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The Architectural Contemporary Theory

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Whilst Modernist architects justified their purpose in successfully replacing the ornaments favoured by the Classicists, the deconstructive trajectory relies on displacement, which supplements architecture with additional values.


“There can be no question of any sort of artist losing creativity just because he knows clearly what he wants, what he is aiming for, and in what consists the meaning of his work. But subconscious, impulsive creativity must be placed by a clear and distinctly organised method, which is economical of the architect’s energy and transfers the freed surplus of it into inventiveness and the force of the creative impulse”. [Moisei Ginzburg on page 35 of Avant-Garde Art and Architecture]

In the year 1927, Ginzburg argued that the credibility of an artist does not lie in him resolving instantly the issues related to the topic it depicts. Its true virtue does rely on the reinforcing by reapplying that which he already knows but in the fact that he explores different and inventive possibilities of conceiving their work.

In her article, titled Form Is A Function X: The Development of the Constructivist Architect’s Design Method, Catherine Cooke attempts to clarify the principles that constitute the movement by quoting Moisei Ginzburg. Catherine Cooke, questions the role of the architect in a society, is an architect an artist or builder?

If the latter is true then the job of an architect is to provide sound buildings, which have been proved safe, dry and durable.

If architecture is an art form, an architect should impede the approach that he/ she has been sufficiently trained to ensure the best solution for a project.

Instead, an architect should discard the aims and according to Ginzburg rely upon the impulsive creativity.

For architecture to become art it has to constantly evolve and question its established perceptions and principles of working order to deliver inventively and exiting architectural creativity.

If an architect is preconceived to be a designer then we should interrogate the nature of the word design.

The word design derives from two French words de and Signum, which in The Chambers Dictionary prefix de stands for off, and the word Signum is translated as a mark.

Thereby, the word design reflects the process by which one steps off a mark which literally means taking something away from a sign.

The word designer does not stand for reproducing the sign and its essence is not for it to follow a consistent path.

This in effect constitutes that the incentive of the designer, which is not in being faithful in reproducing icons from the past but instead to create new icons.

In relation to the above statement, a deconstructive architect corresponds more to the essence of the conception of design.

How can a Classical or a Modernist architect be true to taking away the signage by actually producing a signature building true to their values constantly throughout their career?

The heterogeneous and un-repetitive buildings are without a doubt one of the principal characteristics of Deconstructive Architecture.

This associated quality in Deconstructive Architecture is what causes the confusion when one tries to define it.

The concept of conceiving genuine and not so familiar spaces distinguishes deconstructive architecture from other movements.

Whereas Palladio found his professional enlightenment in symmetry with rigidity in decorative features, Mies did so in detailing of constructive materials in a non-decorative manner.

Therefore, both the Classicist and Modernist architects have pledged their work to certain etiquette.

However, a deconstructive architect does not adapt his project to a common architectural formula but instead he/she responds to the non-architectural elements, such as history, events, site context, and etc.

Because every deconstructivist project depicts different tangents related to its humanistic and sentimental values Deconstructive Architecture cannot be marginalized into a simple definition.

Classical architecture strived upon the production period of a building ditto of the decorative ornaments.

Modernist architecture is similar, however, in opposition to the Classicist achieving purity in a building enchanted them.

Both of the aforementioned movements focused primarily on the building process.

Deconstructive Architecture in comparison to the movements it bypasses focuses its attention on the experience of a building after it becomes inhabitable.

One of the colours authentic to Deconstructive Architecture is the focus of the human experience of a space.

The same consideration for the sentimental presence can be traced in the writings of the Soviet Constructivists.

Constructivists maintained the perception of what the building should shelter but also invoke feelings to the user.

Hence a building should shelter but an architectural building should create an experience.

Another characteristic of the featured architecture is about displacement that is also identical to Constructivists’ beliefs.

Displacement in itself is a condition that every progressive society absorbs. Architecture is no exception and it cannot progress without its reconceived theories being challenged continuously.

In this respect, Deconstructivist architects have been successful in providing new insights into the theoretical aspect.

Whereas Modernists architects objected to the present decorative elements in the Classical architecture, deconstructivists homologues routed their attention to the missing elements of architecture.

Whilst Modernist architects justified their purpose in successfully replacing the ornaments favoured by the Classicists, the deconstructive trajectory relies on displacement,  which supplements architecture with additional values.

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