FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #2 – Designing nearby, Designing In-distance

20 Oct, 2019

The original text was written in Japanese and published in EKRITS.JP on October 20, 2016.  This post is translated from the 2nd section of the original article.

 

DESIGNING NEARBY, DESIGNING IN-DISTANCE

Architect Arata Isozaki 1)Arata Isozaki / 磯崎新 (1931 – ) is one of the most important architects in the 20th-21st century. Not only does he designs architecture, but the large numbers of books that he wrote, reconsiders architecture from a historical perspective, and has been influencing many. He has also been discovering various architects through his experience as a curator or jury of competitions. sometimes discusses the term “architecture” in his lectures. He mentions that while “architecture” is perceived as almost synonymous with “to build a building” and “to design a building”, in reality, the term covers a wider scope from creating a structure inside a city, creating a city itself, and even to the extent of influencing the dynamics of the people who live in those city, and to creating this dynamics itself. However, the Japanese translation of this term, “建築=Kennchiku”, does not convey this inherent rich meaning of “architecture”.

Some of you may be reminded of the parable of the three stonecutters, made famous by Peter Drucker. A traveller approached the stonecutters, asking them what they were doing. The first one replied, “I am making a living’, the second said, ‘I am doing the best job in the entire country,’ and the third one said, ‘I am building a cathedral.’ According to Drucker, the third man is a great example of a person who understands “true management”. To begin with, the question “what is it that I’m creating?” is a fundamental question for any form of “creation.”

Also, Shusaku Araka 2)Shusaku Arakawa / 荒川修作 (1936-2010). After engaging with the “Neo-Dadaism Organizer” movement which held up “Anti-Art” as a slogan, he flew to New York. Having interaction with artists such as Marcel Duchamp, he later advocated his theme as “To pursue a body, a physical that overcomes the world beyond art (a creation within the spiritual realm where images, diagrams, languages are used) ” along with his partner, Madeline Gins. He proposed works that aimed to reverse the human destiny; for instance, his architectural works based on the theme of “An-architecture for not dying” or a Reformation Project in the scale of urban planning. A fate encounter for me, I had an opportunity to live in one of his works, the Reversible Destiny Loft Mitaka (三鷹天命反転住宅) for a year from 2007 to 2008., whom I met in my early twenties pop into my head. Arakawa, who went back and forth between an artist and an architect, often mentioned “To change society, human ethics which is the key element of society, must be changed. To do so, one must first change the human body.” He found potential in architecture as “a machine that could change the human body” and continued to create his works.

It is clear that his scope of work did not cover mere “building” within a scene, but even to the extent of transitioning of human dynamics. He claimed to be a “codenologist,” an enigmatic pseudonym presumably made up as a result of aspiring to design beyond architecture or art-piece; the meta-physical.

We can physically engage with objects or systems. Certainly, we can also debate the structure, the texture, the beauty, the convenience, and the feeling that we get out of these artifacts. However, I cannot help but think about a realm beyond the physical creation, the “happening” that the creator must have wished to happen. People create new dynamics as a result of being influenced by interacting with the physical and also gives influence to others. This could result in a chain of influence; the birth of one single object or system has the potential to change the substance of a larger scale. We are constantly in a mutual relationship with the world. Essentially, isn’t “designing things” should be considered at this magnitude?

For the sake of argument, if we can call a form and a structure of design as “designing nearby” , then we can call a design that covers a wider scope as “designing in-distance.” 

 

 


Reversible Destiny Loft Mitaka(三鷹天命反転住宅 – Mitaka Tenmei Hanten Jyutaku, In Memory of Helen Keller) A residence, built by the concept of “a residence for not dying.” Built to act from the human body to the mind, an example of a “design in-distance” that aimed to design beyond mere buildings in the scenery.

Photo by Masataka NAKANO, Courtesy of ARAKAWA + GINS Tokyo Office

 

FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #6 – Resisting the world of discretization
FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #5 – Enabling “The Fashion System” with big data and A.I
FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #4 – Fashion, Religion, and Virus
FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #3 – From Mode, to Code
FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #2 – Designing nearby, Designing In-distance
FASHION, DISCRETIZED HUMAN AND ITS MODALITY #1 – Fashion to create “New Human Beings”

 

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1. Arata Isozaki / 磯崎新 (1931 – ) is one of the most important architects in the 20th-21st century. Not only does he designs architecture, but the large numbers of books that he wrote, reconsiders architecture from a historical perspective, and has been influencing many. He has also been discovering various architects through his experience as a curator or jury of competitions.
2. Shusaku Arakawa / 荒川修作 (1936-2010). After engaging with the “Neo-Dadaism Organizer” movement which held up “Anti-Art” as a slogan, he flew to New York. Having interaction with artists such as Marcel Duchamp, he later advocated his theme as “To pursue a body, a physical that overcomes the world beyond art (a creation within the spiritual realm where images, diagrams, languages are used) ” along with his partner, Madeline Gins. He proposed works that aimed to reverse the human destiny; for instance, his architectural works based on the theme of “An-architecture for not dying” or a Reformation Project in the scale of urban planning. A fate encounter for me, I had an opportunity to live in one of his works, the Reversible Destiny Loft Mitaka (三鷹天命反転住宅) for a year from 2007 to 2008.