Dictionary

pompeii grafitti, invert, grey

A tracing of graffiti from a column in the House of Lucretius, Pompeii (Vesuvius AD 79). ‘labyrinthus hic habitat minotaurus’, Trollope suggests, was intended to mean ‘here lives a great beast’. Presumably the writer (Lucretius) was referring to him/herself.

Analysis

Psychoanalysis is quite unlike any other form of interpretation. When it is working well, the patient talks non-sense and the analyst does not listen. More at: free association, free floating attention, free plan.

Architecture

Architects use architecture to shield themselves from the terrifying proximity of reality. [C. McEwan]

Architecture

The stage upon which desire plays itself out.

Architecture Parlante

A challenge laid down by Claude Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806), 200 years avant la lettre: is there an architecture adequate to the talking cure? More at: parletre

Collaboration

Words and images collaborate, to think together what they cannot think alone.

Collective psychosis

Like Rossi’s collective memory, except instead of recuperating the enduring forms of the city (= the signifiers of the city), it generates the endless repetition of urbanisation (= empty signifiers).

Emptiness

When the motel says ‘no vacancies’.

Labyrinth

Language is a labyrinth, only you never escape till you die.

Labyrinth

There is only ever one path, it is continuous, you never leave it, and you never know where it is going.

Management

The principle function of management is to alienate workers from their labour.

Meaning and Sense

Meaning is imaginary sense, sense is the landscape whose landmarks orient you for action.

Non-sense

That shifting murky surface, out of which sense emerges, and to which it returns.

Phenomenology

The art of interior decoration.

Place

An imaginary space. Place receives its placeness from experience, and not the other way around. [C. McEwan]

Post-modernism

A critique of le plan libre and its ideologies – or – plasterboard Il Redentores, take your pick. Venturi would say ‘both and’.

Reality

The real is that bit of reality that is always in abeyance, awaiting our attention. Lacan calls it a missed encounter with the real. Koolhaas calls it detailing: the slap-dash detail reminds us what and where the real is. It is not reality that is slap-dash, far from it: the real erupts at the edges of an otherwise serene reality. Koolhaas details the edges of reality.

Room

The space that erupts within the fabric of the city.

Room

A place to put an idea.

Room

The representation of a subject within the fabric of the city.

Space

The precondition for architecture and subjects. We know there is space because if there weren’t, we wouldn’t be (here or anywhere) to know it.

Technology

Le Corbusier, ‘There is no such thing as primitive man, only primitive technology.’

Thinking Machine

The polymathic botanist-planner Patrick Geddes was able to articulate conceptual frameworks for change, machines for thinking society|space… city|region… urban|rural…

Tools

Nietzsche, ‘I philosophize with a hammer.’

Twig

After gathering the twigs, the bird must construct its nest.

Unconscious

Like Baltimore.

Whores

Philip Johnson said ‘Architects are whores.’

 

Please leave proposals for new definitions in the comments box, and I will post them as appropriate.

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