I think I am a traditionalist when it comes to photography

Nothing quite photographs as well as the sea. Now autumn is almost here, the family is gathering, for the last time for a while now (forever in this incarnation? We'll see) to quench thirst with white wine (milk), and to go for coffee to places where we couldn't be satisfied with just one cup. I listen to Japanese language courses and hard acid techno, in-between remixes of Backstreet Boys and negro spirituals - and I will book my flight now.

The world has waited for me, and my ambition is spiralling out of control. A hero! (At least for myself.) A legend! (That we decide for ourselves.) I am not without fear, of course, but I refuse to give in to it. Fear is there merely to remind you that something crucial is coming your way. It is a measure of dedication. Or, as Kierkegaard might've thought of it, it is the intoxication of potential. (Is the original better?)

I will go there, and I will do my best. The best is always enough, and the one who knows when you've done your best is yourself, and you know it truthfully, not what you see in others and what they're capable of - for you don't know what they've sacrificed.

I've met many people in my days, but I've yet to meet myself.
Who is he? A shady character, to be sure.


to attempt

Grandfather (turning 90) arriving from the flat fields of Närke, and I'm finally receiving a confirmation of my first job. Indirectly, sure, but maybe that is the way the Japanese prefer. So. Now I'm on my way. Sometimes, I'm genuinely worried, most of the time, even, but mostly because I'm afraid of breaking something I love, a city I love, a profession I love. Of course, I don't want to be broken, so I have to trust my intuition and not do what I do not want to do - even though life mostly is comprised of the latter - even though we do not want it that way.

Now time to hit airbnb, I suppose. Tokyo, do you want to swing around for a while? But when you're set to go in one direction, you often tend to value that which you already have. A home to return to. A glass of apple juice and a Budapest cake. The memories of what we were, what we did there, and how nothing really changes until it is too late. But I take my daily walks (most of the times, at least), and I reform my ambitions. Maybe Stockholm is not so bad. Maybe Copenhagen is not so bad. London ... not my taste, as you know.

I wish I could help someone, and I wish I could let people help me. There's something of a pride in trying to do everything yourself. And you have people behind you, people to return to, if one adventure is not what we wanted, if what we saw wasn't better than what we expected it to be. I would like to live in Tama. Commute to work in the morning. Come home in early evening. Play with my kids. Go to Atami on vacation. My life as a distillation of a Studio Gi-bu-ri film. The book I'm reading now denounces the suburbs and factories of Tokyo as "ugly" and "colourless" (even though I chose those words), but I like them. I don't particularly need the Skytree or 2020 Olympic Stadium. Regular buildings, the city to the 99th percent, are more necessary to me.


1111 (the best thing that happened to you)

The sea always makes me happy. It reminds me of a home I had there, when I went down with the bus to canoe between the capes and takes photos of my trainers, watch anime series on my computer, and create things that were not in a hurry to be created. Not that the AA ever was a hurry, it just seemed that way from poor time management.

What is wrong with an action if it makes you feel good?
(Perhaps our inner psychopaths here need to be addressed.)

I think I am better at forcing myself to do the things that I ought to do - because they're historically right - than what I am at embracing the times I live in, for they seem so insignificant. But then I am forgetting something. I am forgetting that things to change emerge from things we enjoy. I don't enjoy film, for example, but I do enjoy music videos. So I made a music video for my project. At least in hindsight, it seemed like a proper decision.

When I graduated third year, I drew on walls. That was probably one of the happiest moments I had at school - little hurry, time with others around me, and me focused on something I enjoyed. It was hard for the body but good for the soul, as are many intoxicating things. I would like a new wall to draw on, not because it is the hip thing to do, but because I enjoy it. And what's wrong with that? I think life would be much more fun if we filled it with the things we actually want to do, not the things we see ourselves as most fit to do, or most meant to do. We may admire our products, but don't we do it as comparisons of the work of others? Perhaps a bit of shame is needed in every work, one of those guilty pleasures, for it to be relevant.

Archigram made comic books.
My comic books will be different.


still oblivious

Did a good thing today: I reread all my old portfolios, from year 1 (2006-07) in Sweden, all up until the final drawing of AA Year 5. There's a pattern to discern, one of confidence, misguided perhaps, but a realisation, that it doesn't really matter what kind of idea you have, as how you cook it. And by this I don't mean making neat drawings, on the contrary, I mean the informed positions you take from all the knowledge you amass, and all the excursions into the unknown that the project demands. For if there's one thing I know of the present, is that it will be a laughable past once we reach a certain level of distinction.

