March 26, 2008
March 24, 2008
Advocacy of anomalously meaningless space and programmless place is a raging debate among mockitectural thinkers. American ideaologies and current contextual practicionalities consume every inch of our space and make it do something. This is really an extension of a society constricted by programming every minute of the day. Mockitects must fight this growing trend by programming meaningless spaces.
Meaningless as meaning accomplishes two goals:
1,,,wHY mUST eVERYTHING bE aSSIGNED A tRIVIAL aND kITSCH mEANING tHAT nO oNE gETS?
Is there something to be said for meaninglessness as a philosophical stance? Some of the foremost philosophers of our time are "wandering the streets of the East Village, [spending] so much time contemplating the meaningless of existence. I sometimes felt like a ghost." Are we chasing our tails trying to assign meaning to everything, when really a critical breakdown of space is in order?
2,,, mEANINGLESS sPACE iS oPEN tO iNTERPRETATION AND cUSTOMIZATION.
These are the new Piazzas. Renzo Piano got angry, which is out of his character, when a meaningless space was ruined with benches at the High Museum in Atlanta. We may find ourselves enjoying an open field or balcony more than a cafe or "study area" Could meainglessness create new places? When people are free to hang out in a place with no meaning attached to it, they will assign thier own meanings, and have their own experiences/opinions of the space. Would this make the space more of a place if they can interpret it as they want, individually? This would bring me back to another point? Is the entire process of public place making futile and pointless? Does placelessness foster people to make their own places? A blank Canvas, perhaps?
March 10, 2008
I know what your thinking. Mockitecture. Hotspur has come across some great examples of mockitecture. Check them out here. These are concept sketches for the George W. bush memorial Library. Representing the new era of mockitecture, they build on past precedence such as California Crazy and Post-Modernism, while incorporating an attitude that is rarely seen in architecture. These are satirical interpretations of the Bush administration's contribution to society these last 8 years.
My personal favorite is the "bottomless pit of lies." The underground "red level security" bunker with no public access is a great example of mockitecture. What is important about this mockitectural prominade is that it not only creates a formal "bottomless pit," but it also engages the user into the experience of the joke. And this is where the mockiteture happens. Many of the existing mockitecture projects are funny, but they do not actively engage the user in the joke.
While "It floats on fountains" is funny, and would be a very valid mockitectural project, what really makes it funny is the "disconnection" and possibly the anger one would feel when entering the library through an underground tunnel. A metaphor for the anger and disconnection some feel toward the administration. I am not advocating architecture that makes you angry, but as a concept, I think this is very appropriate in a George W. Bush Library. It is the idea of experiencing the joke that makes it even funnier.
Disconnection seems to be a common thread in the responses to "George W. Bush" Memorial library. Some of the responses are pruely formal, which can be a valid communicative strategy. Anyone can see the Statue of Liberty giving the middle finger and know what the architect is saying. This is important. What makes this project, and many of the others more meaningful, are the multitude of other references and metaphors that make these buildings richer. Going into an underground bunker is a great analogy. (How well would it work for a library? I'm not sure, but great analogy)
Some of these buildings are also great buildings on their own. They are examples of "built jokes" that is buildings which are extremely direct in conveying a message (a strange or ironic message) and are designed creatively/efficiently/etc... think Renzo Piano Duck on acid and steroids.
So enjoy these projects, and hopefully Robert Stern's project will be along the same lines. Somehow I think it cannot help but be. Viva Moquitecturra!