Of the Contextual thing, the Constructive thing and the Complex thing | Miquel Lacasta

Installation Juan Muñoz’s Double Bind for the TATE Modern. It worries to think about what they are speaking and at what his prominent figures are laughing. | wemadethis.typepad.com

The architecture should be defined by his practice. A polyhedric practice understood as a rigorous attempt of contextualizar an eminently intellectual work in the area of the architectural project and his later necessary execution.

The architecture has a conceptual vocation to produce a critical comprehension of a conjuncture, a specificity, an episode. And this commitment for dealing and cosificar a conjuncture is what, from the beginning, should be the own labor of the architectural thing. Also it is true that nuclear that one of the architecture registers in the long chain of the history. While the history exists, the architecture is also a tradition. The problem happens when there spreads the suspicion that the history already does not exist.

It can be deduced of the previous thing that the architecture informs of the interpretive thing as process of interaction with that one that we are called a reality. In fact the architecture departs from the supposition of a possible relacionalidad, that is to say, from the aptitude to arm a complex series of relations that arise in the precise moment that the reality and the architecture are. The reality makes a detour, interprets and forms the architecture making it be what is. No element can isolate of this dynamics of relations, though these could change, and fact they are changing constant. Any architecture can be understood exclusively in a relational way, as a condensation of multiple determinations and effects. The architecture represents this way the commitment with the opening and the contingency of the reality where the change is the given thing, is the norm.

Being still seems to me to be fundamental to clarify the intention of the term secondhand “quota” here. For it I send myself directly to André Comte-Sponville and his Philosophical Dictionary1:

“The contingency is defined normally as the opposite of the need: it is a quota, makes clear Leibniz, all that which opposite is possible, or, everything what might or might not have been. It is necessary to bear conditional these in mind. Because what condition do they suppose? That the royal thing is not what is. Because of it, in the time, everything is a quota, with the same certainty that, in the present, everything is necessary. If the time and the present they are the alone one and the same thing, since I believe, it is necessary to conclude that contingency and need only are opposed in the imagination: when there is compared what is, it was or it will be with another thing, which might or might have been. In the present, only the royal thing is possible: everything fixes quotas for it is necessary, everything necessary is a quota.”

For the management of it fix quotas, we need the tactics of the relational thing. Actually, this idea of the relational thing, it is a way of contextuaidad radically not determinist and it should find in the heart itself of the architectural project in the form of a relation happily cosificada with the territory, with the nature, with the life.2

Far from the landscape outlined here, of this first orography3, from middle of the 90s, we have come to a gradual disentailment of the idea of the context and therefore to a certain disconnection with the earthly thing in favour of the cynical opportunity that was offering once famous globalization.

In the current and unfortunate landscape formed by the discolored image of a recession generalized in the old Europe, dress the toxicity of a globalidad badly understood, the idea of context is reborn between the melancholy incitement to the local – episodic thing and the nutriente designs of the relational thing.

Of all forms the contextual thing for yes same is not sufficient to construct a statement, because ultimately it is precisely it what we have to make the architects, construct a statement, a capable story that it does asumible and understandable our will to give significance to the empty thing.

For it also a logic of the constructive thing is necessary. It seems to be evident but probably it it is not so much. The constructive thing not only sends to the idea of material assembly of elements isolated in a structure of top order. It is not only the aptitude to meet on a good meeting between a sheet of steel and a singing concrete. The constructive thing sends equally to the capacity for the development of the statement that before was referring. To a certain dramaturgy of the architectural thing.

Without this plotted necessary, the architectural thing traverses the royal danger, already we have seen it, of turning into the simulation of a simulation of loose egos. To propose a story fixes quotas of the reality it is to be exposed “to other one”, actually, to be exposed to “all others”. The constructive thing gives the measure of the action, so much physics as symbolically speaking.

Finally but not less importantly there is the management of everything previous, the way as in strategic and tactical terms proyectual cooks in the root more deep of that one that we are called an architecture and territory. Precisely for the collapse of the traditional conception of last time and the future time in a species of hyper-present (to see the post The falling Man | The City Hyper-time), in the genetic code of any project and of any architectural practice one finds the idea of complexity. The complexity he constitutes today a model of that cannot be waived management if it does not want to fall in the false sensation that everything is capable of the only, indivisible and moral statement. Precisely the resignation to the idea of complexity led to the modern movement to his total annihilation. The condition fixes quotas that before we were speaking about the reality, it dismasted all the beliefs, all the ideologies, all the moral and immutable rules that the Modernity was taking with it. Because of it, the notion of complexity allows the management of multiple synchronous statements of an alone reality, multiple stories of an alone architecture.

Definitively, from the complexity we are capable of contextualizar the construction of the intimately architectural thing.

As if of an exoesqueleto it was a question, as an active beginning of that one that today seems to be central in the architecture, an attentive reading is essential and desprejuiciada to the text of the historian, philosopher and impeller of the cultural studies, Lawrence Grossberg, The Heart of Cultural Studies: Contextuality, Constructionism and Complexity.4

It is not necessary to say that this text and any for coming are in debt with him.

Miquel Lacasta. PhD architect
Barcelona, juny 2012


1 COMTE-SPONVILLE, André, Diccionario Filosófico, Ed. Paidós Contextos, Barcelona, 2003. To my way of seeing an absolutely fundamental book for the practice of the architecture.

2 In similar terms Eduard Bru was expressing: “the architecture cannot conceal the depth of his wound: the absence of a happy relation with the territory, with the nature, with the life”, BRU, Eduard, revista Annals d’Arquitectura 07 (2ª época), ETSAB, UPC, Barcelona, July 2001

3 Reading is to walk in the orography of these landscapes that are formed in me for the reading Methodology of reading transdiscipline, CAMPOPIANO, Romina, ROCCHIETTI, Sergio, Methodology of reading transdiscipline, Revista Con-versiones, www.con-versiones.com, July 2003

4 This text is the result of the investigation “Modernity in dispute: economies, cultures and policies” carried out in the Department of Studies of the Communication of the University of North Carolina. GROSSBERG, Lawrence, The heart of cultural studies: Contextuality, Constructionism and Complexity, Tabula Rasa Magazine, nº 10, Bogotá, January-June 2009, pag 13 a 48

Es cofundador en ARCHIKUBIK y también en @kubik – espacio multidisciplinario. Obtuvo un Ph.D. con honores (cum laude) en ESARQ Universitat Internacional de Catalunya UIC y también fue galardonado con el premio especial Ph.D (UIC 2012), M.arch en ESARQ Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, y se graduó como arquitecto en ETSAB Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya . Miquel es profesor asociado en ESARQ desde 1996. Anteriormente, fue profesor en Elisava y Escola LAI, y también en programas de postgrado en ETSAB y La Salle. Fue arquitecto en la oficina de Manuel Brullet desde 1989 desde 1995.


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