So I will keep on learning. I will keep on reading, and, most of all, I will not go into my first job thinking that I know the answers - I'm just sufficiently good to be allowed to continue my lifelong studies, now from the interior of an office, the office I have already designed. I will not pretend that what I say is enough to change the world, because for every truth that we spit out undigested, the whole world will be spoiled.

So, with those words, it's back to the book, back to reading, and back to Hegel, of course. Very little of what we actually learn remains in us, or maybe it's even less in my case, my memory still being slightly hazy from the ECT. But learning is at its best when it is also fun, when something new emerges and we feel the pain of not knowing what to do, and in those cases, relying on those who do know, what we can do with it, to demand clarity from ourselves but perhaps not excellence.

I've always wanted to be the person who knew everything, but I suppose the first step towards becoming that person, is to admit that everything is not enough.


I agree with you

Invited for coffee in Tokyo, appreciations of a portfolio, admiration but no money. Went from one project to another, from the project of architecture to the project of a city - artfully vague, I admit, as to say that architecture is concerned with the city and all its challenges amounts to as much as saying that the role of rain is to fall to the ground. But we go on. We go to places. A quick call to the embassy to confirm my possibilities, and now I'm just waiting for the final email, the hopefully final email.

We will forget what happened today, just as we forgot where our brother lived, a tradeoff for the many ups and downs (mostly downs) I had in 2011, the year I'm always returning to, but returning in the form of a distance. Four years, and I can barely say that I've changed. There comes a time not when we cannot afford to change, but when our minds seem satisfied, when change slows down, when interests shift not over evenings, but over seasons, if even that.

Still haven't lost my fascination for Japan though. It's something I need, something I do not cry for and will not cry for until it is over. Every new day takes me closer to departure, but I don't want to think of it as that. It's just as much an arrival, a beginning, a growing-up.

And that coffee in Shinjuku I will not forsake.


tokyo I'm coming back to you

Slightly thrown off-balance now by my second job offer, and this time it's big. It's good. It's what I wanted. It's in Tokyo. It's been more than five years since last time I was there, but I will never forget it, the rolling hills and the old railway lines on the Narita Express to Tokyo-Eki. One could consider my time at the AA as a "grand detour", a necessity for getting to where I am today. Even bad choices seem good in the light of what they've led to. Of course, I don't know if this is another bad decision, but at least it is one I will make, because I cannot afford not to. Too much potential happiness is at stake.

Why should you not do what you want to do? It's not that I don't listen, it's because I want to fly before I decide not to. 28 years, graduated, and now to prove my worth. They say life is long, but you never know how long. I just know that I go to bed every night, asking for just one more day. One more day is fine, isn't it? It's easy to be happy for a day when you finally receive it.

I want a piano in my house.


closer than you think, farther than I hope

I try not to think too much. If we think, the only thing we confirm is the necessity to keep thinking. But this thinking, this subject of interest, defines itself by action, and hence a man who sets himself up to thinking as his purpose will *generate* the doubts, the hesitations, all the detrimental sides to thinking, by proxy, and he will be forced to accept them. Hence, I am trying to practice a form of enough-thinking, accepting, no, demanding of purpose to expose itself through the lucidity of the "enough." Life is not enough, but the actions we perform within life are.

Francesca Hughes left me with a good phrase at the end, a sweet reward after a long book, but one I cannot spoil you with, for you have to do what I did: refusing to cheat, refusing to look, until you've read it. Suspension is valuable for us to give ourselves the delight of having put the end to a matter on your own. The book is done. Exit.

I think I could've done a much better project at the AA, and I will not say that the school destroyed it - my doubts did. But what I am certain of now will pursue me in a good future. I just have to find someone to help me along the way, to be a protege, of someone. Doubt may infect the building like a brain-eating worm, so we must reject it, not because we have to choose *against* something, but because we're in the power of suggesting something *for* it, something positive, something we know the nature of and can therefore pursue in-and-back-to-itself.



eastwards, westwards, nowards

Finished a long-overdue drawing, that - despite its puny size - has been in the making for nearly 3 weeks now. Too many hiatuses. Too little pressure. When you're in school, at least you know that you're supposed to do something, as opposed to idling around until INSPIRATION finally strikes you, and remains with you for less than is necessary, anyway. Sun shines. Strawberries bought. So many distractions, but everything has its own time. This time that I have now is one which I create for myself, perhaps the last, great time I can have - before retirement. It's not quite time for a walk yet, but, then again, it was not quite time for a chocolate biscuit, either.

