The intelligence of the desire | Miquel Lacasta

Mapa Para el Deseo, 2008,obra del artista Fredy Quinayas | Fuente:
Mapa Para el Deseo, 2008,obra del artista Fredy Quinayas | Fuente:

For the important matters, the educations come from very remote places. I think that the architecture is an important matter, and because of it it is suitable to find in places, sometimes distanced from what one thinks, small pearls that help us to give body to our reflections.

One of these remote interesting educations comes from the Danish thinker, Søren Kierkegaard, whom some of they of them place as the father of the European existencialismo, essentially the French existencialismo and the German.

Kiergegaard develops an existential draft that

demands the putting in march of new conceptual categories. Opposite to the speculative thought, the philosopher claims the existential thought in which the thinker interferes personally in the philosophy that it elaborates.1

This one is for me, the great education of the school existencialist, the absolute and total identification in that one with what one is involved.

To clarify something more the essence of this affirmation I send myself what there writes José Luís López Aranguren;

Kierkegaard objects to the speculative thought, the existential thought. The animal has life. The worthy man of this name is an existence. Existence is a peculiar attitude of the man for with it itself that it wraps in yes the categories of seriousness, election or decision, repetition, worry and sincerity.2

If he doubts in the architecture we take part of a certain way of doing existencialist, in the sense that we identify of absolute form with the force propositiva of an architectural project, up to the point that not few colleagues would add to the affirmation of which architecture and life, so much the idea of life in abstract, since in reference to the personal life, are the same thing, they are one.

Initially it was referring to the remote origin of certain educations. Certainly, the existentialism, a current of thought does not exempt from great influence, and still today, a philosophical school, I consider it to be remote in many senses for the architecture. The existentialism has the power of doing those serious questions, and actually key, related with to develop of our existence.

It existencialist happens equally in certain architecture, or rather in the attitude existencialist of certain architects. Nevertheless, and probably because of it, I have trend to relate a certain existential distress, with the period more young woman of the professional path of an architect.

That young person full of enthusiasm, but startled by the magnitude, intransigent of the own and foreign reflections with those who promote a playful vision of the architecture, for considering her to be frivolous and slightly deep. The playful thing has never been the antonym of that one exempt from rigor.

Furthermore distant it looks like to me the attitude of the existencialists, of having to share distressing his thoughts.

The figure blackened by the sorrow of his own reflections, would come to be an image, very slightly multifaceted to make and to live through the architecture. I do not deny that the halo of malditism that drags the thought existencialist is attractive, and in any cases, he would say that shining, a halo, it yes, of a black and grief-stricken light, but I think that the architecture is a light, not only in the literal and metaphorical primary sense of this assimilation, but also to the effect that the architecture is a force, it is a creation, is a radical action, is a necessarily positive look. It is more, the exercise of the architecture must have strong component playful, as lucid.

We have informed many people in major or minor measure of this dark imagery in some instants of our past.

In contraposition to this shallow description of the architectural existentialism, I like to oppose the idea, probably molded by the passage of time and a certain maturity, of the intelligence, by José Antonio Marina, much more energetic, luminous, this time of white light, and tied to the idea of the desire.

The own one Marinades, in The Architectures of the Desire, a book, I would dare to say, of obliged reading, it affirms that in the origin of the culture it is desire.3 The desire places us before an ambiguous infinity, and the mechanism of development of three phases of the desire, is the intelligence.

Let’s go deeply a bit into it.

Sea-coast proposes to study the ideology of the desire, key to understand the current culture, which is a culture of the avidity and of the dissatisfaction. The author argues that there is an invisible structure that originates and gives sense to preferences, sensibilities, behaviors that, in surface, turn out to be unconnected.

Therefore, there exists a spirituality of the desire, a motive force related to a creative energy, the energy of the big changes, of the big exploits. On specially lucid, Marine form the idea of the desire deals as a substance intimately tied to the action, on having done.

As the architecture is. A profession of the perfect action.

Three sources of energy of the action that the author disecciona, they are very easy to recognize in the architecture, the drive, the desire and the project. It would be easy to establish a fenomenología of the project of the architecture on the basis of these three origins of the action that It Marinades it categorizes.

