It allows passage of fluids. There were conflicts, vicious attempts from inside and outside to wrest control of the space from the powers that be, to categorize, to establish some kind of hierarchy of property ownership. Between Divisibility and Multiplicity The Indefinite Doing architecture, we follow certain rules: we categorize.
We plan spaces for specific activities.
Living space is mapped and defining according to. Every activity has its compartment, is one, is autonomous. Woman is neither open nor closed. She is indefinite, in-finite, form is never complete in her. This was not to enable the free flow of pure space as in the modernist open plan, but rather to intensify the occupation of space by overlaying one kind of living over another—intentions of use, overlaid with mis-use, questioned the boundaries of bodies and places. The bath sat in the center of the roof—bedworklivingspace. From the bath you could talk to the person lying next to you in bed, look up into the sky, down onto the stove, beyond to those eating, and further, through the window onto the street.
Architecture is soft like a body if you undo it. In modernism, the displayed surface is expected to represent exactly what lies beneath; to disguise or cover is perceived as duplicitous. To play with the surface for its own sake is perceived as problematic, as formalism.
Her clothes, her makeup, and her jewels are the things with which she tries to create her container s , her envelope s. She cannot make use of the envelope that she is, and must create artificial ones. The soil pipe gushed diagonally through the stairwell and out of the rear wall of the house: a proud dado rail. The stripping back of partition walls asserted the fabric of the building as a living component of the space.
Cracking brickwork and rubble revealed between the splintering stud partitions formed a decorative skin. Metal rivets holding the decrepit ceiling plaster together shone at night like stars. You could see into the toilet—a place where we traditionally demand privacy from prying eyes, ears and noses. The doors to this tiny blue room were spliced open like a swing saloon.
Bare bottomed in an intimate space, to flush you placed your hand through a smooth circular hole out into the public void of the stairwell and grabbed a wooden spoon hanging from the ceiling on a rope. The seams were the decor.
Rewriting German History
Between Scarcity and Abundance Jouissance Doing architecture, we follow certain rules: we design objects for particular purposes. For this a detailed knowledge of the geography of the local skips is required, to collect, scavenge and recycle. Only in wealthy pockets can fine furnishings be found abandoned in the street: rugs, three-piece suites, four-poster beds, washing machines and duvets. This condition of potentiality also provided the catalyst to achieve flexibility through transformation, through misuse.
Deciding just how and when to use an object in a certain way provokes interesting questions. At what point does furniture become firewood? Between Calculation and Approximation The Female Imaginary Doing architecture, we follow certain rules: we use specified materials in prescribed ways. We stapled and re-stapled blue plastic sheets over the twin holes, but the wind blew in and rain water dripped onto the edge of my bed. We waited through the winter, finely tuning the exact design details. Finally, glass sheets were laid to rest directly on slim timber linings rising just proud of the roof slates, elegant steel yachting hooks and rope delicately attached the glass to the frame, revealing the sky, an un-obscured fantasy blue.
But alas for bathing en plein air.
Lifted to allow in balmy air on a sunny morning, one pane shattered directly into the soapy water narrowly missing a tender skinned bather. We had many disagreements about the unsuitability of nautical details for domestic requirements.
Between Efficiency and Excess Fluid Mechanics Doing architecture, we follow certain rules: efficiency is to be achieved in structure, services and in construction detailing. To challenge ideals of low maintenance, the ordered comforts of domestic routine and laziness, is to question notions of efficiency and opt instead for a high degree of strenuous user involvement, tipping the balance of safety and danger. This is how I figure it: the ladder is neither immobile nor empty.
It is animated. It incorporates the movement it arouses and inscribes. The ladder to the upper floor, far too short, had missing rungs, and in one place, a piece of sharp cold iron. Vertical movement, especially at night, took place as a series of jolts and slipped footings. Architecture here was no longer solid and dependable, but transient, as fragile as human life. Life lived with unstable materiality is fraught with physical danger. One morning I awoke to a crash and a scream. A friend unfamiliar with the intricacies of the household had missed her step and fallen to the kitchen floor below.
Her head narrowly missed the cast iron stove. Between Safety and Danger The angel goes between The angel is that which unceasingly passes through the envelope s or container s , goes from one side to the other, reworking every deadline, changing every decision, thwarting all repetition.
Collingwood & Hodgson, A Middy of the King: A Romance of the Old British Navy, 1e
The house moved on. The home I remember is only my imagining. Only in dreams do I ever go home. But look more closely, you can see that the mountain top is the edge of a dense cluster of loops drawn on a sheet of cartridge paper, folded many times. And the cat, having walked across the mountain range, has been sent on his way, relieved that his paw did not leave a mark on the paper.
Three figures sit cross-legged on the floor in a room whose function is unclear. Two windows frame views onto a London street and the door in the wall opposite opens into a kitchen that stretches the width of the house. At the kitchen table sits a girl, her sulky head bent over a book. Mounted on the wall behind her is a piece of cartridge paper, folded many times, covered in hundreds, thousands of tiny little loops, drawn in ink. Beside the drawing, on the mantelpiece, is another drawing, smaller, perched this time rather than hung, made of tiny lines drawn in pencil over a painted surface.
A horizon line splits the canvas, creating on the mantelpiece, in the foreground, a smoother profile, more hilly than the rugged mountain range that lurks behind in the alcove. As she draws, she daydreams, different voices weave in and out, stories on the television, conversations in the room. She is in a state of almost mindless concentration; at any moment her attention might wander.
She slips to a summer meadow high up in the German countryside. Sitting there in the afternoon sunlight, just before the shadows of the surrounding mountain peaks fall across her lap, she wonders how she can feel a stranger in her own country. When the room comes into focus again, she is in another place.
FB 06 Vermeer-Archiv
The paper on her lap is covered in many patches of tiny loops. How will they ever. When the joins are invisible, you can lose yourself in the middle; when the upper edge is neat, you can journey along the horizon. The walls in this room look like they are covered in loops too—but up close you can see that these are figures, lots and lots of small numbers.
These financial indices that indicate specific quantities with particular functions appear here as surface ornament. In the corner, two sofas are placed at right angles to one another. On the floor between them sit three women, a cat and one half of a pair of shoes. On one sofa art catalogs and CVs spill across the cushions. Behind the other sofa is a long box containing a large drawing, rolled up. This is a drawing of another room, drawn by another hand, drawn from memory.
This is a room that matters, but of which she was never quite part. It was his room really, a room that he lived in before she entered his life, a room in which he may have loved others. To draw it is to conjure it into existence, to try to hold it down, to remember it as it was for her. The lines she draws are clear-headed and precise. She draws in a light, hard pencil, sometimes in graphite, sometimes in color. She draws in perspective with the certainty of an architect.
But the point of convergence never holds still. From where she is looking, the room shifts in her memory, her focus changes. Looking back into the past, there are many places where eyes might have met. Between the two sofas, a second door leads out into the hallway, where an elegant staircase winds its way upstairs, to a room overlooking the garden. This room will soon contain one of her large perspective drawings.