Big boys play with big toys, and I am surveying the time it takes for me to grow up (hint: it's longer than it takes to forget oneself out of age). I battle with myself the necessity to keep searching for a job, although it is demoralising to wake up to a new morning to find an empty inbox. Love is much easier than work. With love, all you've got to do is free of charge. Work, on the other hand, takes your time and leaves you with - fittingly - no time to decide whether you've made the right decision, in the first place. So if I have to run with something, I'll run with love, in love. (Cheesy, I know.)

It's more fun to stick around with blue skies, but the sky is always there. Perhaps it is out of fear of one day losing the sky that I keep taking photos of it. A copy on your hard-drive, that electric lighthouse of our generation, means a lot when the dark is so dark it does not even allow you to see the stars.


a tractor stuck in a ditch, a crumbled Volvo

I am turning to emptiness, but that emptiness contains something. Something is born from emptiness. Someone lost his attention too late, too soon, and the result: something I will remember the day from. And as I sit there trying to think of what to say, for the courtesy of speaking, I find myself becoming emptiness, myself, silence, but only in the attention towards my own voice, as a form of inverted logomania. The purpose is always the same, to reach the guts of what I want to say, even if that only means the guts of that which attempts to reach these guts. Hegel would have called it self-sublation.

The sun is setting. I turn on my lamp. A light that suggests that men can bring something of the sky down to their artificial skies in the windows, framed tropospheres, and with them, the promise of rain, the promise of another day just the same as this day. The wind had abated when we reached the sea. The essence - the essence - of things is always the same: the motive of our actions, in a bid to (again) invert Aldous Huxley's fanatic. But in every window is also the outer reflection of the sky that dwells in it. We can therefore say that buildings are as much houses to the body as it is to emptiness itself. The distinction disappears. They're not needed.


sober evaluation of the facts

Light is something necessary
for one cannot live on shadows
"live in shadows" perhaps, but on it?

I have my schedule, I plan things and I execute them, not always in the right order, but as a good thing preparing us for the times that will come when a good schedule is a virtue, and completing it is a cause for celebration. Went to the sea, today, again, to write some, to read some, to eat brownies and sip on blackcurrant soda while old women walk by and young children play in the sand. Not much of a change from wherever, whenever, whatever, but the change in that no-one evaluates your decision - except you.

It is midnight. It is time.
To go to bed? To dream? To fly?
Loyalty to the workaholic results
in everyone breaking themselves
for money that will not feed them.

Imperfections are like ornament to the perfect life
not really necessary, and there to cover up a mistake
but oh-so-delightful to behold.


first job offer received, first job offer declined - a mistake perhaps?

I am no stranger to working hard, but there are limits even to my abilities. 15 hour workdays are such a limit, even if it's not every day of the week. Japan is difficult. Oh, I love you, of course, but you're bringing me down. Wild parties on the beach. Strange junkie shots in the morning. What is there we need in architecture to survive?

I spend my days doing pretty much the same that I did when I did not spend my days doing anything - anything fun, others would say. But I still think it's fun. The quick sketches. The elaborate drawings. The writings. The piano concertos. The Japanese rehearsals. The walks around the city perimeter. The lectures in my headphones. And, of course, more job applications.

So now I sit here on a Tuesday evening thinking through what I can do when everything is done, when the goals of a normal workday are replaced by the frightening bliss of never having a day like the other, which makes it, of course, harder to count but quicker to spend. And suddenly we're there, 90 years old (if we're lucky), with too many memories of who we were when we were 28.

What is a good day? Variation, I'd say.
Variable repetition. What else is a day?


a strange interlude

Listening to Moby (the old and the new) while being essentially too tired to care what kind of music I have in my headphones. My first hints of success in the labour market are starting to show, but still too early to determine whereto, whereabouts, and - seemingly most crucially - why - "seemingly" only because that oxymoron that is stuck in my mind, of wanting intensive tranquility, may decide for itself when it wants to show itself.

My eyes begin to hurt again. It's unavoidable. So is my obsession with it. It lets me go most of the time, and it's not to say that it consumes me the way it did before. Now the suffering is a form of curiosity, of measuring just how much one can take before it is time to flip the switch and retreat from the light. Halfway through the Science of Logic now, with not-so-very-high hopes of finishing it before the end of summer. Francesca Hughes interrupted me.

Hunger is good for the soul. Hunger at the right times. And at midnight, the trumpet sounds. We go to bed hungry for another morning, asking with piety that one important question: can you give me another day? Flush to the skin is tiredness, and I don't think I'll ever be able to write as well as I can read - at least not in Japanese. But the days carry on, and with them, the bliss of seeing progress into infinity, on a project which can only be infinity itself, in its spurious (or, at least, crude) sense of being numerically endless.

