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Theory and Criticism
 
Deconstructivism
How does one explain what deconstructivism really is?
I seen my classmates make up random lines at different angles without any such concept of why it's going like that.

I don't mean to offend anyone,
but even I am not too educated in terms of deconstructivism, and would be grateful if someone would help me out here.

Thanks,
Piyas Choudhuri
Responses
 
Deconstructivism
Hi,

Deconstructivism, to my knowledge, is to start from scratch.

I mean to say that different building elements should fulfill their purpose of existence, but not necessarily in some or other typical form.

I think it is related to the form of the buildings.

I would be happy to learn more about this topic.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
Deconstructivism
Piyas,

Deconstructivism simply means decaying and corrupting thought to the point where hopefully something ugly and nasty crawls out of the muck.

In essence, deconstructivism fixates and focuses upon the destructive part of the cycle of life rather than the constructive part.

The reason is that deconstructivism is deliberately used to subvert, disrupt and destablise the capitalist and bourgeous realities because "Nihilism Rules, Okay".

Sadly no one dares to tell exponents of deconstructivism that "anti-capitalism and anti-bourgeoism" activity are long dead issues. :(((

But maybe deconstructivism has the right agenda because it tries to dig up the decomposing bodies of of anti-capitalism and anti-bourgeoisism. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
"Deconstructivism simply means decaying and corrupting thought to the point where hopefully something ugly and nasty crawls out of the muck."

OK, can you like give me more input on this, maybe if you help me with some work or something.

I am like a great admirer of Gehry, and I love the forms he creates, but then I have never really gotten into his real thought process on why he's doing it.

But then you're saying that something ugly and nasty is created from the muck-- but then doesn't this mean that the ugliness that comes out should not really appeal to someone? Now, I might be wrong here, but please do give your input.
Piyas Choudhuri
Deconstructivism
I think you should also know that there is a school of political scientific thought, known as 'constructivism.' It has been confused at times with the Russian school of 'constructivist' design.

Many consider systemic analysis, as 'deconstruction.' In particular, 'PoMo,' or post-Modernist criticism practiced widely in the West, requires no hypothesis to be made, nor response to any social, ethical or esthetic issues raised. It does speak directly to the identification however of held cultural biases, areas of outright ignorance and institutionalized discrimination in all its many forms.

Speaking in terms of architecture, I think any deconstructive criticism should be made only in light of possible positive treatments of the issues raised, to alleviate long term political and social stresses inimical to human values.
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
Piyas,

Personally, I like the work of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid because they use abstract chaotic aesthetics and can been appreciated visually.

But 'deconstructivism' or the nihilistic, ideologically left-wing pseudo-scientific philosphies of Derrida, etc., are the human mental equivalent of acid, cancer or AIDS.

Nihilisms are always uncontrolled and negative and start by corrupting their original targets (in this case Capitalism and the Bourgeois), but because they are uncontrolled negative systems, when the original target has been corrupted enough then they start corrupting everything and anything.

I think your best option is to look at and synthesise the visual aesthetics of modern architects and forget trying to understand the Nihilistic political agenda as it will rot your mind. :)

Anthony, interesting that Constructivism was a communist Russian political system. There has always been a strain of negativity in Russian politics (Nihilism, Kropotkin, etc). So deconstructivism is no doubt the next generation mutation of of Constructivism.

Personally, I like both the abstract work of Chernikhov and Kandinsky. It's brilliant, so Constructivism as an architectural or aesthetic system has merit, but Constructivism is bad news.

Thank you for your comments about the intentional bypassing of culture by "PoMo criticism" this sheds much light on "PoMoism" because I had intuitively smelt a rat. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
Of course Frank, criticism for the sake of criticism helps no one. Perhaps part of the 'culture of architects' is an understanding that criticism which promotes positive, creative innovations as well as respects cultural, perhaps moral traditions are the preferred norm.

I like Kandinsky's work as well, from a visual perspective - I'm not so sure how it would be "tactile-ly."

I must confess that I do not equate "constructivism" in the design sense with "constructivism" in the political scientific sense (and fully aware of your feelings about that!).

As a thought problem, if you may accept as a premise that architectural space=psychological space, what would it feel like to live in Kandinsky's world?

We live in an already linguistically confused world - perhaps the internet will contribute to a better, more consistent framework of language within interdisciplinary studies.

Do you find something wrong with the idea that the movement of ideas across boundaries supersedes that of nation-state rivalry, independent of ideology for markets and resources? I think architecture itself validates and exemplifies the value of constructivist thought.
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
Anthony,

I must pass on answering the whole of your posting. I have been politely informed that some of my more recent postings are not specifically addressed to architecture.

To answer your question about Kandinsky, his work is valuable purely because he wrote a book Point to line to plane, about how he created his abstract aesthetics.

I have taken this one step further in a set of concepts which works for all human activity.

In fact, I have written a trilogy, which shows how I deduced my viewpoint upon art, aesthetics and architecture. :)))

Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
Hello Piyas

It might be probable that many of your friends might be drawing absurd elevations and plans which are termed by the layman as being deconstructivist in style and approach.

