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Master's theses 1989-2001

 

Khaldoon Ahmad, 1999

Recipies for the Imagination: An Architectural Reading of F.T. Marinetti's "La cucina futurista".

This thesis is a reflection on Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's (1876-1944) book La cucina futurista which was published in 1932. The text will provide the setting for an interpretation and a discussion of the possibility for finding a way of addressing and creating architecture today that strives to initiate creative, imaginative, poetic, and playful attitudes -yet attitudes that are always ethical. Marinetti's book offered a resistive project that was to breathe new life into the creative realm. With help from the text, this thesis will ponder the notion of architecture today as a place of invitation in which humans may gather and share vital and emotive dialogues about themselves and their existence. Reading Marinetti's text, we may conclude with a possible strategy of resistance for architecture that can be, as its Futurist predecessor once was, critical of its present limitations.

 

James Aitken, 1995

PIRANESI - VICO - Il Campo Marzio: Foundations and the Eternal City.

This paper undertakes to develop an in-depth interpretation of Piranesi's Il Campo Marzio. While drawing heavily from specific details in both the text and images, the study retains a contextual outlook, speculating that Vico's New Science can lend meaning to Piranesi's work.

Based primarily on Vico's concept of the Ideal Eternal History, parallels are drawn between the two works. While this provides the key to entering into Piranesi' s work, it reveals only its inner horizon, merely describing in different terms what is akeady there.

The insights provided by this exercise, however, demonstrate that the making of architecture as promoted by the Campo Marzio is not unlicensed Romantic freedom, but a fundamental, culturally-bound human activity. The paper concludes, moreover, that the making of the Campo Marzio interpretively re-enacts the original imaginative founding of the Eternal City and, as such, constitutes an attempt to re-found Heroic Rome.

 

Julie Althoff, 1999

Il Sacro Bosco d'Amore: Communication through Desire

Il Sacro Bosco in Bomarzo is an experience in Lessons on Love. The statues are a constant repetition of the paradox of Eros. The exoteric meaning of the statues will be given through the narratives that influenced them. Then, the esoteric meaning behind the narratives and the statues will be given with the help of Ficino's Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love. Because the garden exists in the space of desire, it is able to speak to us today. This thesis is a walk through the garden. It is only through the experience of the garden that architectural meaning is conveyed. The garden is a journey that will heal the body and the soul through the spirit. Il Sacro Bosco leads to a better understanding of the self and, in the Renaissance, its connection to the One.

 

Manuela Antoniu, 1997

The Cut and the Wound: Thoughts for an Architectural Mortality

The representation of future events as already happened is explored through the use of section in both architectural drawings and anatomical illustrations. What is proposed is that, sharing a paradigmatic unity, these two forms of representation cut beyond their image to a profound, even radical, self-questioning.

 

Jean-François Bédard, 1992

La mesure de l'Expression.

The work of Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) is often used by architectural historians to demonstrate the erosion of the principles of classical architecture at the end of the eighteenth century. The Nouvelle Méthode appliquée aux Principes élémentaires du dessin completed by Lequeu in 1792, a drawing method showing the correct proportions of the face obtained through geometry, reveal another Lequeu, one sympathetic to the architectural theories of his time. The similarities between the Nouvelle Méthode and the Dissertation sur les espèces naturelles by the Dutch naturalist Petrus Camper (1722-1789) show the importance of the notion of caractère in the structure of knowledge of the classical age as portrayed by Michel Foucault. Simultaneously a theory of physionomy and a theory of architecture, the Nouvelle Methode demonstrates that the theory of caractère in both disciplines, far from announcing the birth of the modern age, is central to the pursuit of order which sustained architecture in the classical age.

 

Ramla Ben-Aïssa, 1992

Fiction and Representation: Characters and Caractere in l'Architecture... of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux.

By the end of the eighteenth century, as imagination makes its appearance behind representation, man enters the field of knowledge and literature emerges in the world of fiction. L'Architecture of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux is too complex a work to make its mapping possible in such a short study. I therefore tried to unfold the work through the question that seemed to me to be the most revelatory of this time. The notion of caractère derived from the specific codes of a culture where representation was the foundation of a possible order. In L'Architecture, between the fictional character and his caractère is this space where representation and imagination coincide through what makes the specificiy of human nature: the identity, the ability to speak, the power to act, and the perception of time.

 

Victoria Clare Bernie, 1995

The Art of Disappearance: the Architecture of the Exhibition and the Construction of the Modern Audience

A critical culture requires that the site of appearance, the temporal coincidence of the subject, the object and the site, be acknowledged as a ground for meaning. Through a built investigation and a theoretical address this thesis examines the site of appearance for contemporary creative practice; the extent to which it continues to be defined by and contained within the conceptual frame of the Enlightenment aesthetic as the privileged discourse of the object. In a detailed analysis of the architecture of the exhibition, the 18th century Academy Salon and the Parisian bourgeois hôtel are juxtaposed with examples from the late 20th century practice of site-specific exhibition. This comparison reveals an essential connection between art and architecture, between architectural form and social representation. An alternative concept of the exhibition as a site of appearance thereby acknowledges individual, temporally specific interpretation as a potential ground for critical discourse within the contemporary art institution.

 

Torben Berns, 1992

Artifice and Witness: Representation, Judgement and Accountability within a Non-transcendent Framework.

This thesis considers the notion that it is the future which judges the present and that judgement is always guilty. In effect to understand modernity on its own terms one would have to inquire if we have any more right to affirm a given future than to deny one?

The question arises as follows. If a subject exists prior to the process which is its being, an uncomfortable aporia ensues.

Firstly, if being human is understood as "becoming", i.e. humans can and do appear through the enactment of change, then "being" itself is temporal. How then does this self secure its appearance other than through the very process it assumes itself to be prior to? Such a securing would imply an absolute uniformity and homogeneity not predicated on human-enacted change. If securing is in fact the aim of appearance, and therefore the operative term in judgement, what then are the consequences of action in terms of created results?

In other words, what are the consequences of the temporality of "being"? It continues to produce a world. The second question then is: how does one judge, make and act, toward a future which properly speaking, cannot be our rightful concern?

The question is approached initially through a discussion of the integral terms. In the final chapters, an attempt is made to understand the premise of Marcel Duchamp's L'Étant Donnés. Duchamp's work is taken as paradigmatic of making circumventing the aporia of self-revelation through becoming.

 

Patricia Boileau, 1999

Le Grain et la Peau: de la temporalité de l'image photographique dans l'architecture de Robert Mallet- Stevens

This study traces in Mallet-Stevens' architecture a temporality proper to the photographic image, latent in the space of the moderns of the 1920-1930. To this end, I present both an analyses of Mallet-Stevens' work and a photomontage on the Noailles and Cavrois villas, which combines my photos with historical documents. The montage reveals in these spaces a perceptual quality of the image germane to Merleau-Ponty's notion of flesh. The analysis develops this notion along the lines of 'the grain and the skin'. It reveals in Mallet-Stevens' work the capital importance of his experience, as movie set designer. Indeed, space is conceived by Mallet-Stevens in relationship to a camera frame: therefore the primary medium is the surface (the grain), where the emotional effect of temporality takes place (the skin).

 

Sheryl Boyle, 1999

NORTH EROS The Temple of Love at Gennevilliers

In 1750, the architect Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni built a Temple of Love in Gennevilliers, just north of Paris for the notorious libertine, the Duc de Richelieu. The new social freedom gained by the decline of the ancien régime gave birth to a democratic space that first appeared in the theatre and a personal freedom which changed the currents of thought on love. Servandoni's work as a painter, theatre designer and engineer of spectacles are promoted in the theory of Jacques-François Blondel and later Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières as prime examples of architecture in their theories of sensation. Libertine love, read through the literature of the time, clearly understands the limit of sensation and the "terrible state/loss of freedom" produced by real love. By general consensus an agreement to operate within the realm of sensation governs the ethics of libertine love and architecture. Servandoni's Temple of Love provides an ironic statement on love in the eighteenth century.

 

Louis Brillant, 1990

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Political Rhetoric under Karl VI (1712-1722).

The late imperial architecture of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach presents works (Entwurf emer historischen Architektur, Karlskirche and Hofbibliothek; 1712-1722) in which the intentions manifested are expressions of the political programs of the emperor Karl VI. In this imperial rhetoric, the accent is placed on the confirmation, through time, of the authority. Allegory appears as a proper means to convey the public manifestations of this propaganda. Whether at an urban scale, with Karlskirche, or at a more private, smaller scale, as in the Entwurf, Fischer is shown to master the integration of these programs while maintaining a genuine interest in architectural tradition's history. In fact, the articulation of these two domains will lead to the production of a highly original architecture, which still fascinates today. Three aspects will be especially developed: the initiation of Karlskirche; the imperial promenade through the Hofbibliothek; and the fifth book of the Entwurf, on monumental vases and urns. Through these, it is the importance of constructed-ness, as seen in Fischer's praxis of history, that will emerge.

