During almost 15 years he has developed these activities in parallel, which has enabled him to think experiment and practice architecture on the avant-garde side. This is a comprehensive treatise —he stated — whose main purpose is to attempt a complete discourse analysis of architecture. His stimulus was an amalgam of writings and face to face conversations with students, professors, colleagues, and partner Zaha Hadid. However the crucial inspiration came from outside architecture, from the work of sociologist Niklas Luhmann and the Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana y Francisco Varela.
|Published (Last):||2 February 2011|
|PDF File Size:||2.17 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||4.49 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The lecture is a variation on a lecture I have been giving this year. The argument is that parametricism continues the autopoiesis of architecture, which is the self-referentially closed system of communications that constitutes architecture as a discourse in contemporary society.
The book is in two volumes. Volume one, a new framework for architecture, is coming out in December, [released Dec 7, ] and then a new agenda for architecture appears in volume two, probably six months later. It is difficult to summarize, but just to raise a bit of curiosity about this, I will make an argument for why a comprehensive unified theory is of interest. A comprehensive unified theory of and for architecture is important if you are trying to lead architects across a multiplicity of projects, touching all aspects and components of contemporary architecture in terms of programmatic agendas and at all scales.
You might be concerned with what is architecture, what is not architecture, to demarcate architecture, for instance against art and engineering. You might think of yourself to participate in something like an avant-garde and so you might try to develop a theory of the avant-garde. You wonder about aesthetic values and the notion of beauty, whether it is still relevant.
Y ou try to develop a theory of beauty, an aesthetic theory. And you might be concerned with phenomenology, with perception: H ow do we perceive space, how do subjects orient themselves in space? Next might be t he concept of style: Is it still relevant? Y ou try to develop a theory of style. D ifferent authors, different thinkers, might undertake and spend half their careers on any of those issues.
Some of us might do two or three of these. Observing oneself and others pursuing such partial theories it makes sense to ask whether these things can be brought into a coherent system of ideas where they might be able to forge a kind of trajectory that has to do with guiding practice. You can only lead a coherent practice with a coherent deep and comprehensive theory. No one has attempted a unified theory since Le Corbusier, and perhaps since the book The International Style, or perhaps since the work of Christian Norberg-Schultz Intentions in Architecture.
F or a long time it has been nearly taboo even to start thinking about such an idea. I find it very interesting that the concept of style, as promoted in The International Style, had returned after it was abandoned by most of the early modernists. It contributed to the generation of an unprecedented level of material freedom and plenty, aligned, of course, with the growth of industrial civilization.
In the s it became clear that the principles and values that had defined modern architecture for half a century were no longer the principles and values through which architecture could facilitate the further progress of world civilization. Modernism experienced a massive crisis, was abandoned.
Everything had to be questioned, rethought which led to a free reigning, free-wheeling, browsing, and brainstorming discourse. This also brought forth a new cast of characters, an unapologetic intellectual pluralism, and a sense that all systems grand narratives are bankrupt. All this made sense at this particular historical moment.
After a period of questioning, brainstorming and free-wheeling experimentation new provisional conclusions must be drawn, decisions must be made about how to move a new, promising project forward in a clear way. The necessity of this cannot be denied. So, to raise some curiosity about this idea, let me discuss the chapter structure of volume one.
After the introduction it all starts with a chapter on architectural theory, which is put forward as an important, necessary component of architecture. It actually marks the inception and origin of architecture with Alberti years ago in the early Renaissance. Everything before that was not architecture, it was some form of traditional building. Most of this book is an attempt to observe architecture and its communication structures, its key principles, distinctions, methods, practices.
All this is elaborated in order to forge a statement and position on how to move forward. To make this more digestible I have extracted poignant theses from the theory, and I will just read a few here. Thesis one is that the phenomenon of architecture can be most adequately grasped if it is analyzed as an autonomous network or autopoetic system of communications. So I am not talking about architecture as simply a collection of buildings.