The most architectural part of the text is the principal thesis of the book is that the author exhorts to go on to us from the determinism of the desire to the determinism of the project, by means of which the desire is conquered to yes same. The operative mechanism to do this jump, from the desire to the project, consists of being able to canalize the intelligence. The great function of the intelligence, therefore, is not to reach ends, but to invent ends and, by means of them, to make jealous the desire to transform it into project.

In this jump of the desire to the project, there is established a triad of the desire that we must consider to transform it. Sea-coast is called it the theory of three desires. Curiously this triplete is enormously coincidental with the boss of empathy that the architect applies to the project of architecture and that I allow myself to translate here in more our format.

The first beginning of the desire/project, or rather, this project of desire that any architecture should enclose, is that of the desire of personal well-being. That is to say, we project for the company but we project architecture for us themselves constant. We cannot project a space in which we do not believe, with that we could not identify.

The second beginning is that of the social acceptance. We project in the company in order that his future users obtain in exchange the plácet of the acceptance, of forming a part of a more wide, and enclosed group we project in order that those that live through our spaces feel distinguished.

Finally, we project the form of the desire to extend the possibilities of the action, project to extend the area of the possible thing. This one is undoubtedly the great force of the architectural desire, and the one that in turn, it should to us fill with responsibility.

The architecture, once shaped and constructed, extends the area of the possible thing up to ends often unheard-of. It transforms manners of behavior that go far beyond of the capacities of the pure architectural object. The architecture transforms the reality.

It is for it that the root of the architectural project is cultural, but in turn, his final product is eminently cultural also. Part of the culture, to do culture. And the idea be understood here of culturally under the as wide as possible spectrum.

The petrol that stimulates the desire in his ripeness to the form of a project, of generic form in the texto of Marina and of specific form in the architectural action, is the intelligence. Sea-coast also develops a Theory of the Intelligence of the one that would stand out for his special architectural connotation, some aspects.

Since declaration of beginning the philosopher is a fervent defender of the practical intelligence. The practical intelligence is superior to the theoretical one, because it is capable of thinking possibilities and later to realize them. This way of simple and like that of concordant with the discipline of the architecture.

And it is that actually, it is not possible to separate the intelligence of the action, any project is directed to his accomplishment. We need to notice suitable goals and to create firm habits that allow us to go on from the decision to the action. The intelligence relies on valuable tools that they allow him to obtain his goals: the sense of the duty, the will and the reason. Another indispensable resource is the creativity, the aptitude to invent possibilities in the reality and new solutions to the vital problems. 

The whole kaleidoscope of Jose Antonio Marina’s reflections they seem to be written in architectural key. In the back-room of his work, there shines a positive and luminous assumption of one of the words that it seems that now we are recovering: ethics.

Very unlike the distress of the ethical existencialist, about which we have spoken before, It Marinades proposes us a motive positive force that goes far beyond of an instrumental recipe to manage in these complex times.

It marinades, in a promising vision of overcoming of the vicious circles of the present, dares with courage and passion to propose a new reading of our company in the shape of positive direction to continuing. I remain, to finish, with one of his more stimulant texts.

In our company two systems of beliefs face: the modernity based on the illustrated thought, which is defined by the worship to the reason and to the science; and the postmodernity, which identifies intelligence with creation, and that does not trust in the reason, not in the absolute truths. Overcoming both, the Ultramodernity develops a new theory of the intelligence which essential function is not the knowledge but to direct the behavior to work out stopped well of the situation in which we are, and that includes the feelings and the mechanisms of self-control of the conduct, the will. His principal characteristic is the aptitude to invent possibilities in the reality. It is, therefore, a creative intelligence that invents ends, evaluates them, elaborates projects and executes them, an intelligence directed to the action. His goal is the happiness and his culmination the ethics.

We will continue speaking about this.

Miquel Lacasta. PhD architect
Barcelona, july 2013


1 TORRALBA, Francesc The ethics like distressEditorial Proteus, Barcelona 2013

2 Ídem.

3 MARINA, José Antonio, The Architectures of the Desire, Editorial Anagrama, Barcelona, 2007

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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