 

Tarcisio Cardoso, 1993

Suprematism-as-Architecture: Opening the Way to Kasimir Malevich's Work.

This dissertation is an investigation into the architectural meaning of Kasimir Malevich's suprematist works and, more specifically, into the meaning of his Architectons of horizontal and vertical constructions. A critical "rewinding" of the diverse and seemingly contradictory suprematist periods - starting with the artist's chef d'oeuvre, his Funeral-Performance and moving backwards to the figurative works, the Architectons and then, to the 1913 Black Square, in its beginnings in futurist Zaum poetry - makes patent the fragmentary nature of the meaning of those periods and introduces Suprematism-as-Architecture as the meaning of Suprematism in its entirety. Malevich's extensive written work is the guiding thread we follow in trying to demonstrate how the full meaning of Suprematism echoes, in the context of our Nietzschean world, Martin Heidegger's presentation of questions concerning building. Suprematism-as-Architecture equally opens up avenues of questioning concerning modern man's relation to the attainment of an architectural meaning, i.e., of a thinking-dwelling.

 

Michael Carroll, 1998

Paper Threshold: The Drawings of Michelangelo

The following thesis is a meditation on the drawings of Michelangelo that are connected to his three projects at San Lorenzo and a series of 'gift' drawings for Tomasso de' Cavalieri. The drawings offer a glimpse of his radically inventive imagination that calls for an architecture rooted in the soul and based on the appearance of a 'live' and an emotive body. Engaged within a holistic fabrication of architecture, both the recto and the verso of the sheet are constructed as palimpsests comprised of design sketches, figurative studies, poetic fragments and pragmatic calculations. As instruments of communication, Michelangelo's paper templates are intermediaries between the 'Divine One's' mindful hand and the scarpellini's chisel. A line can be traced from the outline of his disegno, the profillo of a face and the cut line of his modani. Poetry and profiles cross-pollinate in a poiesis of architecture that culminates at a threshold - the hinge between being and becoming - the place where Love tosses in his sleep.

 

Yvan-Pièr Cazabon, 1995

THESEUS RE-MEMBERED: A Faithful Relation of What Passed for Some Years Between Dr. JOHN DEE and some Spirits Tending to the Events of Recent Time.

This thesis project was an experiment in thinking/making. Borrowing from the Renaissance Hermetic Tradition of power magic in the work of Dr. John Dee, it began in contemplative research mode in order to find sources for action. The project had as its final goal, a theatrical performance (masque) to be delivered as an act of inter-subjective exchange extending beyond solipsism by means of thinking through actions and things. The interdisciplinary nature of the event spoke of architecture's ability to bring together various modes of abstract expression (literature, theatre, theory, music, etc.) without attempts at explicit meaning but by searching for implicitness in the juxtaposition of messages and mediums. In its historical survey from ancient Greek sacrificial rituals to present butchering practises, the thesis project presents as a crosscurrent a critique of power and its contemporary implications.This document is a record of the events and actions which led up to the construction and performance of "Theseus Re-membered" on the 11th of June, 1992.

 

Jean-Pierre Chupin, 1990

De Philibert, De L'Orme et De Rabelais. Analogous Treatises: A Companion

This thesis analyzes the corporeal origin of theoretical works in XVIth century French architecture. A comparison of Philibert de l'Orme's treatises and François Rabelais' work allows for a dynamic awareness of materiality to emerge. During the Renaissance, this awareness was based on analogical relationships and Hermetic texts. However, whether one looks at the theory of the Elements, the concept of Proportion, the microcosm-macrocosm interplay, or even the Cardinal Virtues, it appears that the references were always traced back to the everyday experience of the body. Confronted with the mechanistic and objectifying conceptualizations that dominate today, this thesis supports the crucial role the architect must play in the bringing forth of places that allow for a perception of the body closer to apprenticeship than to domination.

 

Kerrie Curran, 1995

A Tourist's Guide to Hyperreality - Destination: Disney

This thesis chronicles an attempt to delve into the murky world of image and semblance, illusion and contrivance. The examination and especially the celebration of image and style - of simulation - throughout recent cultural debate is incisively expressed through the framework of popular culture. Walt Disney World, as a cultural artifact and profit-making commodity, is the consummate model of all the entangled processes of popular culture: a turbulent melange of aesthetic, ethical, and sociological concerns.

America is Disney World; borne of fantasy and ubiquitous iconism. Our cultural atlas reverberates with the energy of cinematic, pulsating and seductive imagery; restrained and unfulfilled by the voyeuristic stance of the pseudo-event.

This study registers a pilgrimage into the shadows of our own creative aspirations: how can we engage in exploring new possibilities for architectural making, addressing imaginatively and ethically the rupture of the fabric symbolically connecting the actor and the drama?

 

Tânia de Oliveira, 1999

The Modulor in the Mirror

This essay discusses Le Corbusier's Modulor through its appearance in the Poème de I'angle droit. The Poème reveals the architect's later thinking in a synthetic and precise way, offering precious help for its comprehension. A study of the Modulor in such context demonstrates that it was more than an attempt to develop a modular methodology. Embodied in the Poème, the Modulor discloses Le Corbusier's struggle to create a framework for his practice, providing invaluable insights into our present condition.

 

Richard de la Riva, 1990

Architecture and Music: On Rhythm, Harmony and Order.

This paper examines the relationship of architecture to music in terms of rhythm, harmony and order in both the Greek Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. These basic concepts are crucial because they emphasize 'fullness' of experience and demonstrate the extent to which our own regulating experience of the world has become empirical (or formal). The discussion thus places architectural theory within the movement of ideas between mythical thought and metaphysical construct; it places architectural practice within the movement between bodily experience and reasoning.

 

Janine Debanné, 1995

Between Reliquary and Cenotaph: Guarino Guarini's Cappella Santa Sidone

Guarino Guarini's SS. Sindone Chapel and its relic offer the occasion to contemplate the paradox of the Incarnation in architecture - a dialectic of presence and absence. The thesis begins with a return to the Gospel accounts of the Empty Tomb, and examines the tradition of reliquary and martyria which the Chapel is inscribed in. The Incarnation theme is then traced to the late seventeenth century context of the Chapel and is considered in the Counter-Reformation context of Turin. The architectural organization of the theme of presence and absence is then explored in the Chapel. In Part II, an examination of Architettura Civile, Guarini's treatise on architecture, seeks to understand the theory of parallel projection (ortografia) with regards to the Chapel's themes. In the last stage Guarini's philosophical treatise sheds some interesting light on ortografia - presence and absence weave an architectural idea, a geometrical theory, a theological mystery.

 

Caroline Dionne, 1999

Geometrical Behaviour: An Architectural Mise en scène for A Re-enactment of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The content of this thesis is two-fold. The first part takes the form of an essay while the second part presents a theoretical project for an architectural installation. Using these two modes as different ways to address similar issues, the present work proposes to question the instrumentalisation of geometry in today's architectural practice. The work of Lewis Carroll (Charles L. Dodgson) and, more specifically, his masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, will be approached and interpreted in order to observe the participation of geometry-of Euclidean geometry-in our understanding of the notions of space and time, and to reveal their paradoxical aspect. The aim is to explore how geometry, language and nonsense bear intimate connections to our perception of space and time. Once revealed, these connections will enable us to address the following question: can architecture be comprehended and experienced as an event?


 

Aliki Economides, 2002

Everything comes from everything, and everything is made out of everything, and everything returns into everything: Leonardo's analogical (re)search

This thesis explores the foundations of the complex and multifaceted work of Leonardo da Vinci as a whole. What underscores the universality of his research and transcends the artificial divisions of his vast body of work into modern categories of specialization, is the operation of analogy, which is grounded in mimetic imagination. Leonardo's search is ultimately one of understanding the underlying causes that animate the universe and through analogy, his work and his world hold together. Central to my investigation of the continuity of Leonardo's analogical mode of thinking and making, are questions pertaining to the body, architecture and representation. I put forth that only by appreciating the analogical nature of Leonardo's (re)search, can one access the meaning and value of this efforts and contribution.