But, if you truely want to test their design skills, ask them to make a realistic and workable model of their paper designs. If they are at least 70% successful in their attempt, then your friends are well in the DECONSTRUCTIVIST frame of mind. And if they finally make the working drawings of the same..then i would like to meet them !

In the real world we are always faced with widely differing and radical views about a concept and style, but such commnets dont always dictate the marketibility of such styles.

Deconstruction sells. And it sells in the minds of the client, in the minds of the public if not in the minds of the contractors !

Having said that, the ball is now in your court. Either go with it or pretend ignoring it.

Bye

Cheers
Abhay R. Ambati
Deconstructivism
salaam alaykum!

Just to clarify: Architecture is not only design, buildings and constructs but constitutes communication between societies, cultures and generations. The fom of architecture does and will always reflect the essential macro communication processes of civilisation(s).

I would be honored to discuss any issues which appear 'off-topic' with anyone through my personal workspace and email.

I fully sympathise with the Archnet webmasters. This is a huge website and there must be parameters set just to keep things on an even keel.
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
To answer the (unasked) question about Kandinsky and me. :))) What I am? I am a naturally systematic, naturally systems-orientated, systems evolver.

This means I look at the system as well as the product and I find systems based on the phrase "The end mystifies the means." are closed-loop systems.

Closed mystery systems exclude debate because "mystery is a mystery is a mystery"; because if anyone knew the mystery the system opens or collapses depending upon your point of view.

Personally, I prefer the old saying about mystery "When you are up to your waist in alligators, you forget your original intention was to drain the swamp." :)))
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
Salaam!

So you feel that 'deconstructivism' is more picking apart looking for the loose end which may unravel the system?

When you are waist deep in paper models, you are ready to 'deconstruct' a real building perhaps!

If 'finiteness' is an attribute of human construction - does that not argue toward open systems? That the universe moves from order to chaos does not diminish the very human need for our buildings and architecture to reflect the continuity of our beliefs and civilisation. I think that all to often, this primary function of architecture is overlooked in the rush to adapt 'modern' materials and esthetic perspectives into the design process. The mode of architecture, which is to say its 'acceptability' within current conditions greatly impacts the economics which drive the society, hence patronage. patronage hence politics. We can focus on architecture and it will reveal the world as we can perceive it.

ma' salemah!

ps: I would very much like to read your work on Kandinsky, where can I find it? aes
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
Anthony, Hmm, calling deconstructivism an unraveling of design / architecture is a nice and cosy way of describing an obsessive system of thought. :)

I have nothing against systems which do not go in for the closed-loop obsessive obscuratism of deconstructivism. I speak in terms of systems, because the complexity and variability of systems create reality.

Any system which creates uncontextual or non-contextual architectural designs degrades and dehumanises unless the design itself is aesthetic.

Every human being is born within a specific culture, within a specific language and within a specific climate and within a specific environment. To throw all of these contexts out of the window dehumanises and degrades because humans are created by culture and these contexts and not because they born are of the human species.

Therefore with architectural design there needs to be some degree of context for human continuity.

It is unfortunate but true to say that the most ultra-modern designs in architecture are usually statements of power, ego, elitism and affluence. In other words ultra-modern architecture is the architecture of the "haves". So what I would like to see is some ultra-modern architectural design devoted to the "have nots"... always remembering that the designs need to work in the real world and not fantasyland.

My work is not on Kandinsky, but in essence a conceptual parallel of the way he created an abstract design system. A taster of what I wrote in my trilogy can be seen the 1993 paper I wrote for the "IL" (Frei Otto's Institute for Lightweight Structures at Stuttgart University.) The papers are all in the book "IL41". :)))
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
So you are saying that characteristics of diversity between cultures should always be an identifiable element of achitectural design within deconstruction? Certainly a counter to mere abstractionism and global homogeneity...
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
Anthony, Deconstructivism or any other system of design must not ignore the context of culture. To do so degrades both people and culture into wallpaper added "to amuse the natives".

Abstract designs are not automatically aesthetic, the aesthetics comes from meaning given within the culture.

Kandinsky created his abstract world by consciously dis-associating himself from the formalism of conscious design and drew unconsciously or intuitively.

I would have dismissed Kandinsky as simply another mystery abstractionist, but for the fact he was able to write down how he had created his abstract works. So other people if they so wish can read his book and synthesis their own work in his abstract world. :)))

What I have done is a conceptual parallel of his deductions, but my research work is conceptual deductions about the nature of design itself, so that if anyone cares to study and learn my research, they will be able to create their own design system.

In effect, my research does not limit anyone's ability, because it addresses and enhances the human creative system itself and not any one creative style.
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
Salaam alaykum!


To the extent that culture conditions consciousness, agreed! But if we suggest Kandinsky, or anyone else is free from effects of societal enculturation regardless of the intuitive nature of their expression surely we find that internal assumptions still continue unexamined.

