32BNY, in collaboration with Spirit of Space, has relaunched a website in a corner of the internet structured as a videopolemic to explore architectural discourse in a revolutionary way. The first video in the series is a tribute to the late Lebbeus Woods. Woods was an aggressive philosophical thinker of architecture and space. He launched worldy ideas into his architecture through imaginative leaps – exploring politics, society, ethics and the human condition as it pertained to architectural space in the form of vivid and dynamic drawings. His work has inspired his contemporaries to think outside of the physical space of architecture. Steven Holl and Sanford Kwinter discuss some of his ideas and philosophies through his quotes and inspirations. The video serves as a reminder, and to some a guide, as to how to build upon the philosophy of architecture beyond the physical.
More on the video after the break.
“Resist the idea that architecture is a building … resist the idea that architecture can save the world … resist taking the path of least resistance … resist the idea that you need a client to create architecture … resist the inevitable … resist invincible people… resist the expected.” Holl and Sanford recite some of the thoughts that clearly express Woods’ own ambitious “unfettered, spontaneous” creations.
The short video makes a profound impact on the question, “What is Architecture for?”. It is an inspiring look at the essence of architecture and how it fits within our ideas of building space. Woods invented spaces that did not necessarily address the physical boundaries of the world, yet his ideas were grounded within the socio-political contexts of which he explored his interventions. Woods invented his own architectural language – “placeholders” for a physical form that was untimely, constantly in transition, and evolved out of the sublime.
The endlessly “imagined cities” of Woods’ philosophy ranged from reconstructions in a dystopian world of cities damaged by war and natural catastrophes to worlds invented out of concepts of invention. The ideals of architecture resist the boundaries of expected physical space, but are clearly rooted in cultural understanding of space and time, of history and politics, of culture and society.
While 32BNY warns that they do not yet know what “cinematic architectural discourse” or “videopolemic” really means, their first video is off to a good start at establishing a challenge to the perceptions of buildings and physical space is to the pursuit of Architecture as a philosophy and architecture as a practice. Visit http://www.32bny.com/ to see what else they have to offer.