 

Matthew Fischer, 1991

Erasing Vitruvius

De architectura libri decim, the oldest extant treatise on Architecture in the Greco-Latin tradition, has historically constituted the archetype of architectural discourse, if its specific content would now seem largely irrelevant. And yet to the extent that we still distinguish theoretical activity and practice, we remain de-limited by the essential terms of the Vitruvian text, and the rational order which they prescribe, an order of the logos. But within the prescription itself we find the traces of a diversity and richness largely repressed, traces of an other logos, another understanding of the traditional world of artifice - including the artifice of writing - that undermines the structure and space of the logos which Vitruvius has attempted to erect, and which we still inhabit. If Architecture is The Ten Books..., it is also a writing, a multiple, palimpsestic writing in which the play of artifice will leave its trace in the stratification of the inscription.

 

Katherine Fluck, 1990

Medieval Topics: Perception, Representation & Rhetoric in the Middle Age.

This thesis is an architectural investigation of perception, depth and representation. It explores the changing historical relationship between "two-dimensional" representation and architecture in an effort to understand the effects of modern perspectival depth on the making of architecture. The non-perspectival, medieval representations studied in this paper, are not looked upon as primitive forerunners of renaissance perspective, but as being expressive of a completely different notion and location of depth. In an attempt to access this "other" depth, the move from non-perspectival to perspectival perception and representation is looked at in relation to the change in perceptual values, brought on by the move from the largely oral culture of the Middle Ages, to the increasing textual culture of Renaissance and Modern ages. Perhaps without the fixity, neutrality and disengagement inherent in both perspectival and textual perception, architectural depth might return to the active world of human experience.

 

Lucie Fontein, 1992

A Dialogue with Giambattista Vico Concerning the Poetic Nature of Architecture.

My thesis exists in the dynamic between two intersecting texts; in the realm of poetic interpretation, of architecture. I believe that in this realm we come closest to expressing the elusive meaning of existence. My work is inspired by the 18th century Italian philosopher, Giambattista Vico, who affirms that poetic imagination is intrinsic to human nature and our capacity to interpret the world around us. In an act of re-creation, I appropriate the entire text of Vico's New Science, by juxtaposing it and in some cases weaving it together with a parallel text of my own. The resulting 'dialogue' between Vico and myself, between past and present, explores the relationship of architecture to questions raised by Vico concerning the poetic nature of human beings, historical consciousness, time. I offer selected works of 20th century architects, particularly Le Corbusier, Scarpa, Rossi and Hejduk, as architectural embodiments of my own interpretations of these questions.

 

Marta Franco, 1996

Towards a Correal Architecture: Reflections on Frederick Kiesler.

This thesis approaches the work of Frederick Kiesler as an attempt to resolve many of the issues resulting from the technological circumstances of the late twentieth century. It concerns the problematic caused by the gap existing between the senses and imagination, which causes a break between perceiving the world and the human act of creation. This fact reflects the way that nowadays reality has been "instrumentalized", locating man in a realm in which the human body does not interact according to its inherent capacities. Kiesler, through his theory of "Correalism", searched for underlying continuity, and proposed that man inhabit his world as a participant, where senses and imagination become one for reinterpreting the event of architecture, bringing forward the possibility of "enlivening" space. The relevance of "Correalism" for contemporary architecture becomes more significant when seen through a phenomenological perspective, which suggests that "reality" should be apprehended through the link between the embodied self and its contiguous world. Correal architecture should bring about a "more sensitive" experience of space by creating an interacting dynamic that would reflect man's existence as a whole.

 

Terri Fuglem, 1992

William Blake and the Ornamental Universe

Blake's writings are explored as a refutation of Newton and Locke, and thereby positivism and atomistic psychology, leading to a renovation of the sensual body and the imagination. The form of Blake's work, the Illuminated Manuscript, is examined for the relationship between image and text in the prophetic mode, and for its investigations of the copy within a typographic culture. In the last Chapter, Blake's prophetic poem Jerusalem unveils his conception of the Spiritual Fourfold as the restitution of an ornamental universe and the 'building' of the Heavenly City on earth.

 

 

Terrance Galvin, 1990

GRAVITY & LIGHT: Looking Through the Architecture of Jean Cocteau

The thesis examines a select amount of poésie by the artist Jean Cocteau, and through interpretation, explores the architecture of his work. This process of interpretation poses two questions: What is the role of the architect today, compared with his role as understood throughout history? How does the production of architecture today reflect the mechanisms of capitalism with its division of knowledge and labour, compared with an architecture which is inclusive and reconciliatory?

A clear message emerges from Cocteau's poésie as a response to the two aspects of Orpheus: the first is represented by the processes of individual creativity, and the second by the collective realization of a project, whether it be a work of theatre, the production of a film, or the design and realization of a building.

A work does not end in handing it over for someone else to finish.

 

Stephen Giunta, 1996

Between Memory and Desire: the Renaissance vision of Cristoforo Sorte

This thesis is concerned with cartographic practices and the representation of the world during the Renaissance. In contrast with the modern instrumentalized world view, it will present surveying techniques and representational means that were defined by and reflected a divine transcendental order. The work of Cristoforo Sorte, as exemplified in his chorographia, will be investigated in order to display the mysterious qualities and geometric depth shared with Renaissance art and architecture. An examination of Sorte's methods of creating his work, relying on memory and the active recollection of the viewer, will reveal the primacy of shared human experience in the making of meaningful art and artifacts during the Renaissance. Perhaps an understanding of this world view will help mediate the dominating gaze which enframes the modern world and recover embodied perception as the site of architecture.

 

Katja Grillner, 1995

Automata, Perspective and Music: Poetic Instruments in the Written Garden of Salomon de Caus.

This study retraces the steps of the 17th century architect and engineer Salomon de Caus through his written and built works, in an attempt to understand the relationship between what he made and the model by which his world was comprehended. The central questions examined with regard to his works are: what correspondence do they reveal between language as a means of conveying knowledge, the world as the source of knowledge, and God the divine creator; and whether "meaning" resides within or without this relation. The interpretation of De Caus' works reveals an epistemological model of a world balancing on the threshold of the modern era of scientific discovery and technological progress. His texts and constructions appear as a means of conveying knowledge with the aim of making the Divine appear as mystery in the human world. De Caus is shown to operate two principal layers of meaning in his works. One "mathematical" which addresses the intrinsic meaning of the order of the cosmos and the Divine; the other "narrative", "melodic" or "ornamental", addressing the mediation of situational meaning through matter. Human experience and action was a third factor in the process of mediation. Through the intense experience of the moment of performance, whether architectural, theatrical or musical, man could embody the immaterial knowledge of God. The human artefact was a "poetic instrument" guiding man through life. Today, when living in a world where the dominating paradigm reduces understanding to symbolic logic and God has long since been declared dead, De Caus' poetic model remains highly significant.

Alice Guess, 1998

The Machines of Francesco Di Giorgio: Demonstrations of the World

This thesis is an exploration of the chapters of Francesco Di Giorgio's Trattati di Architettura, Ingegneria e Arte Militare, that pertain to mechanical devices. While it is difficult to imagine actually constructing Di Giorgio's machines from the drawings and descriptions in his treatises, given their apparent inefficiencies and ambiguities, the Aristotelian science and philosophy referenced throughout the Trattati provides a basis for looking at them as demonstrations of concepts beyond their immediate applications for architecture and engineering. By considering these devices in Di Giorgio's own terms, terms suggested by his own experiences, as well as his writings and paintings, strong associations can be made to the science, philosophy and the theology of his time.

 

Catherine Hamel, 1993

Reflections on Glass: The Trials and Tribulations of a Lingering Observer.

The following utterance is an exploration into the interactive space of glass and the disparity found in metaphors of its transparency. The rhetoric of transparency is initially scrutinized through a story that elaborates, in audacious generalizations, on the totalitarianism that comes out of the atheist rationalism of the Enlightenment. These generalizations are probed specifically in a look at the role of glass architecture and the consequent suppression of the body to a belief in an all-powerful reason. The inquiry then switches to the operation of the destabilizing effect of a space that devours with its reflections and spatial ambiguities. As absolute transparency is defied by experience in the material world. the space of glass is investigated as an instrument for dissolving the identity of controlling institutions. From the subversive character of reflections, the final look is at the possible emergence of a new attitude and thinking inspired by that experience which does not serve ideological certitudes, but contradicts them.

 

Patrick Harrop, 1992

Inseminate Architecture: An Archonotological Reading of Athanasius Kircher'sTurris Babel.

Among the vast assembly of Biblical mythology, the tower of Babel stands as an exclusive representation of the limits of human endeavor. As a paradigmatic extremity, it circumscribes the field of civic artifice. Babel is the absolute limit, and in that regard, its presence is enduring and timeless. The legacy of exegetic readings are textual shades, emanating from the point source pf the paradigm. Athanasius Kircher's Turris Babel is an appropriate and intentional unfolding of this condition: Firstly, that in the awakening of the Baroque scholar to history, origin materializes as the sole legitimate chronological reference. Secondly, that the paradigmatic extremities collapse into the empirical standard of the theoretical discourse.

