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id sigradi2004_493
authors Jean-Pierre Chupin
year 2004
title The "tectonic bug" (The fall of the body in cyberspace)
source SIGraDi 2004 - [Proceedings of the 8th Iberoamerican Congress of Digital Graphics] Porte Alegre - Brasil 10-12 november 2004
summary Architects have been opening up onto cyberspace for more than a decade now. In terms of disciplinary issues, at stake is our ability to inhabit this new space as .designers. and not just as spectators. In the mid 90s, two theories engaged in a major confrontation. The first valued the virtual dimension of architectural space (W. J. Mitchell, City of Bits, 1995), the other valued the tectonic dimension and its constructive poiesis (K. Frampton, Studies in Tectonic Culture, 1995). Although divergent in their view of architecture.s role in the future of our technological societies, both theories revealed aspects of our relationship to the contemporary body that were, and today remain, inseparable. Where Mitchell.s book clearly intends to establish cyberspace as a new playground for architects, giving convincing examples of the programmatic mutations of modern spatiality, Kenneth Frampton.s work, Studies in Tectonic Culture, reexamines the constructive culture underlying the modern conception of space. Neither a simple history text nor a collection of technical poetry, this latter work is a manifesto developing a set of materialist ethics for the discipline of architecture. This "rappel lordre" to resist the increasing dematerialization of architecture closes tentatively with Le Corbusier.s classic metaphor of the acrobat: The architect, he said, must not look for truth in extremes. Rather, he must struggle constantly to maintain balance. .Nobody asked him to do this. Nobody owes him any thanks. He lives in the extraordinary world of the acrobat.. Following Le Corbusier.s advice, and in consideration of current and recurrent tensions between the virtual and the tectonic, what can we say today of such a delicate equilibrium?
series SIGRADI
email Jean-pierre.chupin@umontreal.ca
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