Along with great buildings and designs, there also exists a lot of written material by architects and critiques that puts forward a theory and thought process making us think, analyse and speculate our own opinions on architectural designs and helping us know more about the state of architecture in changing times and cultures. Here’s a review of some path breaking articles on architecture by architects, theorists and design journals exposing us to a new way of looking at architecture.

A Review Of Notable Articles On Architecture- Part 1 -11. Junkspace

Rem Koolhaas

Synopsis:

The essay depicts Koolhaas’s disappointment with modern architecture and its definition of spaces. He decries the modern day idea of space creation, stating that mass development today has made traditional values of architecture irrelevant,making our buildings boring and ordinary.

Review:

Koolhaas`s describes modernization with his criticism of new architecture to the old, stating that architecture today is unable to narrate. He is of the opinion that architecture today is under the influence of mass consumerism, leading to usage of easily available material and monotonous designs. While Koolhaas was partially correct in description of the architecture and past and present, one view might also be established by us that it may not be a feasible approach to compare architecture of two different eras; it cannot be expected from architecture to solve all issues of urbanity, some issues do not have design solution.

There are undoubtedly a lot of redundant spaces around us around us which can be referred to as ‘junkspaces’- like shopping malls, small scale 24/7 grocery outlets, empty plots, abandoned houses and unused parks. Therefore, junkspace cannot be the building itself but it may be the space which is negatively impacted or has failed to serve the purpose. Furthermore, it is better for the architects to develop on the lines of new their perception of spaces and scales rather than sticking to the set scales and standards of the past. Pyramids were built to establish authority and superiority when democracy did not exist. While this scale and grandeur might have been the need of that era, it is clearly not needed today.

2. Computer Renderings – Reality is overrated

Alexander Asanowicz

A Review Of Notable Articles On Architecture- Part 1 -3Synopsis:

Computer Renderings – Reality is overrated is an essay describing the impact that the evolving technology has made on the methods of representation used by Architects. The means of computer aided hyper realistic renderings often lead to deceiving imagery of the project establishing a vast difference between the actual realities and the representation.

Review:

Although renderings have been always been an integral part of architectural presentations, the ability to quickly create  realistic, at the most times hyperrealist renderings have led to an onset of digital deception in architecture. This is driving away the reality and sense of belonging to the site and project that one used to have in the times when architectural impressions were much close to reality.

While this in one way aids architects to explore new possibilities and speed up the through process, the same on the other hand is stripping away the intimacy architects used to have with their work and making them less engrossed in the thought process, as arriving at design possibilities is now just few clicks away unlike older times when this involved deep thinking. Also these renderings not only give a false idea and perception to the clients and end users but also makes the process oriented to the exterior impression only.

The idea to develop design and various features and elements, and then integrating them into elevation features and styles is completely lost. Moreover, a lot of design shortcomings and impracticality in the design easily gets overshadowed and ignored under these glowing shimmering photorealistic renderings.

3. A place in a shade

Charles Correa

A Review Of Notable Articles On Architecture- Part 1 -4Synopsis:

A place in ashadeis a provocative collection of essays which argues that our built environment must speak of our climate, culture, social and financial resources, physical and experiential spaces and thus translate in our idea of city planning and development.

Review:

As architects we must absorb and adapt to constantly changing technologies. Reading these essays gives us a guide for both how to look at our cities holistically and understand the role of the architect, no doubt! But reviewing these essays made me question that to what extent are these theories and design methodologies applicable in the real world- the world of an ordinary architect. Do these concepts of sun and shade, investing in spaces like courtyards and balconies etc. really materialise in the world of an ordinary architect which is usually burdened by of opportunity and recognition, client forced design process, monetary misery and the urgency to drive the projects quickly therebyleaving no scope for innovation.

Will these concepts take shape in this world where the architects have unfortunately the least role in the governmental policies and decision making bodies? Was Correa able to achieve these theories because he was ‘Correa’? Minimalistic approach, material honesty, response to climate all are no doubt good concepts, but is it that only the great architects had the power to incorporate these in their designs? 

References
Essays, UK. (November 2013). The Architecture Of Deceit Cultural Studies Essay. Retrieved from https://www.uniassignment.com/essay-samples/cultural-studies/the-architecture-of-deceit-cultural-studies-essay.php?vref=1
www.sites.psu.edu/arch311ws15/2015/05/03/the-deceptive-nature-of-architectural-renderings-2/
www.garagemca.org/en/publishing/rem-koolhaas-junkspace
www.thinkmatter.in/2014/09/05/a-place-in-the-shade-by-charles-correa/
Author

Sudarshan is a ‘Jack of all trades, but a master of fun’. Apart from being an Architect he has a flair for writing, manages family business & is now trying his hand at UX Design as well. He strongly believes that whatever one does in life, one must do it with passion & be happy with it.

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