This thesis is a speculative study of architecture, drawn through Turris Babel, in the shadow of the paradigmatic limits of Babel. Written in three parts, each dealing with the implications of artifice in confrontation with the post-Babel adversaries of dispersion, tyranny, and decay.

 

Kenneth Hayes, 1993

Machiaveli's Architect: Filatete and the Arche.

Filarete's treatise presents architecture, the new archaized mode of building, to Francesco Sforza as the means to historiate and recuperate his insurgent regime, which had overturned the preceding dynastic order of power. This thesis shows how the treatise tried to persuade a powerful but retardatory new prince not yet absorbed by the legitimizing narrative of a renaissance of antiquity. It focuses on the treatise's narrative, and places it in its political situation, to show that Filarete made a dramatic, polemical opposition between building and architecture, which he will be shown to have defined as those techniques of assuring the arché.

 

Jeffrey Ho, 1997

The Philosophy of Louis I. Kahn and the Ethical Function of Architecture

This thesis attempts a Buddhist interpretation, commentary and reflection on a lecture by Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) at Pratt Institute, entitled "1973: Brooklyn, New York." This lecture provides the framework and point of departure for a discussion of Kahn's philosophy. With the aid of Buddhist thought, this investigation argues that the ethical function of architecture begins with the effort of the architect to know his or her self. The juxtaposition of Buddhist philosophy and Kahn's lecture on architecture also seeks to present a way in which Buddhist thought might engage and illuminate the issues of ethical action in architecture. In doing so, the possible contributions of Buddhist thought to contemporary architectural discourse may present themselves.

 

Philip Hollett, 2002

SOUND TOWERS Evoking the Musical Dimension of Gaudi

Antoni Gaudí was the architect of the Sagrada Familia from 1883 to 1926. Over this period of time he prepared the overall design and supervised the construction of the Nativity facade. One of Gaudí's main design objectives was to include tubular bells in the tall slender towers. It has been said that through his sound studies for these bells, Gaudí developed his musical sentiments most fully. Though the sound of bells, accompanied by song, he imagined a festive environment around the temple. These considerations might be seen as reflecting the overall spirit of the time, as Catalonia was in effect experiencing a cultural rebirth known as the Renaixença. Originating with the call of the poets, this time of exuberant growth for Catalonia was one that was built upon the rebirth of language. As a result, language through poetry continued to be celebrated throughout the century, particularly through annual poetic contests called the Jocs Florals. This paper studies the façade of the Nativity as an expression of this culturally exuberant time by exploring how the Jocs Florals, and poetry in general, may have played a role in shaping its form and sound. The study also acknowledges the fact that Gaudí's inspiration for his design was derived from symbolism associated with the Catholic liturgy. The result is architecture that might be described as a union of religious and cultural symbolism, yet ultimately its festive expression is a poetic one. As such, the Sagrada Familia might be described as a celebration that is a call to gathering.

 

Michael Jemtrud, 1999

Work as Process: Peter Greenaway's Twisting of Technology

An artwork does not obliterate the traces of its making. In the contemporary technological context such "untidiness" is effectively erased through instrumental methods of production. A great divide exists between instrumental and poetic modalities of disclosure which is no more apparent than in the arts of cinema and architecture. The motion picture camera is the emblem par excellence of the voyeuristic sensibility of the disembodied 20' century spectator who inevitably is the very same "body" which inhabits the built world. The British artist-filmmaker Peter Greenaway calls into question numerous aspects of traditional and technological ways of looking and making relevant to architectural creation as similarly constitutive of both functional and poetic realms. Rather than suppress or deny the traces left upon a work, he valorizes and amplifies them to create a selfreflexivity between work and working as an intertwining of the process and work horizons. His ultimate concern is for "content" or poetic meaning as the aesthetic experience of depth which he sees as a matter of the form and style of making.

 

Helmut Klassen, 1990

Michelangelo: Architecture and the Vision of Anatomy.

Michelangelo considered a mastery of the body and anatomy to be the essential "theory" articulating the practice of architecture. For him, the reality of the moving human figure embodied the supreme difficulty of life as animation. By his architectural appropriation of the figure, human artifice was understood to be circumscribed by the radical intelligibility of the processes of life. This study is an articulation of his vital understanding of the living body and artifice by the "vision" of anatomy. The outline of an artifice faithful to the radical life of things is first examined in the thought and practice of medicine in the Renaissance. Upon this understanding, the coherence of Michelangelo's unprecedented emphasis upon the living body for architecture may be articulated. It concludes with an elaboration of his "theory"; the vision of anatomy as a dynamic drawing of things as they appear.

 

Geneviève L'Heureux, 1993

Adolf Loos et Gustav Klimt ou de la différence.

The reputation given to Adolf Loos and Gustav Klimt as opposites, as well as the understanding of Loos's writings as supporting this reputation, correspond less to the works as such than to the general dichotomic mode of understanding that we inherited from the so-called Platonic dichotomy of being and appearance. Indeed, common to their respective work are the relationships in which stand the elements forever understood as antagonistic. Neither opposition nor transparency, their work brings forth an intermediary state, the state of coexistence of difference.

By questionning the relationships between elements taken as opposites, Loos and Klimt are challenging the secular dichotomy of being and appearance, and with it the whole understanding of artistic creation and of the work of art as such.

 

Donald, Labossière, 1997

BETWEEN WORLDS: "searching for secrets within the cathedral of erotic misery"

This thesis is a radical reinterpretation of the Hannover Merzbau (Cathedral of Erotic Misery) by Kurt Schwitters. It proposes and demonstrates that two of Schwitters' own photographs of the work should not be viewed as being descriptions of a "constructed" Merzbau, but rather understood as complex constructions that generate a critical questioning of the modem site of perception.

Through an exploration of language (as understood within Giambattista Vico's New Science) the photographs come to deconstruct themselves within a context of simultaneous readings; allowing both the "secret" space of the modern Merzbau, and the sacred place of the Cathedral to exist simultaneously.

Diane Lafontaine, 1998

Le collage à travers l'oeuvre du Merzbau de Kurt Schwitters

 

Pierre Edouard Latouche, 1993

L'Art de choisir un sujet dans la peinture d'histoire de Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).

The choice of subject for a history painting, long considered motivated by dramatic considerations, appears to be also, in the light of numerous documents, the expression of the painter's craft. The following study will attempt to demonstrate this aspect in the oeuvre of Jacques-Louis David and, in particular, in The Oath of the Horatii.

 

Jeff Latto, 1991

The Idea of Transmutation in the Theatre of Giulio Camillo

Transmutation is explored with respect to the sixteenth-century text L'Idea del Theatro, by Giulio Camillo, linking the arts of alchemy, eloquence and divination. Alchemy establishes the doctrine of transmutation; eloquence is founded on the creative movement of deviation, while divination points to symbolization. The "corporeal visions" of Camillo are set in opposition to the "single eye: vision from which originate theories on prespective by the architects Leon Bastista Alberti and Sebastiano Serlio.

 

Annie Lebel, 1994

L'espace du fragment: Architecture et usage du fragment dans l'oeuvre de Joseph Cornell.

The fragment, which with the failure of deterministic and unifying totalities has come into its own in our day as autonomous element and concept, embodies a paradoxical space giving rise as much to dispersion as to gathering. For the American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), the use of the fragment in the context of post-war New York City, corresponds to the articulation of a life-style as well as of a form of thinking, analogical thinking, that both alternately provoke displacement and the necessity for siting. Through the use of the fragment, the sites that construct the artist's daily life and those emerging from his work, inform contemporary architectural practice with their inherent ambiguity, an ambiguity recalling that of the human condition itself.

 

Pierre Lévesque, 1997

Le théâtre de l'architecte et la mesure festive des lieux

Comedy and tragedy were born, in antic Greece, from singing and dancing, and by definition, dramatic art is an imitation of action, using characters in action. This artistic form was also born during the passage from the archaic world to the democratic and classical Greece, a significant moment in the history of humanity, and it is the ancestor and first form of philosophy. This birth was also shown in aesthetic ways by the historic and astonishing encounter of Apollo, the visionary god, the ultimate achiever in painting, sculpture and poetry, and Dionisos, the god of ecstasy, music and delirious action. Furthermore, the whole architecture of the ancient theatre, from antiquity to Renaissance, will afford all the necessary support for the "action" and "voice" of the players themselves. It will be built as a musical instrument, on an acoustical geometry and the plan of heavens. This lasted until the avent of the "scenographic theatre", during the Renaissance, built on the optic geometry of scientific perspective, which will lead to the triumph of visual illusion and of Deus ex machina in the baroque theatre, at the disadvantage, we must say, of actors and poets. It is, then, through this musical dimension of drama that will be carried, here, the study of the "theatrical space" of architecture, as used to do the architect of the Classic theatre. Mainly, it is from the drama of Dionysos, which in terms of aesthetics shows us the musical origin of the Greek Theatre, and from the drama of Prospero, which shows us the place of music in Shakespearian Theatrum Mundi, that will be showed, finally, the architecture of the Globe Theatre, which have to be taken, here, as the last representative of this classical idea and conception of the theatre, founded on the action of characters and the musicality of poetic language.