I have suggested that a primary difference between Islamic/non-Islamic art, regardless of ones cultural preferences stems from a profound dissimilarity of thought process.

Before you educated me as to Kandinskys book, I had already begun writing on linear and spatial thought systems in art generally and architecture in particular.

It appears that Kandinsky, pre-dating Bauhaus has had a deeper influence than I had previouslt imagined. Architecturally, I am developing presentations that illustrate decision-making processes as generally linear (western) and/or generally spatial (non-western Islamic, Asian). I have also found evidence in terms of indigenous global art which I assert is indicative of spatial reasoning over linear reasoning.

Obviously, with architecture these two systems are presumed complementary but I suggest that there exists imbalances from culture to culture which reflect fundamental difference in usage. This has not always been so, but has arisen in direct consequence to sociocultural developments. For instance, if we suggest that the constructive sum of The Pyramid of the Sun in Tenochtitlan consists only of the materials used, structural, interior and exterior form adapted with the sociological intent, we would be overlooking the functional geometric relationship between the structure and it surroundings. To have no enclosure, but a platform open the sky is apatial statement, non-linear. Yest all current thinking tends to overlook thiis nuance.

This comes from my studies of mosque design in Islamic culture, I feel it is more spatially oriented, and Christian architecture leaning mostly to linear: The solutions to the same issues (e.g. congregational use) are sought in different physical dimensionality. The difference between 2 and 3 dimensions. So, I seem to have no objection to schools of deconstructive architecture, as long as I can demonstrably perceive spatial answers to questions of use and design. Does this make sense?

Historically, for those who might question my claim, in the time of the great Islamic efflourescence and Empire, there was an inherent cultural understanding and acceptance of the Earth as a sphere, even as they were excommunicating Galileo reaffirming a heliocentric model of the Universe. These assumptions are deeply laid within cultural fabric and when carried from one generation to another, one esthetic to another does it not follow that architecture becomes a major factor of transmission?

I believe his would go far to 1) resolving any perceived conflict between cultural motifs used in design, and issues of architectural, deconstructive style. No?

In addition, I think this would support your own work in terms of the ��nature of design�� as dimensionality, multidimensionality become more recognized as an issue of general philosophy , not constrained by issues of class, elites, etcetera. As such, architecture and system designs become a mechanism by which enculterated limitations within any society may be overcome given that is the right intent.

Ma salemah!
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
Anthony, Look at my latest posting in the topic "Islamic Architecture". :)))
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
salaam, my friend (i hope) Frank:

I am now just receiving books by Kandinsky, in particular Line to Point to Plane, and also on 'the Spiritual In Art' which all more to do with the focus of my own studies - the adaptation of constructivism, terms et al to the contemporari9e discussions of architecture, communication, language and the determination of primary assumptions of design, social and otherwise. I cannot think of anyone else with whom to discuss these matters with other than yourself. Please advise of a listserv or other 'parallel' means by which I may, at your pleasure discuss thesse matters in full. I realize that some of these issues may in fact transcend strictly 'architectural'
issues of design, community planning - so, with no disrespect to Archnet I do not want to present 'off-topic' issues summarily. So, please - if it is okay to send me an appropriate email or other means to communicate with you on these matters, if you wish.

salaam alaykum!
aestewart
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
salaam, my friend (i hope) Frank:

I am now just receiving books by Kandinsky, in particular Line to Point to Plane, and also on 'the Spiritual In Art' which all more to do with the focus of my own studies - the adaptation of constructivism, terms et al to the contemporari9e discussions of architecture, communication, language and the determination of primary assumptions of design, social and otherwise. I cannot think of anyone else with whom to discuss these matters with other than yourself. Please advise of a listserv or other 'parallel' means by which I may, at your pleasure discuss thesse matters in full. I realize that some of these issues may in fact transcend strictly 'architectural'
issues of design, community planning - so, with no disrespect to Archnet I do not want to present 'off-topic' issues summarily. So, please - if it is okay to send me an appropriate email or other means to communicate with you on these matters, if you wish.

salaam alaykum!
aestewart
Anthony Stewart
Deconstructivism
In my own perception of this "deconstructivism," the thing itself is a concept. Each line and plane that intersects creates an interesting art piece. It is an exaggeration of architectural flaws creating a confusing beauty without depleting the function of the space. It is an abstract sculpture with function.

Thanks.
Sherman Damuag
Deconstructivism
Anthony, Thank you, okay weirdness comes your way, an email for you. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Deconstructivism
Oh no! Frank and Anthony, I'm gonna miss the very interesting dialogue between the two of you, now that you take it afar.

Deconstruct the constructive anthology...a question: aren't the juxtaposed planes, with a less apparent rhythm (or missing in total) spatial-3D forms, when celebrated, appreciated, (whatever)... a reflection of state of consciousness of the world today!!!

Commenting on its validity as acceptable or not, isn't really a question. Is it?

Accepting that it IS a reflection...and so captures attention, by association, furthers that architecture personifies journey (evolution?) of human consciousness through the passage of time!
Poonam Verma Mascarenhas
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