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Theory and Criticism
 
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
With the present state of Architecture Globally, is it possible to achieve or create a coherent theory for generating Architecture? How can this be achieved?
James George
Responses
 
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
James, The answer is yes, because I have deduced the infinite principles of aesthetics.

But, the question is, is anyone interested in learning such principles when architectural education is based upon the curious idea of "either you have ability or you do not."

Because if you have ability there is no need to either learn or teach design and if you do not have ability then obviously you cannot learn and therefore again there is no point in teaching design.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Do Please share, Ive been spending my nights trying to solve that puzzle... where does one approach it from?
James George
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Hi James,
Hi Frank,

The question and the answer were too deep for my understanding... Can we fragment the question as well as the answer?

I feel that this is a major point of discussion but I might miss some insight or clue to seize its amplitude...

? What is a coherent theory?

? Can a theory generates architecture?

Am I on the path?...

Are architectural movements coherent theories?
If so, then yes.

But are we coherent with the chronology of incidence?
Does Architecture generate theory? or Does Theory generate architecture?

Might sounds like the story of:

"The Egg And The Hen"
or
"The Act and the Thought".


Does action occure before decision?

I believe "Vice and Versa" are true paradigm... But still we need a start or genesis or original paradigm to make it a true coherent theory... a standalone theory...

To my knowledge, a theory is always an answer to an other(s) theory.

Theories are not hermetic discipline paradigm but manifest of socio-cultural, traditional, political, science, technics and trend factors.

The overall makes Architecture representative form of School of Thought, Human Know-How and Society Spectral Trend put into built-environment materialization

Am I still on the same path or did I miss the whole point????

Are you asking:

1) How a coherent theory generates Architecture?
2) How Architecture generates theory?
3) How can we based on a theory generates architecture?
4) How can we modelized architecture (IT development) based on a theory?...

Am I lost?
Louisette Rasoloniaina
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Your question happens to be much deeper than mine, but here goes.
Since we left the caves, we have practiced one form of architecture or the next. the question becomes then, should we, in the 21st century rely on sheer talent etc as the generator of architecture? Is there not a way that the building blocks of (an) architecture can be created to enable its formation and depth, whatever way one chooses to combine his thought?
About movements, all movements, no matter how bizarre are built around the paradigm of creating a coherent theory for architectural generation. Therefore, with a study of nature and traditional architecture(s) globally, Id ask this again, With the present state of Architecture Globally, is it possible to achieve or create a coherent theory for generating Architecture? How can this be achieved?
James George
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Louisette, James, the notion of a "coherent theory" means to me, a theory which encompasses all available examples; rather like the "Holy Grail" of science = a unified field theory of gravity, magnetism, etc.

Does architecture create theory? Yes, of course, because what exists is data which can then be analysed to the point where principles or concepts can be deduced.

But the problem with analysis is that it is one thing to reduce data to "abstract approximations of reality" and quite another to deduce from data principles and concepts.

The notion that the physical reduction of architectural form [into Mimalism] is the way foreward, completely misses the point "what is abstract should never be made concrete" and vice versa, "what is concrete should never be made abstract". A case in point is the abstract (belief in God) cannot be made concrete without resulting in a idol with feet of clay.

Therefore the whole point of the principles that I have deduced is that they are able to cater for all forms of aesthetics, architecture and design and not just one style format and in particular not just one universal form.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
No comment?
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Frank John Snelling,
Kindly share these principles.
Regards.
Bernard Mugwima
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
there may be a "coherent theory" of Architecture, but it does not mean such a theory will be adhered to. Architecture was/is/will be utilized to achieve different purposes underpinned by notions opposed to "coherence".
Benito Castiglione
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Dear Bernard, Please ask the Archnet administrator for my email address. :)

Benito, The principles of aesthetics that I have deduced are principles which can be applied to all forms of human activity and not only human creativity. Therefore it is possible to apply them to any activity or to any form of creativity. The fact that the human ability to be contrary means there will be wide variations in the use of these principles and even wilder results does not nullify the validity of these principles.

In deducing these principles, I have merely mapped out the parameters which guide both aesthetics and creativity. But, the sting in the tail, is that with my principles it is possible to objectively decode human creativity and that includes merit and value.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Hmm, I must be using the wrong bait here. Clearly, I am fishing for like-minded people or at least people with a degree of curiousity, but most are not biting at my bait.

I should perhaps explain that I am aware that there are two aspects to my mind which do not automatically mesh; these being my uncritical subjective mind and my analytical objective mind.

Therefore the question is not "whether or not I am right to claim that I have deduced the principles of aesthetics?" but "whether or not you are using your subjective mind or your objective mind when you are reading this post?"