 

Graham Livesey, 1991

Narrative, ephemerality and the Architecture of the Contemporary City.

This thesis proposes the exploration of three architectural sources that are narrative in nature: the Renaissance Entry of a Monarch as a public event in the city, the Surrealist novel as a critical medium, and the Teatro del Mondo project by Aldo Rossi for the Venice Biennale of 1979-80, in order to address the making of architecture in the contemporary city. The royal entry and the modern novel are forms that provide for possible interpretation of the city and reflect the difference between the modern and the pre-modern eras. Aldo Rossi's Teatro del Mondo as a work of architecture that was both ephemeral and a place of narrative, was a project that addressed the difficult problems of the architecture of the city. Architecture no longer participates in the realization of ritualistic narrative, as when the festival gave permanence to urban institutions by revealing the order of the Cosmos. However, there remains the necessity for architecture to engage imagination and the narratives implicit in the world.

 

Dan Macek, 1997

Nicolas Le Camus de Mézière: At Play in the Hôtel

Published in 1780, Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières' The Genius of Architecture; or, The Analogy of That Art with Our Sensations is firmly ensconced in the traditions of western architectural theories, dating back to Vitruvius' The Ten Books on Architecture. Continuing the traditional relationship to the theatre as well as to the harmonic proportions of the orders although recast in terms of the century in which he wrote, Le Camus uses the paradigm of the theatre as the space of reception for his architecture.

Definitively establishing the conventions and taste of the theatre in eighteenth century France, Denis Diderot's The Paradox of Acting established the role of the poetic genius in relation to his or her audience. The relationship to the audience as enabled by the conventions df good taste allows for an understanding of Le Camus' unique analogy of architecture and the sensations, giving to his architecture the ability to provide a cathartic morality as put forth by Diderot.

 

Andrea MacElwee, 1994

L'Allégorie et l'architecture de Francesco Borromini

This thesis relates the aspirations [examined in political treatises, literary programs and scientific treatises] of Pope Urban VIIth with the allegorical spaciality of the architecture of Francesco Borromini. The projects initiated under the patronage of the Pope are particularly related to the Pope's election. Urban's personal impressa, the Angelic Sun is an emblem of this election, a reborn sun, a second personal birth and the elevation of the Angelic Pope [the leader of the age of the Holy Spirit]. This is allegorically a metamorphosis like the re-birth of Daphne into Laurel; the Tree of Aeneas and Rome and the principal Barberini impressa. As a dynastic emblem the Laurel unites the cosmic territories of the sun and the moon, the traditional emblems of cosmic kingship and world domination. The metaphysical marriage to Rome [coronation and marriage are ritually linked, like the union of the sun and the moon] metaphorically appropriates the capacity of giving birth through construction, to a new city, an intellectual city in the image of Urban, the threshold for spirit. The architecture 'contains' this intellectual body [city], a dynastic emblem of the Angelic Pope.

 

Einar Bjarki Malmquist, 2000

Architecture of the ineffable: on the work of John Hejduk

This is a study of the work of John Hejduk - his poetry, architecture and philosophical reflection. The aim of the study is to open up a discourse on some of Hejduk's projects, in which he speculated about philosophical themes such as identity, time and geometry, questioning the possibilities and limits of architecture. A discussion of these projects is particularly relevant for our contemporary world, regarding our questions of the limits of language and geometry, ideas and evidences for architecture in a society of generalized communication.

 

Cécile Martin, 2000

Embodiments of art, narratives of architecture in the Sir John Soane Museum.

 

Timothy McDonald, 1994

The Space of Kafka.

The following study investigates the fictional works of an early twentieth century Czechoslovakian writer named Franz Kafka. "The space of Kafka" is explored primarily through the "identity" of his characteristic monster figures and the temporally disjunctive narratives through which they travel. Monstrosity is qualified here as a principal mode of translation through which Kafka engaged the very terms of "identity" which an "individual" faces in the appearance of any "work". The intimations of a monstrous self are probed through Kafka's work in relation to human experience, intentionality, alterity and a "present" which is en-acted specifically as one form of the past. Through Kafka's paradigmatic "monster", "double" and 'bachelor" figures, we find not "alternative" orientations of the "self" which contemporary literature and architecture may choose to undertake, but intrinsic re-presentations of the very relation which any self any author, already is in the appearance of a "work".

 

Kagis Indra McEwen, 1991

Socrates' Ancestor; Architecture and Emerging Order in Archaic Greece

Socrates claimed Daedalus, the mythical first architect, as his ancestor. Taking this as a point of departure, the thesis explores the relationship between architecture and speculative thought, and shows how the latter is grounded in the former. A detailed examination of the Anaximander fragment, the earliest surviving record in Western philosophy, is considered in relation to Anaximander's built work. This three-part cosmic model which included a celestial sphere, the first map of the world, and a sun clock (the gnomon), reveals the fragment to be a theory of the work in that the cosmic order Anaximander was the first to articulate was discovered through the building of the model. The model is seen as comparable to a daidalon, a creation of Daedalus, whose legend reflects the importance of craft in the self-consciousness of archaic Greece where the kosmos (order) of civilization were seen as having emerged with the kosmos allowed to appear through the making of the artifact. Archaic self-consciousness is further examined through the emergence of the the Greek city-state (the polis) and in the building of the first peripteral temples, both of which are revealed as necessary antecedents to the birth of theory, understood as the wondering admiration of the well-made thing.

 

Joanna Merwood, 1995

Towards the Architecture of the Future: César Daly and the Science of Expression.

The writing of the French architectural theorist and critic César Daly (1811 - 1894), editor of the influential Parisian journal, the Revue générale de l'architecture et des travaux publics, may be considered to be representative of the ambivalence of the supposed 19th century dialectic between scientism and metaphysical idealism. For Daly the physical and representational needs of society expressed in architecture were always and forever inextricably linked by the universal and permanent pattern of History. Although it was his fundamental thesis that the human sensibility was more important than any other consideration in the creation of architecture, his theory is paradigmatic of the contemporary ideology which attempted to define and systematise the expressive role of architecture according to rational scientific principles, and resulted in the concept of architecture as a prescriptive and predictive process.

Given the separation of architectural form and content, presence and meaning, and the consequent challenge to the possibility of shared experience initiated in the Enlightenment which is still an inherent part of our contemporary architectural thought, it is crucial to reexamine the architectural theory of the 19th century as the origin of the modern condition. This thesis is a critical examination of Daly's collections of polemical articles from the Revue as artifacts of architectural knowledge, through an analysis of their form and content in relation to other significant 19th century architectural texts.

 

France Morin, 1994

Chemins parallèles ou habiter Le Mont Analogue par une réflexion sur l'Architecture

This thesis is an exploration through writing, photography and a studio project, pursuing and established upon the question of architecture as a means of expression and the research of human existence comprehended through being; architecture as personal search and collective construction. The work is built as a parallel commentary to René Daumal's text Le Mont Analogue which investigates through an analogous mountain expedition, the human search for essence. Relationships establish themselves between the texts where the Wall is my analogue, through which the capacity to give form, image and substance to ephemeral comprehensions, to give birth to these comprehensions by the imagination, to make then perceptible by the self and others and to confer upon them persistence and memory, is revealed slowly to be a richness and a depth in architecture.

 

Michel Moussette, 1999

THE BLOCK AS SEIZED (BY FRICTION) - A Study in Five Parts on Le Corbusier, La Tourette and Architecture

The Monastery of Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tourette was built for the Dominicans between 1952 and 1960 in Éveux, near Lyon, by the French architect Le Corbusier. It is a massive, imposing, rough, sharp, geometrical, complex, beautiful, dark, surprising, calm and profoundly human building. The aim of this study is to explore, through words written on sheets of paper, the space opened by what the monastery has to say. This exploration is particularly relevant to our contemporary world with regard to questions concerning the uses and misuses of technology, the consequences of the hegemony of vision and the difficulties involved in engaging chaos properly.

 

Irena Murray, 1990

Sources of Cubist Architecture in Bohemia; The Theories of Pavel Janák.