If you once did it before, you can do it again, with no requirements, with no tricks.


a trip to the Cope of a Hagen

Went to Lousiana. Saw art. Saw architecture. Became angry. Became delighted. Went home.

I don't need to go deeply into the exhibition here, because if anyone wants my view, you can have it on my philosophy blog. But anyway, I will simply conclude by saying that it was a sort of reverse Goro Miyazaki-anime: annoying in the beginning, fantastic towards the end. But, of course, it all boiled down to a one-man-show: Bodys Isek Kingelez. Sadly gone. His cardboard cities, the rare case where the cardboard aesthetics didn't come off as slum-homage, were as good as they were promising. If this is the future of Africa (and only the Africans themselves are allowed to decide this), then I'd be more than willing to follow it. (Without some sort of apologetic post-colonial necessity.)

But, then again, how stupid is it not to say "Africa" and think that you're dealing with a coherent culture? Just because they're all black, of course.

In the context of this exhibition, SelgasCano suddenly became distasteful. But, then again, it is nothing but my prediction of "complex architecture" from 2010 coming alive five years later. Or what else could you call the second photo, which its obvious reference to my bachelor project in Lund. I'm not saying I was the model, but I predicted it. Similarly, I predicted, in 2009, the rise of postmodern typology and elementary geometry, i.e. the cube, the sphere, the pyramid. No pyramids at the AA so far, but a lot of squares. So where's my check?


the means we need to live are as different as the lives that emerge from these means, ours or belonging to others - (my idea of a self-portrait.)

One of these means is poetry.
Another is my walks (they have become such).
I didn't walk much; who needed to, when you had text.

The exhilaration Kierkegaard felt was that of great suffering, by turning that suffering into something that needed form in other to be suffered properly - or, to be precise, upon the creation of sorrow was simultaneously its eviction - one could burn these texts, and the anxiety would return, but what is more crucial is that the texts remained - that everything was kept, nothing lost, except from when it was lost finally, but that is a manner of keeping a diary - one burns the text into the pages, and then we decide if it wants to disappear or not - that is, the text itself decides.

The idea of quantity is that pure quantity will eventually lead us to quality.
With every new attempt, we have come on step closer to not failing.

Keep nothing.


as if no time has passed = the definition of nostalgia

The whole family together, and then we run to another cup of tea, as always. There are things I do not yet know how to relate to. Such as a life where one does not have time to think of what could go wrong, or, for that matter, what went right. As we drive to the sea from the lower parts of the land, Phil Collins jumps in with a ballad, and everything shifts back to my nine-year-old, you know, the one who didn't know what fright was (and who was hell of a tree-climber), and who didn't know when much was too much. The boy I'm trying to return to.

Got a strong urge this morning to go somewhere. To travel. With whom and whereto? Somewhere urban. Nowhere particular. I've seen many things, now follows to see the things again which we've forgotten. As long as the world is sufficiently exciting, there's no cause for alarm, right? The sensible choice has never been mine. Is it time to grow up? Time to be a man? At times, there is less than a joke necessary to keep me happy, but most of the time, I need everything, all the world, the biggest city on Earth, and all the time I can have to spend there.


blue green blue skies

There's something somewhat annoying in architecture. I am speaking of its limits. What we consider architecture, and within which boundaries that which is created by an architect can still be considered purely associated with the craft. The reason I am contemplating it stems from my interest in philosophy, which is little but a sub-genre to literature in general. Everything that can be written - that is the definition of the latter. Painting - everything you can throw on a canvas. But the most pure limits to art is found in music - everything that you can hear. It's beautiful. Music is sound understood as music. As long as one man enjoys it, it has value.

In my previous mixtapes, I've consistently tried to keep the accessories to music at lateral length; unlike the avantgardists (Cage, Xenakis, Stockhausen, the usual suspects), I do not consider the paraphernalia of music to have anything to do with music, itself. They are auxiliary components and methods, aimed at nothing but sonic autopoiesis. Put simply, the instrument itself is unimportant, it is the sound that it produces that overshadows it. I would say that this purism stems from an invention, from technical progress, namely the invention of the recorded sound. As sound became instantly reproducible, simulative, and technical, we see that the true limits to music is interlinked with machines - the machinery of the ear versus the machinery of the speaker.

