Monday, June 13, 2011

Nature of Order

Architects have been long obsessed with the aesthetic rationality of order, which formed the central tenets of architectural philosophy. A tenet that is now being shaken at its very foundation, bringing down with it the validity of centuries worth of interpretation of the nature of order that once formed the core of Western science and civilisation.

An Iraq born Professor Prof. Jim Al Kahaili traces the story of its dismantling.

What struck me most was this profound statement :

Design does not need active interfering designers. It is an active part of the universe

We need to think deeply about this. It prods us to think through a monumental question : What it is to design ? It is the very same question that obsessed ancient architects as they developed a rationality that suited them and their monarchic sponsors. They built their design philosophy on the platform of geometric logic that was then prevalent.

The new understanding of the nature of order has profound implications in every field of human endeavour. In architecture, I hope the implications are clear. It disconnects rationality from the aesthetic fundamentals that we have grown up with – assumed to be universal and on which the modern architecture was built. We now discover its logical foundations to be flawed.

This leads architecture into a catastrophic intellectual vacuum.

Is the orderless form langauge that we see in architecture today an expression of this ? Or is it a juvenile reaction to it ?


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