Sunday, November 05, 2006

Architecture and Architect

What is the relationship of Architect to Architecture?

Study of the relationship between Architect and Architecture – Examination of aesthetics and epistemology of modernity regarding how man relates – Contrast with post-modern critique whose aesthetic and epistemology are socially constructed – Re-evaluation of modern aesthetics and epistemology given the post-modern critique – Implications for Architecture given the exploration of Beauty and Knowledge


Examination of aesthetics and epistemology of modernity regarding how the Architect relates to Architecture

Modernity is referred to here as the approximate period between 1890 and 1960. This period is chosen as certain technological improvements became available which are inseparable from the modern architect’s cardinal principles. The aesthetics and epistemology of modernity are clearly documented, easily accessible, and are necessary for orienting the present. While pre-cursors to modern ideas can be traced back for millennia, the modern period in architecture is seen as a starting point. The aesthetics and epistemology of modern Architecture hinged on the relationship between form and matter. That relationship is understood within an aesthetic framework as “causation”. For example, a thing is said to be beautiful if it actualises a rational structure of the material, which at once renders the form as caused and owing a certain relationship to the intellect. Aesthetics and epistemology show a certain kinship in architectural modernity.


Contrast with post-modern critique whose aesthetic and epistemology are socially constructed

The notion that meaning is socially constructed was opened by an acknowledgment that man as observer had a certain role in determining what is meaningful in the modern aesthetic and epistemology. Post-modernity, whose trademark is an acceptance that all meaning is socially constructed and hence meaningless, tends to discard aesthetics and epistemology completely. The fundamental error of post-modernity is discarding the search for meaning.


Re-evaluation of modern aesthetics and epistemology given the post-modern critique

What is needed is a clearer articulation of the relationship between Architect and Architecture. If the question is not how is meaning constructed, then how does the Architect arrive at meaning through Architecture? Some articulation must be given whereby meaning is autonomous yet man takes an active role in meaning. Modern aesthetics and epistemology find themselves predecessor to a revised articulation based upon the work of Meister Eckhart and Teilhard de Chardin. The former, whose notions of intellect displace being as primary allow form and matter to present themselves without an ontological hierarchy and division, and the latter whose notions of matter place material explorations valid and necessary in a teleological cosmology, both point the way to a more subtle and relevant understanding of Architect to Architecture, or man to reality.


Implications for Architecture given the exploration of Beauty and Knowledge

The implications for, on the macro scale civilization, and on the micro scale material, are to be articulated through answering the question of Architect to Architecture. If, through articulating Architecture as intellectual structure it is rendered as a Transcendental, what is then required of the Architect, and of civilization given the material at hand?

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