Readings week 2 post - Rani Wehbe

Assuming that a cities proportion must be based on what is vertical and horizontal is already a fallacy in its own meaning. What is mean is that the Urban site cannot be something which gives definition to its surroundings by simply placing vertical or horiztonal regulating lines, but on the contrary, must reason and obtain its boundaries and limits according to the surroundings. This does not only have to apply to urban sites. In the mountains even a villa which is articulated, articulates also according to its surroundings, whether those surroundings consist of a view or trees or even neighboring villas. What differs however is the space and that the city represents something other than private residential, but rather it represents a collective agreement on programmatic people. In other words a building designed and built in a city, should first be organized according to what the building is supposed to do or represent. After finding out what the program is, a designer should find out how he or she must represent this function. In a city, this system of using ‘previous’ to determine ‘new’ can only be something capitalist, however considering we now know what ‘new’ is, new concepts and terms are then made. It is inevitable that a city’s terms should be that the boundaries of any Urban site should constantly back up the previous boundary. So if we suppose that all these non- vertical and non-horizontal city organizations are produced with new breakthroughs in programmatic developments, we can say that the city is something that is meant and ‘functioning’ for generally all people. However to say that it is ‘open’ is to say something is limitless or ‘non-fixed’. A city created might be open, but the land it sits on is infact limitless. Somehow the integration of Fixed and Open apply in a manner of contradiction: ‘fixed yet open’.

The same way superficial complexity almost exaggerates to say that a building has a ‘persona’, a large scaled city could also do the same. If a building is designed according to proportion and function, its design is complete. The addition of ornament would stress at the fact that girls are complete without make up, however make up is an addition. In a city, the land which all buildings sit on is basically already the proportion of where buildings must be; however the function is something still left out. This is probably why architects in the city first want to find out what a building does rather then where it will be. Where it will be is somewhat of a guarantee, considering its an open city. To find where does not necessarily matter considering Network organization around the world are succeeding at connecting anything to anywhere. The point now would be that the superficial complexity can exist when satisfaction is not felt. Trump city seems to gain satisfaction from expanding but at the expense of others. Considering all things must work in pairs and nothing is singular, where something expands, it is taking away something from somewhere else. In Trump City’s case, it so happened that it took space away from areas like the Subway Station, (very important element in a city) hence the more troubling the adjacent cities efficiency. If a boundaries create boundaries, meaning there is a specific pattern to organizing program within a city through ‘time’, then that makes experimenting with future boundaries much easier.

The ideas of a site flow through a creative process of representation. Representation can come in many forms explaining and depicting how to think rather than of what to think of. Through drawings and models, new and contradicting maps, ‘represent’ or reveal according to misunderstanding, the analytical parameters of which many realities are brought together. Representation in its own ‘indefinite’ definition, would be to think through the realities that are thought of. It is not that the realities are being depicted but rather that they depict new knowledge that was unrepresented before. In other words, where something could be hypothetically happening, there is already an existing ‘force’ which is letting it do so. It is here that Representation takes its effect for network ‘making’ through which different ideas in different sites end up uniquely connecting.