Rather, I am concerned with how all of these activities are joined together to create a system of communications. Thesis four states there is no architecture without theory. The notion of a self-enclosed autonomy of the discipline means that we as architects and as a discourse as a whole need to define the purposes that guide us, the conceptual structures and modes of arguments that are legitimate and meaningful to us, what tasks to focus on and how to pursue them.
The kind of network of communications that we constitute determines this. In contemporary society there is no other authority we can appeal to which would instruct architecture with respect to the built environment and its evolution. Neither politics, nor clients, nor science, nor morality. We have the burden as a collective to determine the way forward.
And that is not guaranteed. I also discovered that only by differentiating the avant-garde as a specific subsystem can contemporary architecture actively participate in the evolution of society. I believe that institutions like SCI-Arc and the AA which seem to be one step removed from the burdens of delivering state-of-the-art solutions here and now, are a necessary condition for architecture to rethink and upgrade itself continuously.
Thesis ten suggests that in a society without a control center architecture must regulate itself and maintain its own mechanisms of evolution in order to remain adaptable in an ecology of evolving societal subsystems. These subsystems are constituting society according to the notion of society underlying this discourse.
There can be no external determination imposed upon architecture, neither by political bodies nor by paying clients, except in the negative, trivial sense of disruption.
Yes, they can stop your project. Maybe they can clamp down and deny permission, but they obviously cannot constructively intervene. The same occurs with other so-called subsystems of society, like the legal system, science, the arts, etc.
They are all self-regulating discourses. Thesis 16 suggests that avant-garde styles are designed research programs. If I talk about style or use the concept of style I am not necessarily alluding to all its connotations. I am making an effort to redefine style as a valid category of contemporary discourse, because to just let it drop to the side would be an impoverishment of contemporary discourse.
The notion of style is one of the few ideas that is meaningful beyond the confines of architectural discourse. All avant-garde styles are design research programs. They begin as progressive design research programs, and parametricism is now in that phase. They mature to become productive dogmas, which happened with modernism.
And there is productivity in the ability to routinize insights for rapid dissemination and execution. And obviously all styles end up as degenerate dogmas. That is their trajectory. Thesis Aesthetic values encapsulate a condensed collective experience within useful dogmas.
Their inherent inertia implies that they values progress via revolution rather than evolution. Aesthetic values obviously shift with historical progress. You need to relearn your aesthetic sensibilities to find those that are productive and viable and that allow you to exist and be productive in contemporary life.
The same goes for moral sensibilities. Thesis Architecture depends on its medium, enormously. Parametricism is also a product of the development of the medium of architecture. Architectural communication is happening primarily within the medium of the drawing, becoming the digital model, becoming the parametric model, and the network of scripts. Architecture depends on its medium in the same way the economy depends on money and politics depends on power.
These specialized media sustain a new plane of communication that depends on the credibility of the respective medium that remains inherently vulnerable to inflationary tendencies.
If you overdo make-believe renderings, if they are not backed up by reality, there is a danger of inflating and losing credibility, but without this compelling medium you would never be able to convince yourself, or anybody else, to project complex, large-scale projects into a distant future, or to coalesce the enormous amount of resources and people needed to support and believe in a coordinated effort.
Architecture, of course, also needs, with its increasing complexity of tasks and agendas, to upgrade its medium, just as money did. Money is no longer coinage; it became paper money, became electronic money. Administrative power is also benefiting from the microelectronic revolution in terms of administering, controlling, connecting, and directing. Each of these social subsystems has a specialized social medium.
All these media evolve together with the tasks they take on. One more thesis, Thesis Radical innovation presupposes newness. Newness is first of all otherness. The new is produced by blind mechanisms rather than creative thought.
Strategic selection is required to secure communicative continuity, and adaptive pertinence. This requires some sense of the overall social process and its workings. For the first decade of my architectural life, beginning in the early s, I looked at Marxism and historical materialism as the kind of overarching theoretical edifice through which to think what is going on in architecture.
