dECONstRucTIoN | January 25, 2008

Well. I thought deconstructs seems like a jolly fine topic to be blogging about. I ain't written on it in years now. Last was when I was finishing my dissertation few years back: Deconstructing Floyd. Derrida and Tschumi. That was about how Derridas principles could be unraveled in the musrc of Pink Floyd and the design of Bernard Tschumi and how they were connected. Ask me nicely and I will email a copy.

For the uninitiated. Deconstruction or de-constructive architecture or simply de-con is a style of Architecture seemingly consisting of cantilevered mass, non-symmetric planes, broken lines derived from the philosophy of French Philosopher Jacques Derrida. The philosophy basically asks to question the hegemony (preset rules) between binary opposites (form-fiction, good-evil, balance-nonsymmetry) so that the preference usually given to one of the terms(positive) is no longer evident and the suppressed(negative) is revealed.

So. my personal thoughts on it. I think it is a highly stylistic form of architecture. What I mean here is that although there might be a hegemony that the architect sets out to reveal in the beginning, but usually it never crosses the boundaries of function. Look at the example of Frank Gehry's Bilbao Museum. Now. it might be classified as decon by some (even though Gehry denies it), but it does do a good job of fulfilling its primary purpose i.e to promote tourism and footfall to the town of Bilbao.

Now. consider the works of Peter Eisenman or Zaha Hadid or Tsc them you will find the same common strand. They do bend the rule break them. In fact, how do I describe it. A higher/complex structur constructing anything (a building, a thought, a machinery, music et made up of smaller parts of organized structure. Also stated as. Ch higher Order. Now. I think I am touching upon Fractals here. So. le down that road.

But all the examples do a good job of provoking thought, of letting people see the unsoen. of what lios boneath. Of what they take for granted in everything that has been designed around them. For example, look at the picture of any of these buildings and the first thing you will ask (If you are not an architect or from a related field) is that how the hell is that structure just hanging in there ! Why are other buildings always built in the same square and rectangular configuration. What is the fact that is being hidden there?

Ultimately, whereas the guise of Decon has shielded many an experimental architects, I don’t see it as more than a passing phase of Last years Spring-Summer Collection. Where Decon succeeds, however, is that it provokes thought, widens the architects perspective, explores possibilities and lets us see the in-between.

However, if it becomes a prevalent style, it will fall prey to exactly the same vice it set out to abolish.