Theory Mining

Every architect need ideas, thoughts and intentions to create architecture. There are two ways to realize them: either write a theory by yourself or let the contemporaries and successors mine your intentions.

Architect’s ideas, thoughts and intentions are in straight relation to her buildings. On highest grade architect’s thoughts reach the level of theory: consistent, complete and communicated declaration of own architectural intentions.

Theory or not

Every architect needs ideas, thinking, progress, evaluation, definition and decision to commit on something. Just to show that I am alive.

Every architect has to make a statement, declare and express a manifesto and ensure that the next generation realises it. This is the way for an artist to show she is alive. If not, you are dead.

Theory is a consistent, complete and communicated compendium of intentions, methods and evidence about expression of intent. In architecture it is Why, How and to whom I am designing and building.

Theoretical presumptions of Architectural Morphology 5.9.2008 Juhani Risku

1. Degree of Freedom = Human Sovereignty = Power

Image 1. Dimensions of Human Freedom – Human Sovereignty and Power. Human being can be free and responsible and have power on four simultaneous and Functional. The i-factor defines the complexity and fuzziness of reality. The idea of theory and praxis is to diminish the influence of i-factor, not to cocoon in architectural confusion and artistic disarray or design war. Factors i and Dis in the Formula of Beauty is an enlargement of sole i-factor. i in Power is equivalent for i and Dis of Beauty.

If some dimensions are rudimentary or faint the person’s profile becomes malformed. If the Erotic dimension is wanting, art, beauty, harmony, sensuality, sexual initial vigour and aesthetic appeal are missing or disappered from the person. Erotic dimension has been replaced with Seven deadly sins: Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth, Wrath as forces of insticts and intentions create present hostile art, architecture and design community atmosphere. Compete, copy, compare and contend.

  •    Ethical = Truth = trueness
  •    Erotic = Beauty = creation, ideas
  •    Spiritual = Goodness = will, inner
  •    Functional = Diligence = skills, craft

2. Basic Instincts – Human Need Palette

Image 2. Hierarchy of Needs (Laïa Karelïa). Human needs come from basic instincts which are built-in structures in human beings. Instincts are survival, intention to be Primum Mobile – unique and causa prima cognisance, artistifying and consummating, take over space and context, togetherness and concealment of purest and sanctified. Needs are dimensions with no overlap but independent domains. A dimension defines an imperative domain (math) without common factors (overlap). If some dimensions are rudimentary or faint or inbalanced the person has to strive towards balance. All values are based on deficiencies in need dimensions (like heed of money = lack of money).

Problems in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

Safety and Physiological needs have overlapping and inconsistency should follow Survival and subsistence

Self-actualization and Esteem are from same sources slightly touching Artistifying and partly touching Firstness.

Maslow’s theory has only three levels and it’s missing fundamental drives like Take possession of context and Secrecy and hiding.

3. Architectonic Circle

Image 3. Architectonic Circle – Seven step pattern of creation. Each step has to reach αρχι- and τεκτων level (archi and tekton). This demanding process defines the meaning, quality and value of the entity or task in question. The Circle can be applied in art, architecture, design, drama etc. because creation and formgiving follow consistently same pattern. Every round refines the pattern to wholeness where all seven steps merge together and later it is diffucult or unimportant to recognise the starting point of the current creation process.

If one or more steps are withered or weak the pattern jerks and no viable artefact is created. As architectural examples typically architect’s frailties are lack of thinking (theory), meaningless or stupid ideas, limping genesis process (democratic design, CAD-based formgiving, Building Information Modeling, Object-Oriented Design) as architectonic base, poor craftsmanship on site and no progress in personal planning and design history or thinking.

Some contradictions can be found: Frank Gehry has good buildings but he has expressed, that theory is not for him. Zaha Hadid‘s buildings are Wow architecture but no humble and everyday homes from her exists. Daniel Libeskind and Juhani Pallasmaa are genius theorists but the Aalto, Wirght and Calatrava level buildings are missing.

4. Contextual Drives and Instincts

Image 4. Drives and Instincts in Context. Inner human drives and instincts follow contextual pattern. Every step cultivates and refines the meaning and achievements. Every round ennobles the actor’s meanings and intentions and rises her maturity and capabilities.

Contextual Drives and Instincts follow Architectonic Circle’s Seven step pattern in human spiritual and functional growth and awareness.

Positive external support is possible during developing skills and self-respect. Human being is sovereign and autonomous in defining higher goals, achieving personal targets, understanding meanings, feeling herself as unique individual and creating ideas and meanings. Training and coaching are the media to support a person.

5. Dimensions of Essence – Tetrahedron of fundamental factors

Image 5. Dimensions of Essence – Tetrahedron of fundamental factors.

Dimensions are minimum number of factors needed to specify an entity. MIST defines fundamental dimensions of phenomena, essence and existence. MIST dimensions can be applied to any process, thing and idea. Dimensions Matter, Idea, Space and Time may need to be transformed to simpler or more specified abstraction level when concepting, structuring content, services or Use Cases.

Example to structure contextual User Interface in mobile phones:

  • Matter = What? = things, lists, needs
  • Idea, Interest = Why? = content, music
  • Space = Where? = location, maps, directions
  • Time = When? = clock, time management

Contextual sensors can sense and sniff the user’s context and adjust the phone to right context and this way ease UI navigation. Now the depth of navigation to certain use cases and services is straight, rather 2 clicks than 7.

Tetrahedron is a fourfold table in 3D.

6. Takete & Malumba (Maluma) also called the Bouba/Kiki Effect

Image 6. Takete and Malumba are opposite and interacting forces like Jin&Jang, good and bad, 1 and 0, Janus and dialogue, both natures needed to fulfil the entity. Churches Ronchamp, Vuoksenniska and Kaleva by Le Corbusier, Aalto and Pietilä have strong Takete and Malumba in their composition, structure and appearance. Without Takete and Malumba you get meaningless, boring and average construction, normal production. Mechanically composed Takete and Malumba destroy all spirit and sensuality in formgiving.

Functionalism as copycat morphology and industry-limited-formgiving are without Takete and Malumba dimensions. Therefore those morphologies are more dull, violent and boring than new-born vernacular and DIY-art: the hobbyist´s intention and the rookie´s joy are Malumba contexts, the construction and art are Takete contexts. This is the reason that out-of-the-box actors are more original and interesting than the done-it-all-professionals.

Artists and designers know from their past painting and sculpting classes at college that Takete & Malumba is always in the artefact whether it is intended and planned or not. It is weak or strong, it is significant or it is there by accident. If Takete & Malumba is included as basic criteria of the design process (as well as form, materia, structure, size, scale, function, outlook, birth and formgiving) and the counterpoint, contrapunct (punctus contra punctum, lat.) is well composed, has the artefact reached the level of harmonious ensemble.

7. Formula of Beauty

Image 7. Beauty is the deepest and most original sensation of reality.

8. Composition Patterns – Design patterns in Art, Design and Architecture

Image 8. Composition Patterns. A selection of Design patterns in Art, Design and Architecture.