The Russian painter and sculptor Kazimir Malevich may be one of the first artist philosophers to contemplate a “cleansed” architectural palette.
Even though modern architecture was evolving towards a conceptualized machine-based “purity” (form follows function) Malevich posited “an architecture of the spirit” where “the real world” was no longer being utilized as inspiration for form. This included all the old ordering notions of symmetry or for that matter asymmetry.
So what happens when we jettison virtually all the old systems of order? Remember that all art is political. What kind of politics is left from the residue of the pre-computerized architectural world?
In effect, Malevich envisioned the post-machine world. We are at the dawn of Artificial Intelligence right now, in 2019. Month by month, technology is leaping forward.
The original ordering systems centered themselves around the human body. Or, at least, the superficial image of the human body. Bi-lateral symmetry created an architecture that was, in effect, a geometrical abstracted vision of human symmetry. The great cathedral and later the neo-classical churches, all played on the idea of a central transept, the nave apses and the alter as head, arms, body etc.
The natural evolution past a functionalist modernism led eventually to bio-morphic forms, whether or not the architects creating this forms admitted to their inherent bio-mimetic qualities.
Frank Gehry created Bilbao eventually, and similarly Zaha Hadid created a swooping organic form of architecture evoking waves, or birds, or plant forms.
Santiago Calatrava, as well, copied eyes, prehistoric skeletons, and other bio-morphic shapes.
We are today, I believe, at the juncture where a vision of architecture coinciding with Artificial Intelligence is finally taking shape.
I use 7 or so mimetic devices in my teaching.
- BIOLOGICAL MIMESIS
- PHYSIO MIMESIS (PHYSICS)
- CHEMIO MIMESIS (CHEMISTRY)
- PSYCHO-MIMESIS (PSYCHOLOGY)
- URBANO-MIMESIS (THE CITY ITSELF)
- GEO-MIMESIS (GEOLOGY)
- MATHAMETO MIMESIS (MATHEMATICS)
Biology can break down into oceanic mimesis, botanical mimesis, mammalian mimesis etc. Certainly a methodology of form can be derived from each of the mimetic devices.
In future blogs, and eventually a book, I will be breaking down the mimetic method into a pedagogical system that can ready architecture itself to become Artificially Intelligent.