Five Concepts

In an Urban site it is easy to think that nothing is permanent or rather that everything seems to be constantly changing. An Urban site can be thought of as moving back and forth between ideas partaking in that one urban site, Hence the Mobile Grounds theory. In other words, it is a simple and understandable definition of dynamism and it is only through dynamism that access’ to places unknown becomes possible, almost eliminating the idea of arriving from somewhere known. Places and organization became, not about the building as a means of structuring, but rather what that building does for the many people who view it from many different locations around that site. Now that it is understood that a specific location is not defined by what is around it, defining the site reach becomes impossible, yet relatively possible. Here, the range and levels of interaction between localized places arrange themselves, so to speak, furthermore, which re extend to other ranges in other sites. Eventually one large connection is representation by many networking arrangements. For example, in the Sodeco site, there are many ranges of programmatic elements. However it is very clear the relationship in circulation and in function when trying to reach one area from the other. To the East of the site, there are mostly commercial areas leading towards the city center (downtown Beirut) as oppose to the west of the site which is leading away from the city center towards more of a residential site. However from commercial to residential, from public to private, the connections become Unique in a sense of leading towards program. Considering a variety of connections to exist it is fair to assume that connections are things which bring together a site to its surrounding sites, Hence it is possible to assume that a site might not have its limits, however does have its site reach. So to say that a sites reach is lead through a ‘variety’ of ‘unique’ it can also be expressed that the cities limits do not become limits at all but rathr because porosities (many connective elements, like water dispersing throughout a sponge, where one molecule can go through any space within the sponge to lead to another area of the sponge). So, its becomes a matter of urban sites meeting according to a similar order, which runs throughout the city, through which site boundaries shift in relation to position, giving a sort of after effect to site reach, but rather in relation to construction. These heterogeneous (opposite) sites with their porous connections end up creating a public city pushing it away from anything but private, considering one can be anywhere but through reason, hence the idea of private property as no longer something Urban. Rather than connecting cities through simple regulating lines, as le Corbusier would do to organize his spaces, The public dimensions created are arranged according to the porosity of the city mean that everything is simultaneously working together. So the ideas of bound sites to a city can make no sense if one site gets it analysis from other sites. Hence the idea would be that they are not bound, but rather Unbound. To say that an urban site can be something which defines itself by being independent of its surrounding, is to say that the rest of the city is longer in-context. But to say that the city is something not in context is to say that the land which the city lies in does not have borders. This would be wrong. A city’s limits can be topographically determined by the boundaries of the land, therefore a city IS in-context. We know, however that a city defines spaces within according to surroundings of each site that lies within the city. Each site then IS dependent of its surroundings, hence assuming that the Urban site itself as one element, is NOT in-context. The contradiction in explaining this Urban Constellation theory, is almost like Defining the Indefinable. So now it becomes integration between what is the definable with the definable, it appears as though the architect would, rather than accept a stable site, challenge it, this sympathizes the idea of the site not providing a static feel but rather pushing for more dynamism.

Urban sites in general have been developed throughout time beginning with the prehistoric times where transportation was relatively difficult and materials for buildings was expensive. It was probably here that the designers agreed that it was logical to use materials that were arranged locally. Considering technology irrelevant in the prehistoric times, it is fair to say that its relevance appeared at the time machinery became available. It was here that the industrial era boomed, with machines that could mass create. It was a made idea that considering mass production was in effect, more materials would be needed. However with the machinery which allows us to receive excess material, anytime from anywhere, it is felt that things became too spoilt. The idea of vernacular architecture begins to fade as ‘vernacular’ becomes an idea of nationwide rather than regional. So if it is a matter of obtaining materials that ‘is something which originates from area’, circular consumption makes it so that the obtained material ‘is something which originates from anywhere.’ The idea of Vernacular was approached to simplify matters, where a person is supposed to be more relaxed and is able to live between walls. But when things change, and material becomes more abundant, the fact of the matter is that it is no longer something simple self-explaining itself that the environment can be a part of something contradicting. Basically to obtain comfort a person must not think of surviving but rather experiencing. When steel and concrete came through from our environment, new innovations became possible and one depository site became a source for more than one site. A form of recycling now taking place where materials and electricity work together to make summers cooler and winters warmer: being able to have the weather you want all the time. This became the goal, and the goal grows more machinery there is. It became too dependent on machinery that almost 50% of a buildings budget was split between structural and the rest to pay for the technology to construct. This lack of interest, I feel, can only be the result of a certain order created in design for reasons applied to maintaining dynamic representation and making. I feel as though I understand that life itself consists of the physical and metaphysical, where a perfect balance of two things co-exist to maintain its ‘life’. If this is the case it is fair to say that in architecture the physical is just as important as the nonphysical (theoretical?) either way it is a fact that where something is physical there seems to be a recognition of a material reality in which we live in. I suppose in any sense, what we’ve derived from the past is knowledge that can only better us. This material reality integrated with the machinery reality lets me feel as though all forms of design, not only what is architectural but also which refers to landscape, are made into cultural and ecological networks created as a big picture throughout even bigger and multiple scaled urban cities.

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