“Architecture as Media”

Sam Jacob of FAT: Architecture in a fairly old post over at his blog StrangeHarvest, writes about The Sound of Geography Collapsing. In some ways the piece reads like a manifesto for the work of FAT. A sort of pro vernacular Pop production, anti-Modernism, in love with the possibilities of decoration and style. Related in some ways perhaps to the work of Farshid Moussavi on the Function of Ornament and the Function of Form, both of which focus on the affectual possibilities of architecture. Jacob, also makes a strong argument for a focus on the idea of style as language or more formal(istic) methods of communicating. The importance of non linguistic modes of coding.

For instance:

Maybe its time to decriminalise decoration and arrange an amnesty on ornament. After all, a functionalist take on the information revolution would identify decoration as the functional apparatus of branding; the visible structure of communication…In other words, it is not the hardware, it is the experience that counts. It’s the experience which changes the world.

Contemporary modes of communicating and the larger contexts of networked culture and cultural production suggest to Jacob the need for a new approach to design wherein,”if contemporary design is about anything, its about identity and communication.”

Ultimately, Jacob argues that in the face of the fragmentary and provisional nature of contemporary network(ed) culture what architecture needs to do is become more informational, “saturated with information. An architecture which recognizes that it is our experience of the world that is different and new. Not the hardware, and not the manipulation of abstract form. Architecture as media.

The result would be an architecture that is not concerned with style for purely stylistic reasons. Or aesthetic or visual beliefs. Rather, instead of visual, it would be informational goals that would shape the form of architecture. Form not in terms of only geometry but also medium, and method.

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