A short history of architecture
Year – 2014
Research Line - Critic
Associated Project - None
Partners - Albuquerque Goinhas, Cristina de Mendonça, Nuno Griff
Photography - MTG (Mercês Tomaz Gomes)
“At any given historical moment there is only a finite number of discourses in circulation and the choices and innovations that individuals are capable of are limited by the discourses which constituted them and the society in which they live…”
Chris Weedon (1987)
Every essay is written in the context of a specific discourse, connected to a precise historical and cultural standpoint. Accepting this necessary limitation, EMBAIXADA assumes the risk of its own time and perspective to take a look behind – and help rewrite – a very personal view of the history of western architecture.
Inspired by visual series such as Walk-Through-Raster by Frieder Nake, or Stairwells by Livio Dimitriu, the proposed research aims to establish new perspectives on an age-old subject by using a new visual analogic algorithm: Fish. What we have created here is an Atlas which departs from a critical approach to the physical and conceptual entity, rather than simply taking advantage of the entity’s iconic, semiotic qualities.
“Felix Crisis” is, therefore, a visual poem on the contemporary perception of a state of crisis: a reflective piece and a cynical overview of western architectural history and its milestones. It poses questions and serves as a medium to challenge outdated assumptions.
Operating outside the traditional scope of architectural theory, the fish analogy helps to free question-making from the discipline’s closed and autoreferential language structure: a step towards an open, deeper understanding of meaning in architecture.
Conceived as a light structure, the Atlas is intended to provide a humorous and accurately illustrated Encyclopaedia. Its uses and depth of information will therefore be multiple. Organised in chapters, each beginning with one of the #Fish series, it also includes critical essays on the periods depicted, focusing on their best and worst contributions to contemporaneity, openly exposing their failures and naiveties.
Based on a Lecture presented at EXPANDING BOUNDARIES, Architektur und Tirol, Innsbruck
Austria, 3 April (2014)