming: Ecology as the Basis of Design
1986 HASSAN FATHY Natural Energy and Vernacular Architecture
1987 KENNETH YEANG Tropical Urban Regionalism
1990 CHRISTOPHER DAY Places of the Soul
1990 JAMES WINES Architect's Statement
1991 TEAM ZOO/ATELIER ZO Principles of Design
1991 BRENDA AND ROBERT VALE Green Architecture
1992 WILLIAM M DONOUGH The Hannover Principles
1993 PETER CALTHORPE The Nest American Metropolis
1994 KENNETH YEANG Bioclimatic Skyscrapers
1969 HASSAN EATHY Architecture for the Poor
1976 ROBERT MAGUIRE The Value of Tradition
1977 DAVID WATKIN Morality and Architecture
1978 THE BRUSSELS DECLARATION Reconstruction of the European City
1980 MAURICE CULOT Reconstructing the City in Stone
1983 DEMETRI PORPHYRIOS Classicism is Not a Style
1984 LEON KRIER Building and Architecture
1984 ROBERT AM STERN On Style, Classicism and Pedagogy
1986 ALEXANDER TZONIS & LIANE LEFAIVRE Critical Classicism: The Tragic Function
1987 HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES Mansion House Speech
1989 DUANY+PLATER-ZYBERK Traditional Neighbourhood Development Ordinance
1989 QUINLAN TERRY Architecture and Theology
1989 HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES A Vision of Britain
1994 ALLAN GREENBERG Why Classical Architecture is Modern
1994 ROGER SCRUTON Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism
1954 PHILIP JOHNSON The Seven Crutches of Modern Architecture
1956 PAUL RUDOLPH The Six Determinants of Architectural Form
1960 REYNER BANHAM Theory and Design in the First Machine Age
1962 CEDRIC PRICE Activity and Change
1964 CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER Notes on the Synthesis of Form
1964 ARCHIGRAM Universal Structure
1964 JOHN HEIDUK Statement
1964 FUMIHIKO MAXI The Megastructure
1966 SUPERSTUDIO Description of the Microevent/Microenvironment
1968 PETER COOK The Metamorphosis of an English Town (drawing)
1969 REYNER RANHAM The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment
1969 LOUIS I KAHN Silence and Light
1969 CEDRIC PRICE Non-Plan
1972 PETER EISENMAN Cardboard Architecture
1973 MANFREDO TAFURI Architecture and Utopia
1975 PHILIP JOHNSON What Makes Me Tick
1975 PIANO.ROGERS Statement
1976 LIONEL MARCH The Logic of Design and the Question of Value
1985 RICHARD ROGERS Observations on Architecture
1990 KENNETH FRAMPTON Rappel a l'Ordre, the Case for the Tectonic
1991 TADAO ANDO Beyond Horizons in Architecture
1994 PETER RICE The Role of the Engineer
1994 IAN RITCHIE (Well) Connected Architecture
1976 PETER HSENMAN Post-Functionalism
1977 BERNARD TSCHUMI The Pleasure of Architecture
1978 COOP HIMMELBLAU The Future of Splendid Desolation
1978 REM KOOLHAAS Delirious New York: A Retroar Live Manifesto for Manhattan
1980 COOP HIMMELBLAU Architecture Must Blaze
1981 BERNARD TSCHUMI The Manhattan Transcripts
1982 ZAHA HADID Randomness vs Arbitrariness
1983 ZAHA HADID The Eighty-Nine Degrees
1983 DANIEL LIBESKIND Unoriginal Signs
1984 PETER EISENMAN The End of the Classical:
The End of the End, the End of the Beginning
1986 JOHN HEIDUK Thoughts of an Architect
1988 COOP HIMMELBLAU The Dissipation of Our Bodies in the City
1988 JEFFREY KIPNIS Forms of Irrationality
1988 MARK WIGLEY Deconstructivist Architecture
1992 PETER EISENMAN Visions' Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media
1993 WILL ALSOP Towards an Architecture of Practical Delight
1993 THOM MAYNE Connected Isolation
1993 LEBBEUS WOODS Manifesto
1994 REM KOOLHAAS What Ever Happened to Urbanism?
1994 REM KOOLHAAS Bigness: or the Problem of Large

Editado por el arq. Martín Lisnovsky

9 comentarios: dijo...

Es curioso que el último ensayo del listado tenga fecha de 1996: Un libro de Charles Jencks sobre postmodernismo.... ¿De verdad no se ha publicado ningún libro teórico importante de arquitectura desde hace 12 años?

Mart1n dijo...

Por supuesto que sí, Raul, pero este libro fue editado hace 11 años. Esperemos una nueva edición...o una nueva recopilación. saludos

Fredy Ovando Grajales dijo...

Muy buena información. Coincido con Raúl Vilar en cuanto a la escasez de textos teóricos de las corrientes arquitectónicas actuales (por ejemplo el deconstructivismo). A mi me han servido mucho los textos de Hanno-Walter Kruft y uno de reciente publicación "Ideas que han configurado edificios" de Fill Hearn, aunque claro, no son estudios profundos de la posmodernidad arquitectónica ni el deconstructivismo, pero algo ayudan.

Martín, te he agregado a mi blog sobre libros de arquitectura (casas) del siglo XX, espero que no tengas inconvenientes, en todo caso me lo comentas. La dirección de mi blog es:

Como verás, estoy empezando y es más un "croquis" de un blog que un producto acabado.

Por cierto, hace tiempo te mandé un correo invitándote a participar en la publicación de un libro sobre la enseñanza de la historia pero nunca tuve respuesta.

Saludos desde México.

Fredy Ovando

arq. Martín Lisnovsky dijo...

Pasé de visita en y te dejé allí la respuesta. Saludos, Fredy

Manasa dijo...

Parece muy interesante el libro, sobre todo porque es una carrera que se puede terminar academicamente sin siquiera leer nada de todo eso.

No sabes donde se puede conseguir en Bs As. Concentra y CP67 dicen no tenerlo.

Pagnanini el 4 dijo...

Mientras no consigas la edicion, se puede hojear una muestra previa en

Anónimo dijo...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!


En Arquilecturas (
seguro encontrareis más libros interesantes sobre crítica.

Syzana Krasniqi dijo...

Hello everyone! I need to find a review about the essay "Notees on the philosophy of SITE"... Can some one help?


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