The sources of the theories underlying Czech Cubist architecture before World War I have been only sketchily studied to date. To analyze these theories and identify their sources, I focus on the work of architect and theorist Pavel Janák (1882-1956), an early proponent of Cubist architecture in Bohemia. The thesis incorporates my translation of Janák's unpublished journal for 1911-1914, the dominant years of Czech Cubism. Through this journal and Janák's published writings, together with an examination of his own readings, I trace the development of his theories, and situate his sources, within their historical context. Janák was no mere imitator of French Cubism but was concerned with developing innovative architecture that yet possessed both historical continuity and universal validity, thanks to its space-creating qualities.

The thesis includes a facsimile of Janák's journal with its numerous sketches, a translation en face, and a complete bibliography of his sources.

 

Yelda Nasifoglu, 2002

Walter Pichler: the Modern Prometheus

The ritualistic aspect of Walter Pichler's work greatly problematizes the traditional view of the art object as the locus of aesthetic contemplation. Yet how are we to approach such art in our secularized world? For it to maintain its meaningfulness, does not ritual require a shared symbolic system?

Indirectly guided by Pichler's work, this thesis is an exploration of the contemporary status of the work of art. An investigation into the myth of Prometheus reveals that art and ritual share the same origin. Further inquiries into early Greek sculpture, as well as the concepts of techne and mimesis, expand this origin into the relationship between the art object and the viewer, shifting the customary focus away from the resemblance between the model and the copy. In this space of looking, art no longer presents itself as an aestheticized object-presence and absence, the visible and the invisible, recognition and anamnesis come into play as possible ways of participation in the work of art.

 

Marc J. Neveu, 2000

Architecture-as, an ethics of function.

Carlo Lodoli (1690-1761), architect, storyteller, and generally caustic individual, was a friar at San Francesco della Vigna in Venice, where he offered non-professional lessons in architecture. In his garden, he had collected a series of architectural fragments for use in his dialogues with students. He would use the fragments as examples of good and bad architecture to allow for his peripatetic teachings. These lessons, described by his faithful student Andrea Memmo as talking in images were sweeping, often ethical. As the Socratic Lodoli did not commit to text any formal treatise, we must look to his student's interpretations and various built projects. It is within these traces we begin to discover Lodoli's proposal for a non-reductive functional architecture based upon the imagination. By looking into this performing aspect of function we may begin to realize an architecture that both invites and constitutes essential meaning.

 

Gordon Nicholson, 1998

Drawing, Building, Craft: Revelations of Spiritual Harmony and the Body at St. Petri Klippan

This thesis is an investigation of St. Petri Church via relevant drawings and photographs by Sigurd Lewerentz. It explores his design through the Lutheran liturgy and theology revealing possibilities of an architecture based on spiritual harmony and bodily experience. It is an attempt to view Lewerentz's architecture outside limitations of style - demonstrating his spiritual belief in a harmony between both visible and invisible elements of architecture, as well as the act of making architecture through the relationship between drawing and building. Seen in such a context Lewerentz's work at St. Petri points to valuable strategies for the practice of architecture today.

 

Bernard Olivier, 1996

L'analogue d'Aldo Rossi.

This paper presents different aspects of architect Aldo Rossi's thought related to analogy. The idea of type which is central to The Architecture of the City, is reinterpreted here in relation to Rossi's ideas about analogy which are proposed in A Scientific Autobiography. The influence of Étienne-Louis Boullee and Ernesto Rogers are discussed. Rossi's architectural type is related to Carl Jung's archetype whose numinous and compulsive aspects relate type to Rossi's ideas about architecture as instrument or apparatus. The theme of the cabine and the sea, and that of deposition are analyzed in order to illustrate the ideas above. The deposition introduces a discussion of Rossi's ambivalence about the role of type and the possibilities of architecture today. Finally, the moral and political aspects of these theories about analogy are presented in relation to Rossi's ideas of the analogous city and of technique.

 

Yanina Osorovich, 2000

RE-DESCRIBING THE REAL: Villalpando's Ideal Image of the Temple of Jerusalem

The symbolism of the heavenly, represented in the Temple of Jerusalem, has inspired diverse interpretations of both mystical and archaeological type. The reconstruction by the Jesuit, Juan Bautista Villalpando (1552-1608), which took place amidst hermetic teachings, Vitruvian norms, and in a religious Spain, merges all these aspects into a harmonious order that spawns a model of perfect architecture as well as the consummate religious edifice. In this vision of the Temple, deciphered from the prophet Ezechiel's abstract and messianic description, the ideal order of divine creation is drawn. Villalpando's drawings and explanations aim to reconcile the sublime in geometry with matter, therefore imitating divine creation while not ceasing to be an imaginative, worldly interpretation. According to Villalpando, in Ezechiel's vision, the spiritual aspect of the Temple of Salomon, God revealed the future Church. After the incarnation of Christ, this Church can be a reality. Villalpando's conception, which was embodied in the palace and monastery of El Escorial, represents the built ideal.



 




 

Jodi O'Toole (La Coe), 1999

Andrea Pozzo: the joining of truth and illusion

Andrea Pozzo was an architect, writer and painter spanning the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The focus of this study is on his paintings of perspectival illusions and his treatise on perspective entitled, Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum published in two volumes in 1693 and 1700. This thesis seeks to understand the work of Pozzo in light of contemporary philosophical debate over the deception of the senses and their ability to distinguish truth from illusion. Pozzo's intentions are examined through a study of the positions of Rene Descartes, Galileo Galilei and other related artists and architects on the technical and ethical issues surrounding the deceptive nature of perspective illusions.

 

Stephen Pack, 1996

Revelatory Geometries: The Treatises of Albrecht Dürer.

The treatises of the German artist Albrecht Dürer [1471-1528] reveal the first instances of modern means of architectural representation. These works, the Underweysung der Messung [1525] and the Vier Bucher von Menschlicher Proportion [1528], employ an unprecedented degree of graphic projection to render visual various geometrical and architectural figures. Nevertheless, Dürer's obsessive interest in geometry and visualisation is not necessarily expressive of a strictly modern intentionality. Athough his treatises have some continuity with the reductive techniques of contemporary practice, they were formulated in a traditional world and manifest many of its concerns. This thesis elucidates the interplay between these aspects of Dürer's mathematical corpus. It proceeds by articulating both the traditional underpinnings of his work and his patent struggles with its modern implications. By revealing the original density of meaning inherent in modern means of architectural representation, this study questions the contemporary prejudice that such means are merely neutral instruments.

 

Joanne Paul, 1995

Of Substantiating Nature: The elements of architecture explained in eighteeth century interpretation, Retold by Fra Carlo Lodoli.

Fra Carlo Lodoli (l690 - 176l) was a priest and teacher with the Franciscans in Venice. His work encompassed a range of ideas concerning politics, history and architecture. Although he did not personally record his philosophy, his teachings became extremely influential to the period through the writings of his disciples: Memmo, Algarotti, and Milizia. His work was to question the codification of architectural theory as implemented in building. This was done through a critical investigation of the dynamic relationship between nature and human nature. Lodoli's architectural elements were created by a process of substitution which recognised the physical properties of materials and their adaptation into form through the course of culture. Echoing Vico's notion of the poetic, Lodoli used storytelling to express his ideas. For Lodoli imagination was fundamental to the integration of program and built form. This role of imagination remains an important synthetic element in the formation of culture, linking memory, invention and making.

 

Louise Pelletier, 1990

L'espace métaphorique du montage cinématographique: une ouverture vers un nouveau rituel architectural.

Architectural representation is much more than a process of transcription between a concept and the building; it is a tool that determines the very mentality and praxis of the architect. This thesis studies the technique of film montage through the work of Andrei Tarkovsky and the possibilities it offers to the process of architectural conception. A general outline of the development of the perspective tools of representation in architecture lead to an understanding of the significance of the cinematographic image in the context of the history of projection. Montage in the tradition of Surrealism placed an emphasis on the potential power of poetic evocation between its elements. Comparing the narrative forms of three film-makers, the "surrealist montage" of Luis Buñuel, the "intellectual montage" of Sergie Eisenstein, and the temporal modulation in the films of Tarkovsky, this thesis examines different ways to qualify cinematographic space which affect the spatial and temporal experience of the spectator and offer the possibility of a re-definition of ritual in architecture.

