The kinetic paradox of objects : a working theory for designing architectural fabric
Author(s)Jeffery, Helen B. (Helen Barbara)
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If all architectural form could be simplistically grouped into only two categories, these might be "object" and "partial enclosure," where objects are in dialogue with the space around them while partial enclosures articulate the space within them. In contemporary architectural discourse, "object" is in disfavor. Particularly in the sphere of urban planning, and in reaction to city-hating International-style buildings, architectural objects are to be avoided in favor of continuing the weave of existing urban fabric. Such objection is based on a figure-ground understanding of urbanism that values the figure of public space over th at of architectural element. This white-and-black construct has been used in architectural theory to sometimes prefer space and sometimes object, but this paper takes the position that hierarchy is not necessarily the appropriate relationship. This paper describes an object-space dialogue that is not based on figure-ground. It starts from the assumption that space is potential movement. By studying existing masterworks, the relationship between object and movement space that was discovered is interesting because it is paradoxic: objects articulate space to suggest movement often while simultaneously acting as obstructions. Architecture that takes advantage or such ambiguities, such as Michelangelo's reconstruction of the Capitoline Hill, " .. .force[s] the observer into a personal solution of [the] paradox [thus endowing] movement ... with aesthetic overtones." [Ackerman 1970, 156.] This paper called this object-space relationship the kinetic paradox, and used it as the basis for a design method to resolve a problematic innercity site.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1994.Includes bibliographical references (p. 49-51).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology