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Spaces and Event. By Charles Holland

November 28, 2010

Article about UfSO’s Inaugural Lecture in the context of Bernard Tschumi’s conception of Space.

[…] In his essay Space and Events, Tschumi wrote: “There is no space without event, no architecture without programme.” “Architecture”, he went on to say, “could not be dissociated from the events that ‘happened’ in it”. In part, this statement was intended as a critique of the narrow functionalism inherited from Modernism. The relationship of form to function for Tschumi was far from straightforward. Event, particularly political event, had the capacity to disrupt simple causal relationships between the two, allowing the possibility that anywhere could be used for anything, at any time.

The occupation this week of a Lloyds TSB by the University of Strategic Optimism, would seem to fit into just such a dissonant notion of space disrupted by event. How many architects though would recognise the University of Strategic Optimism as a piece of design? The overlaying of one programme – lecture hall – over another – bank – is clearly only half the story.

Both ‘Bank’ and ‘University’ are typological classifications of use and not descriptions of architecture after all. Their forms may have grown up to reflect and embody the activities that occur within them – spatial representations of the social relationships involved – but they remain capable of being re-used and reoccupied for anything. The lack of fit of form to function is, in Tschumi’s terms at least, what makes the USO radical. It doesn’t belong there.

The relationship between form and function is not instrumental or straightforwardly causal. As Tschumi says, “Murder in the street, is different from murder in the cathedral”. Neither the building nor the programme are left unaffected by such radical occupations. It’s almost instantaneous dissemination via YouTube etc. though gives it a weird kind of permanent impermanence. […]

To read the full article head to Charles Hollands excellent fantastic journal
Charles Holland is an architect and director of Fat [Fashion, Architecture, Taste]

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2010 6:37 pm

    Your comment disappeared from my site before I got a chance to reply! It’s Fashion Architecture Taste by the way….other than that no problem. Keep up the good work! Cheers.

    • flashbank permalink*
      November 29, 2010 9:27 pm

      Yeah – I was wondering what happend to that one. thanks a lot!
      will change it directly.

  2. Roger Callois permalink
    December 5, 2010 11:50 am

    ‘FAT, purveyors of architecture of character and distinction”. Not high on the list of threats to capitalism.

    If you read Charles Holland’s text above he basically says that all sorts of stuff can happen in spaces but dresses it up with some boring overly-conceptual guff from someone else.

    Architects love to talk the talk but basically they get paid to increase the stupidity of life by designing the very ideologically-based environment we find ourselves in. They are rarely genuinely anti-capitalist but they love to go on about space and politics and use words like ‘radical’ without ever being radical in their practice itself. How could they be, they are designing the next level of capitalist alienation.

  3. February 11, 2011 1:59 pm

    If you read Charles Holland’s text above he basically says that all sorts of stuff can happen in spaces but dresses it up with some boring overly-conceptual guff from someone else.

    anyway thanks for sharing those info….

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