 

Pamela Plumb-Dhindsa, 1998

From Royal Bed to Boudoir: The Dissolution of the Space of Appearance Told Through the History of the French Salon

The space of appearance emerges from the practice of speech and action in the presence of others. Although it predates the public sphere as a formal construction, it exists in the context of a particular place. With the transformation of the ancien régime and the emergence of the bourgeois public sphere, the meaning of public and private was obscured by the rise of the 'social.' The public realm was transformed from a space of disclosure to a realm defined by the necessities of survival - a process by which speech and action lost much of their former power. In the spectacular relations of the ancien regime, public ritual revolved around the royal bed. Through the analogy of language and architecture, seventeenth-century aristocratic women defined new patterns of social practice. In the convergence of the spectacular relations of the court and the world of letters, a space of appearance arose. At the turn of the century, Salon discourse moved from the daybed to the sofa of Rococo salons. Responding to emerging dichotomies, discourse, architecture and Salon practice took on gendered implications. In the Enlightenment Salon, women gave up their role as public performers and assumed the role of governance. The importance of social practice as an end in itself declined, as rational discourse became directed towards the aims of the Enlightenment. The role of architecture as a participating environment, and conversation as an expressive art was weakened by the detachment of rational discourse from its roots in Salon practice. The Salon as a public space ended when, rejecting female governance, men of letters took the Enlightenment discourse out of the Salon into new male venues. Its decline as a space of appearance coincided with the emergence of the boudoir. In the transposition of the space of the boudoir with the salon, eighteenth-century women were left without a public voice, their identities increasingly defined by the domestic environment and the male erotic imagination.

 

Bram Ratner, 1992

An Essay on the Ethics of Creation - The Golem: Western Wall: Franz Kafka.

This thesis explores the critical question of the ethics of creation as it emerges to the forefront of contemporary thought in the late twentieth century. The question is examined through three independent yet interrelated motifs: the legend of the Golem, the symbol of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and the literature of Franz Kafka. An understanding of these three motifs, in all their implications, can provide valuable commentary and insightful reflections so that a discourse on a possible moral and ethical ground for affirmative creation can be engaged. It is imperative, in light of the destructive potentiality of our creative making, to address this discourse if architecture is to regain cultural relevance.

 

David Rifkind, 1997

The All-But Architecture of Richard Serra

Richard Serra's sculpture constitutes a political act through its analytical and operative strategies: analytical, when the work exposes the structures that frame our intersubjectivity, and operative, when the work acts as an example of resistance to the habitual acceptance of these structures. The significance of this oeuvre to architecture is that Serra's sculpture deliberately presents itself as something just shy of architecture, claiming its critical role to be that abandoned by - and proper to - architecture.

 

Theodore Sandstra, 1999

A Framework for the Love of Nature: Henry David Thoreau's Construction of the Wild in Walden and the Gift as an Ethos for Architecture.

Walden (1854), by the American author Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), is explored as a work of literature with significant implications for environmental ethics in contemporary architectural practice. This reading challenges ethical models which depend for their legitimacy on determining a static representation of the world around us. Thoreau's literary discussion of the construction of his shelter and the subsequent revealing of a view of nature is offered as a more complete approach to finding a significant discourse concerning the relationship between humanity and the earth. The relevance of the poetic imagination is asserted through exploring the many aspects of the metaphors of verticality and flight in Walden. Thoreau's effort is extended into a brief discussion of Australian architect Glenn Murcutt (born 1936) and a consideration of the natural world in light of the phenomenon of a gift.

 

Guillermo Sobrino, 1993

The Villas of Palladio and the transformation of the Site.

The complex panorama of the Mediterranean area in the fourteenth century compelled Venice to modify its economic patterns. The city started to pay attention to the Italian mainland, developing its agriculture and other industries. But the Veneto was marshy and needed to be drained and improved. The Venetian and mainland aristocracy gradually abandoned commerce for agriculture and land reclamation. Andrea Palladio built many villas for them from which they could administer their estates, transforming the marshes of the Veneto into sites for the villas. Those villas became the perfect place for retirement and contemplation.

 

James Splawn, 1990

Under the Oak Tree: The Mythical Intentionaly In Le Corbusier's Poème De l'Angle Droit.

This paper is an investigation of Le Corbusier's Le Poème De L'Angle Droit. (The Poem to the Right Angle). The validity of this work as it applies to architecture is that through the creation of a mythical order which was grounded in Le Corbusier's perceptions of the modern condition an understanding of mans' place in the modern world may be found. Through this making of order, Le Corbusier was able to create a geometric 'language' in both the physical and meta-physical sense, i.e. the making of form was based on his 'found' measure of the world. This language of a present day order was developed in his writing and painting and, ultimately, provided the fundamental principles for the creation his built work.

 

Megan Spriggs, 1999

Fabrique & Discours: Salomon de Caus and the Vitruvian Ideal of Architecture

A study of Salomon de Caus' manuscript commentary on the first book of Jean Martin's French translation of Vitruvius (c. 1622-1624) which takes the form of a dialogue between an Architect, an Engineer and a Mathematician. The removal of music and natural philosophy from the Vitruvian programme of education; the need for the updating of Vitruvius' classical theory of founding cities and building their fortified walls; the emphasis on convenience in the planning of buildings and the separation of engineering and architecture within the Vitruvian corpus all point to a reduction in the role of architecture as cosmic analogy. A comparison with de Caus' treatises on perspective, mechanics, musical harmony, solar clocks and mensuration reveal that for de Caus, it is the engineer whose making can reconcile human and divine through a form of technical know-how that although it cannot be considered true knowledge, reveals the wonder of God to the senses.

 

Natalija Subotincic, 1989

The Anamorphosis of Architecture: A Co-incidence of Desire and Embodiment.

This thesis has been considered from the outset as a "project" which primarily focuses on an interpretation of Marcel Duchamp's works. More specifically, the project revolves around his writings on perspective and the fourth dimension by examining the Large Glass (The Bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even...1915-1923) and the Given...(1946-1966). The procedure follows the medical process for an--aesthetic induction leading to exploratory surgery. Among the topics which co-incidently emerge are: "illuminating" Ether gas, "falling" water and "releasing" anamorphic intuitions. What results from this series of operations is an "unconscious" perceptual awakening revealed through an extended experience of embodiment. This 'space of desire' is the space where Architecture dwells.

 

Toru Terakawa

History and Traditon in Modern Japan: Translation and Commentary upon the Texts of Sei'ichi Shirai

This thesis examines the concepts of history and tradition in modern Japan, with an emphasis on the writings of Sei’ichi Shirai (1905-1983). Although Shirai has been considered as one of the most important architects of 20th century Japan, he has also been treated as an obscure figure, no doubt partly because of the enigmatic quality of his writings. A major element that contributed to his obscure status and set him apart from his contemporaries was his understanding of history and tradition.

The introductory essay examines the concept of tradition prevalent around Shirai’s time: how it was constructed by an a posteriori writing of history and in what ways this is complicated by Shirai’s writings. The second portion of the thesis is an annotated translation of two of Shirai’s texts demonstrating his attempts to disclose the a priori principles inherent in the unfolding of tradition through history.

 

David Theodore, 2000

"Aproued on my self" Inbetween the Sheets of Inigo Jones's Palladio

In this essay I look at the significance of Inigo Jones's annotated copy of Andrea Palladio's I quattro libri dell'architettura in a time of momentous change in the habits of readers and writers, printers and publishers, architects and kings. Jones lived in Stuart England, a hinge period swinging between print culture and manuscript culture, science (mechanical philosophy) and magic (Neoplatonism, hermeticism, alchemy), humoural physiology and modern medicine. I examine his book as part of a change of social setting, looking outward from his study of Palladian architectural theory to developments in publishing and authorship, perspective and theatre design, graphic representation and anatomy, medicine and the history of the human body.

 

Eric Toker, 1998

An Architectural Excursus into the Site of Becoming: Domenico Fontana's "Della Trasportatione dell'Obelisco Vaticano"

At the close of the sixteenth century, the Roman architect Domenico Fontana choreographed the transformation of the Vatican Obelisk from its antique position on the circus of Nero, to its present location facing St. Peter's. Fontana's treatise Della trasportatione dell'obelisco Vaticano (1590), records this event in a detailed narrative, and a series of remarkable etchings. Architect to Pope Sixtus V, Fontana is often cited as a founder of city planning due to his seminal reorganization of Rome's topography, and as an early proponent of civil engineering owing to his calculated mechanics. Yet neither of these appellations do justice to Fontana's complex practice, one in which architecture is composed in time, characterized by the intensity and profundity of the festival, and the divine power of Man to operate within a world of sympathies. The scaffold which translates the obelisk - and the occulted knowledge of these cosmographic relations - into the space of the city, also invokes an alternate tradition for architecture. Opposite classical solidity and eternal being, Fontana's castello proposes the immaterial, and the ephemeral. An inquiry into this scene of emerging order is particularly relevant for our contemporary world, with our idols fallen and our foundations in ruin. Appended to this thesis is an abridged English translation of Della trasportatione, chapter 1.

