BEAUTY MEMORY ENTROPY
- KEYNOTE -
MODIFICATION IS THE RESULT, INTERPRETATION THE METHOD, AND TIME THE MEDIUM
I have a simple thesis: built works, at the scale of an urban area, landscape, single building, or interior, exist not only through but also in time, through the several phases of design, construction, and reconstruction, or the sequence of modifications that define the work’s real duration. Tacit assumptions in contemporary design and criticism abbreviate this temporal spectrum, suggesting that currency and contemporary relevance are chiefly important. I’ll try to show how an architectural project’s prospective and retrospective dimensions infiltrate and qualify its assumed currency, extending its clock one could say, conditioning its beginning and end. I’ll develop my arguments in consideration of works from different periods: recent years, the 20th and earlier centuries—cities, gardens, buildings, interiors, construction details, and materials.
David Leatherbarrow is Professor of Architecture the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as Chairman of the Graduate Group in Architecture (Ph.D. Program). He teaches architectural design, as well as the history and theory of architecture, gardens, and cities. He lectures widely, throughout the world, and holds guest professorships in Denmark and China. His recent books include: Architecture Oriented Otherwise; Topographical Stories: studies in landscape and architecture; Surface Architecture, in collaboration with Mohsen Mostafavi; and Uncommon Ground: architecture, technology and topography. Before that were: On Weathering: the life of buildings in time, again with Mostafavi, and The Roots of Architectural Invention: site, enclosure and materials.