I say this because in a sense I am saying that I have the inhuman ability to think logically, rationally and objectively; but this ability does not mean that what I think is in any way absolute or irrefutable. I am merely putting forward the idea of a system of thought that can deal objectively with aesthetics and therefore can be called "the principles of aesthetics" and as such is a coherent theory.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
James, To quote Shakespeare "To be or not to be (that is the question)". You have asked for the answer to a riddle, but like the old joke `be careful of what you wish for` as the answer may not be what you expected. :)
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Dear Frank,
Dealing with Aesthetics objectively- I have pondered long hours over the question. I do have few premises on which one can define the objectivity of aesthetics. Separate into Good & bad, but yet be totally disconnected to personal opinions or subjective judgments of good or bad. Its like a science- certain things right, others wrong- black & white. And then this can be extended to architecture. I suppose that's how you can go about having a coherent theory of architecture.

The problem is, And I need some help here, are there contradictions in the idea that aesthetics can be objective only? There are 2 issues I find contradictory.
1. Any form of aesthetics is an expression of mind & is hence beyond something that can be objectified.
2. Any form of expression/aesthetics is based on principles, or logic, some underlying thread that makes it exist- and in the process of making it exist- everything can be objectified. Since the process involves actions which are black or white, absolutely non subjective.

yes i would like to have your views on the same. Thanks.
Eram Ansari
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Dear Eram, Thank you for your post. To answer your two points:

[1] I would agree with you if there were no principles which can be used to identify the fundamental elements of aesthetics. But because there are principles (or at least because those that I have deduced work in every case, then they are principles), then it is possible to review any aesthetic.

[2] For myself, I took a very long time to arrive at my deduced principles because I was afraid that I might be reducing rather than deducing and thus instead of extracting principles, I would pull the wings off the butterfly of aesthetics.

Therefore a primary principle of aesthetics is not to use black/white logic but to use Finite/Infinite logic because every form of aesthetic must come somewhere between the extreme boundary of the Finite(Order) and the other extreme boundary of the Infinite (Disorder, Chaos).

And the four logic positions are: (a)Total Order, (b) More order than disorder,(c) More disorder than order, and (d) Total Disorder.

But case (a) Total Order and case (d)Total Disorder cannot be identified as any form of aesthetic because any design done cannot be distinguished from the background.

Therefore, case (b) More order than disorder and case (c) More disorder than order become the principle by which a form of aesthetic can be recognised and appreciated.

To illustrate the above I have four diagrams which show these principles. Note: This is the primary diagram I used for the paper I presented in November 1993 to the "IL" (Frei Otto`s Institute of Lightweight Structures), Stuttgart University, Germany.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Eysenk(1941) empirically determined a formula for aesthetics. There is a paper on the same. This determination can be easily done using Principal Components Analysis.
Bernard Mugwima
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
Bernard, I tend to take psychology with "a pinch of salt" (in Latin = cum grano salis). A good example is a story my Socialist father told me about the Communist scientist Lysenko of the former Soviet Union.

One day Lysenko showed a flea to his students. "Comrades, I will show you how the ears of the flea are in his back legs." He said "Jump" to the flea and the flea jumped. Then he tore off the back legs of the flea and said "Jump" but the flea did not jump. "Comrades, I have just proved to you that the ears of a flea are in its back legs".

In other words, aesthetics is a philosophy and not a psychology and should be addressed by analogy and not mathematics or ideology, because philosophy addresses causes and psychology addresses effects.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
The theories of architecture as generally understood and taught in architecture schools are rooted in history, with several noted illustrations and building examples coming from classical and renaissance periods. In the context of architecture acquiring a global connotation, the relevance of theory has to acquire contextual meaning through symbolism of culture, place and aspirations. Such creativity cannot be devoid of aesthetics and they essentially go together.
S. Shiva Kumar
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
S. Shiva, you should have attended my school of architecture because the theories of architecture followed the ideas of the "ornament is crime" avante garde movement.

In other words any architectural references to any one specific culture were viewed as "thought crimes" and something which needed to be washed out of the heads of all students.

So today, I see lots of bland and bald glass and concrete buildings without any ornament and therefore without any contextual character and without any soul or aesthetic sense of place.

Most of these unaesthetic voids could be dumped anywhere on the planet and no one would be able to tell if the design was appropriate or not.
Frank John Snelling
Coherent theory of Architecture: Myth or Possibility?
The "Ornament is crime" battle cry of the Avante Garde (of 100 years ago) is the ancestor of much of the bland and boring in architecture today.
Frank John Snelling
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