Contribuciones: Manuel Gausa. Decalogues For A New Informational Era (1/3). Decalogue 1: Changes Of Paradigms


Decalogues For A New Informational Era (1/3)

Decalogue 1: Changes Of Paradigms

1– The last few decades have confirmed the evidence of a spectacular change of scale –and thinking– in the definition of our spaces of exchange and sociability –of our own habitats– linked with the exponential increase in mobility, (hiper)connectivity and long-distance communication, the delocalization of exchanges, and the capacity for technological and material transformation of our environment.

But also with the capacity to process and interact complex and digital parameters of information.

2– According to these progressive infrastructural and informational (and not just formal or functional) multilayering dimension of an evolving territory in process –defined by layers of information (and definition) and networks of interchange (and flow)– our challenge as architects is that of proposing new formulations of space and of architectural design in synergy in and with a real, virtual and vocationally more complex environment(s) associated to the capacity for combining and synchronizing—activating and interactivating—multifarious and not always harmonious data and programmes in a single infrastructural framework of (inter)relation.

Not yet, working from complexity in order to simplify its effects, but working with complexity in order to celebrate its potentials.

3– Today, we are present at a change of paradigms in architectural thinking: from an architecture based on a static logic we have moved –or are moving– towards an architecture based on a dynamic, evolutionary and relational logic, more impure, irregular and definitively interactive.

The new formulation Information + Interaction is the big revolution of our time.

A new informational interaction, related with a city, an environment, a context, a society and a creative and scientific culture permanently attentive to the diversity and complexity of a definitively informational space-time. Transversal, relational and multi-scalar.

4– A new type of alternative –or advanced– thinking stemming from the actual conditions of our contexts and associated with factors of:

– Dynamism (Evolutivity)

– Complexity (Simultaneity)

– Diversity (Plurality)

– Transversality (Connectivity)

– Interaction (Interchange)

Factors that are precisely the ones we now have to explore.

Those of a new logic that is more open because it is less fixed, because it is more relational and interactive.

5– A new cultural challenge that calls, therefore, a new open logic, which is no longer that of classic metaphysical continuity—or that of postmodern calligraphy (associated with a yearned-for composition of space)—nor that of functional modern objectuality (associated with a given position in space), but that of contemporary operative interactivity (associated with a potential interactive disposition between spaces).

On the basis of a new type of architectural thinking—and standpoint—intended to celebrate, articulate and promote the diversity of our time and to do this, indeed, through interaction.

6– In this sense, we have to rethink such traditional issues as the notion of order, form, organisation, or of architectural structure and expression on the basis of this new logic.

Order, form, organisation, structure, geometry… historical notions to define our spaces that are experimenting today a high level of rebellion in front of their traditional interpretations and definitions.

– Rebellion in the notion of form… more informal because more inform(ation)al

(Form, not yet as a figuration but as a spatial (con)figuration, a spatial formulation)

– Rebellion in the notion of order… more irregular because less regulate

(Order, not yet as a control but as a capacity of relation)

– Rebellion in the notion of organisation… more flexible because less right

(Organisation, as a differential and non-lineary order more than a lineary an hierarchical order)

– Rebellion in the notion of geometry… more de-formed because less pre-formed

(Geometry, not yet as a rigid volumetry but as an elastic topology)

– Rebellion in the architectural definition and expression… more intense because less tensed. More direct and extroverted

(Definition and expression as strategic propositions more than calligraphic compositions)

– Rebellion in the idea of nature… more hybrid and less genuine

(Nature not yet as a pure and essential condition but as an impure and hybrid definition)

– Rebellion in our own attitude, more open to global and not pre-juiced interactions with our contexts, with   our society, with our culture, our environment and our time

7– Indeed, we have to rethink our traditional issues and we have to rethink, as well, our wish as architects without renouncing to our first and basic mission, to help create a better habitat. A type of habitable environment in consonance with the ambitious anxieties—more than with the contingent demands—of actual society. Not with its tastes but rather with its ambitions (namely with the ability to foster intellectual curiosity, social projection and cultural expectation in the presence of more imaginative and stimulating types of built settings).

8– From an architecture traditionally understood as an inert object we ought to move on, today, to architecture purposefully conceived as a dynamic, relational and reactive environment, in resonance with a new technological capacity and sensibility open to the complex, evolutive processes that mark the beginning of this century.

Therein lies the innovatory potential of a new concern in terms of design.

That of an architecture able to express its own movement but also the different solicitations that convoke, and configure, it.

Able to resonate and to resound: to work beyond boundaries and (traditional) dichotomies: architecture and landscape, city and territory, etc.

9– The contemporary interest in tackling transverse fields involving urbanism, architecture and landscape responds to the interest in moving between boundaries, logics and scales (to recognize and to transgress them) but also to understanding architecture as a relational environment rather than a mere formal or functional object, with all that this implies in terms of constructional and interpretative, planning and (why not?) narrative interaction in and with the environment.

Intersecting settings in which authenticity does not reside, then, in some kind of essentialist basis but in that open-ended process of interchange and interaction intended to work, at the same time:

With synthetic registers more than with analytical layouts.

With formulations more than with figurations.

With trajectories more than with objects.

With processes more than with events.

With strategic concepts more than with evocative ideas.

With open fabrications more than with closed constructions.

With arrangements—and devices—more than with “designs.”

An architecture in local and global vocation of synergy:

With the context and beyond the context.

With the site and with the city. With the city and with the geography.

With nature and with technology.

10– This informational (or Advanced) thinking (and architecture) is to the new society of Information what the modern thinking (and Architecture) was to the society of Industrialisation.

The decade of the nineties (and the criss-crossing time of the turn of millennium) have represented a time of initial intuitions, essays and links between the new complex configuration of the cities and the transfer to the new architectural parameters of processing formulation.

Now, at this time of shared explorations, Architecture must go back to being, in point of fact, a collective cultural adventure (and no longer a mere register of brand names or individual personalities). This adventure involves innovatory lines of research, shared horizons, and narratives that are more stimulating and exciting in their individual and adventurous decodification.

Above and beyond the habitual gloss on singular trajectories, iconic personalities, unique experiments or on revered teachers, we’re interested in an architecture that is able to generate shared processes of investigation: trajectories capable of revealing the evolution of a (new) architecture—diverse and enabling, because connected—promulgated in relation to the conditions of its own time.

Manuel Gausa, is Ph.D. Architect, Professor at Università degli Studi di Genova, Landscape and Design Chair, director of Architecture and Design post degree program and director at GIC-Lab Research Laboratory

Image by Ramon Prat: Nature and information. Diagram for Quaderns n. 217, Land-Arch, 1998


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