When I went into architecture at the University of Stuttgart, I was joining the late modern period. People were still convinced of modernism. There was still hi-tech — Foster and Rogers were still the prominent going tendency. And so I changed, and, in fact, the university changed.
And a few years later there was a radical shift to deconstructivism. It seemed that in the s, every two or three years there was a revolution in style, in paradigm, in outlook, and in values. Soon there was a pluralism of styles. However, this is a historical illusion. He steps back from Marxist materialism to a kind of abstraction, but one that I think is plausible. You always have to abstract to theorize. Even the physical world only gets to you through systems of communication.
If you want to traverse physical space your issue will be whether you have money, an airline ticket. You are protected if you have the ability to buy a hotel room, an apartment, switch on the heater, pay the bills.
The Autopoiesis of Architecture, Volume I (eBook, ePUB)
Author Patrik Schumacher offers innovative treatment that enriches architectural theory with a coordinated arsenal of concepts facilitating both detailed analysis and insightful comparisons with other domains, such as art, science and politics. He explores how the various modes of communication comprising architecture depend upon each other, combine, and form a unique subsystem of society that co-evolves with other important autopoietic subsystems like art, science, politics and the economy. Each of the 50 sections poses a thesis drawing a central message from the insights articulated within the respective section. The chapters are gathering and sorting the accumulated intelligence of the discipline according to the new conceptual framework adopted, in order to catalyze and elaborate the new formulations and insights that are then encapsulated in the theses. However, while the theoretical work in the text of the chapters relies on the rigorous build up of a new theoretical language, the theses are written in ordinary language?
The Autopoiesis of Architecture dissected, discussed and decoded
The lecture is a variation on a lecture I have been giving this year. The argument is that parametricism continues the autopoiesis of architecture, which is the self-referentially closed system of communications that constitutes architecture as a discourse in contemporary society. The book is in two volumes. Volume one, a new framework for architecture, is coming out in December, [released Dec 7, ] and then a new agenda for architecture appears in volume two, probably six months later. It is difficult to summarize, but just to raise a bit of curiosity about this, I will make an argument for why a comprehensive unified theory is of interest. A comprehensive unified theory of and for architecture is important if you are trying to lead architects across a multiplicity of projects, touching all aspects and components of contemporary architecture in terms of programmatic agendas and at all scales. You might be concerned with what is architecture, what is not architecture, to demarcate architecture, for instance against art and engineering.
In the mid-eighties Schumacher studied architecture in Stuttgart and in continued his studies at London Southbank University. In he returned to University of Stuttgart to complete his Diploma in Architecture and then re-joined Hadid. From to he joined Zaha Hadid to lead one of the master classes at the University of Applied Arts Vienna , and currently remains an honorary professor there. Schumacher has also prompted controversy by promoting pro-free market ideas against social housing, housing regulations and a centralised urban planning system. In he launched a manifesto for "parametricism" at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and a year later published the article "Parametricism: A New Global Style for Architecture and Urban Design" in the journal Architectural Design. In , Schumacher published the first volume of The Autopoiesis of Architecture, which he called his "opus magnum",[ citation needed ] claiming to offer a "New Framework for Architecture", followed by the second volume, subtitled A New Agenda for Architecture in
The premise of the novel is an attempt to create a comprehensive and unified theory of architecture. Let us begin by understanding what the Autopoiesis of architecture might be. The Autpoietic system is a closed and self referential that reacts to outside sources as one The concept of Autopoiesis refers to the overall discursive self-referential making of architecture. This is a continuous historical process and to remain effective, it continues to require new theoretical efforts at each stage of its ongoing evolution. An autopoietic system for architecture can only be realized at the hands of an all-encompassing theoretical system. The areas in which architects develop ideas and theories are manifold. Rather than develop a theory for each subset including phenomenology, aesthetics, societal functions and etc.