 

Franca Trubiano, 1995

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Orthograph(i)e and the Ritual Drawing of l'Architecture Civile.

In the fantastical world of the Architecture Civile, Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) designed the architect's space of appearance across a ritual act of representation. The meticulous crafting of the architectural drawing defined the very site upon which his highly syncretic and imaginative ornamental language was developed. It was in the idea of ornament that Lequeu articulated his veneration of, and dedication to the restoration of, architectural beauty and delight.

In the drawing and writing of the orthograph(i)e, Lequeu enacted the primordial trait of the dessinateur to found his art and science of representation. In the shadowed depths of the surface and its edge, the elevation and its section, the portrait and its profile, the figural ornaments of Nature and Architecture were made to appear. These, the principal characteristics of his architectural language, were expressed across all three scales of being: the cosmic-sacred, the mythic-historic, and the poetic-psychic. Lequeu's allegorical and symbolic narratives sought to reveal the problematic relationship that existed between architectural thought and its representation, at the threshold of modernity.

 

Carole Yocum, 1998

Architecture and the bee: Virtue and memory in Filarete's Trattato de Architettura

Antonio Averlino, known as Filarete (1400-1469), wrote that architecture is a gestational process, likening the architect to the mother and the father as the client. The process requires the architect-mother to "fantasticare e pensare e rivoltarselo per la memoria," fermenting ideas and incubating them in conjunction with one's memory. The intent is to understand mnemonics as a creative operation in Filarete's Trattato di Architettura. A key to this lies with Filarete's personal symbol, the bee. The bee's process of mellification acts as a metaphor of the architect's gestational design. The bee, long utilized as a memorative trope, points towards other memory models created throughout the treatise, culminating with the design for the House of Vice and Virtue. Directing the reader and inhabitants of the city in a social narrative, Filarete's architecture reveals the dependence upon remembrance and virtue for the city's creation and public rituals to sustain its life.

 

Dorian Yurchuk, 1997

Ranelagh Gardens and the Recombinatory Utopia of Masquerade.

Throughout history the concept of a "mall" has manifested itself in various forms. Malls provided once and continue to provide an opportunity for ostentation and observation in a constructed environment. Ranelagh Gardens is an example of such an environment. It is an Eighteenth Century London pleasure garden devoted exclusively to the acts of exhibiting one's self and beholding others, a sort of celebratory act of mutual affirmation. These gardens were frequented by various elements of London society, from royalty to the middle class. All sorts of boundaries were further blurred through the ritual of the masquerade, which flourished at Ranelagh. After examining the various devices employed to that end, I will look into the parallels of such interaction in our increasingly virtual society.

 

Claudio Venier, 1993

Ideas on Perspective and Ritual: the Open and Individual Nature of Le Corbusier's Firminy Church.

Le Corbusier's project for the French parish church of Saint-Pierre at Firminy-Vert is an architectural work which embodies the modern concern for individual accessibility. The following thesis examines Saint-Pierre in this light, showing how it was created as a reaction against the imposing and manipulative natures of both a reductive perspective manifestation of art, and a dogmatic form of ritual. These themes, being particular to modern art, may be seen as a desire for a more accessible and individual participation. The reading of Saint-Pierre proceeds on three levels, addressing divergent aspects of the work's nature, ranging from its formal character, to its symbolism split between the natural and cultural realms. Each level contributes to the image of an open place of worship, that is, an accessible architectural setting intended to frame an individual and inward form of worship. This reading also reveals the inherent conflict involved in attempting to reconcile a monumental disposition evident at Saint-Pierre and understood as forming part of the poetic integrity of the work - with the accessibility that tends to compromise such integrity. This points to the problematic nature of monumental architecture in modern society.

 

Brent Wagler, 1995

Stars, Stones, and Architecture - An episode in John Dee's natural Philosophy.

The work of John Dee (1527-1608) posits an approach to architecture based upon the concept of wonder. Sympathetic correspondences permeate Dee's disparate practical activities and architectural discourse. His contributions to astronomy, alchemy, cartography and navigation are grounded in the intersubjective cosmology of the Renaissance. It is in Dee's Mathematicall Praeface (1570), which promotes mathematics as a natural philosophy, that the architect's metier is aligned with the marvellous and established as an art encompassing numerous disciplines. Dee's syncretic formulation of architecture is distinctly attuned to the alchemical and magical discourses pervading the Renaissance and established in relation to his hieroglyphic "Monas" symbol. This emblematic device, discussed in the Monas Hieroglyphica (1564), exemplifies the link between architecture and writing. The Monas symbol permits the architect-as-alchemist to contemplate marvels and effect them in practice. In addition to positioning wonder in human activity, as a navigational beacon guiding the work of the architect, Dee signals the possibility of restoring conjuring - the dangerous and denigrated art of sixteenth century England - into architectural practice.

 

William Weima, 1990

From Troy Town to Bordertown: A Study of Architectural Limits and the orientation of Cities in Their Place.

This thesis is an investigation of architectural meanings manifested in walled cities and the relationship with their place and their orientation. The walls of Troy, Vitruvius and the walled cities of the Renaissance, and the fortifications in the age of Vauban are the three principal sources of study used for this investigation. This thesis draws upon these three sources to reconsider the possibilities of containment and the task of the architect through defence, to once again give authentic meaning to the city and its place.

 

Michael Wilk, 1999

Affinity to Infinity: The Endlessness, Correalism, and Galaxies of Frederick Kiesler

Frederick Kiesler's Endless House was a response to the principles of functionalism that dominated architectural theory during his lifetime. The house was developed from his philosophy of correalism and his galaxial art. Correalism explains his understanding of the universe as correlating proposing an integration of technology into architecture, and galaxial art is a method for producing art based upon his idea of art as ritual. Kiesler attempted to apply his new awareness to the Endless House design. In many ways, he was successful in uniting theory and design, but the house was never built. While highlighting the work's deficiencies thus fact distracts his critics causing them to overlook his actual accomplishments.

 

Dion Wilson, 1999

Work Meaning. An Act Toward the Goal of the Recasting of Architecture as and Between Object, Image & Text.

This thesis, presented in three modes, underscores not only the necessity of the making of form congruent with idea but, in so doing, advocates an architecture that exits simultaneously as and between building (object), image and text via a meditation on the nature of tools. Suspicious of the evident divergence of textuality and plasticity, this project seeks to imagine a place somewhere between theory and practice - an in-between condition. Through the subversion of expectations, the necessary resulting ambiguity exemplifies an alternative for delegitimizing cultural authority (power) as well as consumer familiarity (kitsch). The theme of journeying, in Homer's The Odyssey and in Ulysses by James Joyce, used as a generating metaphor, structures the exercise of investigating the transformation of personal vision into a form both accessible and meaningful for others. Inconclusiveness as an attribute is brought to bear in the necessity of the reader's act of engaging the built objects as the only way of completing this project.

 

David Edward Winterton, 1995

Toward a Natural History of Architecture: the Vegetal Culture of Viel de Saint-Maux.

This thesis reflects on the Lettres sur l'Architecture of Viel de Saint-Maux, published in Paris in 1757. This period represents a crisis point at which classical architecture and a traditional means of relating-to-the-world had exhausted themselves. In the Lettres, St.-Maux privileges original agrarian societies who worship the natural force of fecundity and the agricultural bounty that results from it. He claims that this worship supplied the radical base for their iconographic and symbolic forms as applied to architecture. Viel de St-Maux's privileging of the generative forces of nature as a site for sacred imaginings and ritual constructions of the agricultural environment belie a relation to the methodology and epistemology of Natural History as formulated by the Comte de Buffon.

Viel de Saint-Maux sought to resist the threat of an overweening rationality by valuing the wonderment cast by the the discoveries of Science. He put his faith in natural science and applied this same compulsion to the ancient primitives who, he believed, knew divinely how to propitiate Nature and its fecundity. Fecundity and Agriculture become metaphors for cultural harmony, enlightenment and a re-fusion of the mystery of vitality into everyday life.

 

Tracey Winton, 1996

Why Architects Wear Black, and other Grotesque and Sublime Mysteries: Being a demonstration of Eros & Melancholy in the Hermetical Art of Architecture, with reference to the Hypnerotomachi Poliphili of Colonna, wherein he showeth that all things human are but a Dream. In the Representation whereof are many things figured salutary and worthy of Remembrance.

A study of the symbolism of love and melancholy in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, an architectural treatise of the Italian Renaissance written as a dream, in which an alchemical narrative structures the shaping of an adept through the education of his cognitive faculties. This author has speculated on the representational strategies of this satyrical and literary architecture and translated into English several key passages from the hero's rhythmythical journey through a musaic architectural wonderland.