Clouds | Sergio de Miguel


“There will not be a single thing that is not a cloud. They are the cathedrals of vast stone and biblical crystals that time will pave. It is the Odyssey, which changes like the sea. There is something different every time we open it”.

Clouds (I). Jorge Luis Borges

Human thought is a mystery. It supports a variety of unimaginable forms. Hold continuous changes and speeds. It is very fleeting, but at the same time deep and incomprehensible. It is surprisingly simultaneous and ubiquitous. And even if it is intended, it cannot be felt in its totality, nor in its privacy. It could be derived that its surface is of the same nature as its interior, but its structure, including its genealogy, is unfathomable and hermetic. It is as episodic as whole. And never, on any occasion, can it be completed.

Many have seen thought as a cloud. The act of thinking involves building a supposedly comprehensive knowledge system, continuously alternating locations with visions. Often it touches the arrogance of pretending the totality but in its lightness, as Italo Calvino dreamed,

“invites you to fly like witches on humble utensils”.

To make architecture is, although it whistles to simplification, to approach from the thought and the action the complexity of the life of the man. And that thought that leads to action involves consciously addressing a body as ethereal as inexplicable. The mist is persistent and courage and courage are required to enter with determination in it. Although we expect nothing more than what we are capable of capturing and materializing.

We seek to materialize the thought. And that paradox between the asible and the unattainable, between the measurable and the immeasurable, positions us in a constant perplexity. We stand between ignorance and certainty, between skepticism and dogmatism, in a territory we clear as alien by taking advantage of that disturbance that we understand is fertile, subtle and tense. It is a fortunate state of mind in which a complicated set of purposes, vagueness, preferences, calculations and feelings leads us to locate ourselves in a creative search. Adopting a vital attitude. It is an internal sigh, animated by doubt, surprise and amazement. By method, efficiency and clarification. As Thomas Mann Mann eloquently said able to

“infusing the enthusiasm of the spirit in matter”.

Without that perplexity, without active uncertainty, there are no occurrences. There is no learning. So is the spring of creation.

It’s like that game of clouds, remember, where the shapes in the wind invited to propose surprising meanings.

Sergio de Miguel, PhD architect
Madrid, May 2018
Published in Teaching and research group for architecture Grupo 4! by ETSAM.

Sergio de Miguel García

Ph.D. Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (ETSAM) 2016.
M.A. Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (ETSAM) 1990.
Profesor en la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (ETSAM) desde 1995.

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