What I mean by this is simple: when there is perfect correlation between external means and internal senses, the ultimate limit of the body itself determines the artform. It can be said that the self is the measure. Consider philosophy again, and it is revealed that perhaps the limits to philosophy are seen in the limits of thought, of imagination and, as transcribed, the "ability to summon." It is good to note that another invention, much older than the recorded sound, has determined literature, which is, of course, the written word, which, in turn, is a sub-achievement to the spoken word. And then we're back to music again, with one big difference: music considers the beauty of the incomprehensible, while language interprets the sound to another bodily reproduction, that of the thought.

It is frustrating, however, to approach architecture from this reasoning. The likening of the machine to the body and the body to the machine falls flat from the assumption that the machine is an invention of architecture. The art here is not in reproduction and observation, but in the making-possible of these, in the first place. The art of building is therefore more associated with the formless concept of invention; but not even this is true of course. If invention was an art, then reproduction would have to be included as well, stretching the definition to the point of such encompassment that it becomes useless in its abstraction, in its non-physicality. The definition of architecture cannot be said to be anymore "correct" in the physical edifice as compared to the drawing, than the sound of a "live" instrument hitting your tympanum versus the simulation of the headphones, specifically because both establish something - in a crude form - self-sufficient, and something - in its most developed form - sufficiently advanced to be taken for truth.

At this point, you may ask: what's the purpose of this quiddity? Let the architects do what they want! But that is to misunderstand my ambition, to take me for an altruist. I am not a good man. I do not conceive of these words for the sake of others, because they will, too, find their own challenges and their own solutions. I dismiss Cage's scores as music only on a personal level, because is the only one that matters. But simultaneously, it also matters to define - verbally - the limits of the self, because it amounts to a recognition of the Other as distinct from the One (the self), and therefore a possibility for the Other to recognise in the One something that - paradoxically - unites them.

I do not believe that architecture can be grounded solely in the object or the subject. There is an exchange, however limited. Likewise, I do not believe that the answer lies either in the abstract or the concrete. Again, it is an exchange. That is why Heidegger's "inhabitation" must be seen as a continuously act of reinvention. It is confirmed in the moment we become aware of our inhabitation. Perhaps architecture, if I need to offer some kind of conclusion now, can be seen as the sudden awareness of the body's belonging to a complex, that it is not isolated. Perhaps this can also be said to be the difference between architecture and drawing, in that drawing makes us aware of the space itself, but architecture makes us aware of our negation of that space, our occupation, our association with the building, realising that we are the same.


buildings we remember

There's a warehouse on the way from Åhus to Kristianstad which I pass by everyday I take to the sea and back again. It is stark. White LECA-blocks, an almost horrifyingly even layer of plaster, and a sheet of metal for the dachfuss. A couple of red letters. "CG-byggen", ("CG's Construction"). One big opening on the short side, for big lorries to enter and exit. No windows - don't really need a window for a warehouse, do you? In that sense, it is a building that has capitulated to modern construction techniques (of which it is not only representative, but a pure agent) so to the degree that it doesn't even need to know where it sits, as long as the ground is even and the road is connected.

Nature will have its revenge, though. This building belongs to the site no matter how much it tries to convince us that it doesn't need it - that it doesn't need us. The walls will freeze and crack. The ground will move. Algae will grow on the invisible roof. The letters will slowly turn from red to pink to pinkish white, and there will be residues of fungus from the rain and the rust where they're attached. And it will be alright. It will be the only way a building can remain, by deteriorating at the same speed as everyone else. And at that point, it will be torn down, replaced, by another, more contemporary version of a warehouse, whatever warehouses will be used for at that time. Experience suggests that it will refuse its surroundings even more audaciously.

I have followed the construction of this building since the beginning, so I consider it something of a friend. A distant friend, I must say, because what I've seen only amounts to the exterior, and the three sides of that exterior which I can observe from the main road passing by. It began with the clearing of the forest - hundreds of fir pillars to which the needle crowns seemed to have been attached as an afterthought, to form some kind of even roof above the ground where deer and rats took part in running away from one's headlights. Then the foundation was cast. It happened quickly. Walls were erected in chunks. In the beginning, it just ended, on one level, an agreement between contractor and developer - this is necessary. I suspect that I'm not alone, when I - as an architect - tend to value the uninhabited state more than the inhabited. Something essential to it, just walls, just space.

"How many of these concrete tombs do you need to build?", the casual architectural aficionados remark. A building to make you a better person? No. That is not the intention here. A building where art is replaced by necessity? Yes. But we don't need architects for that. In a way, the Functionalists killed themselves by assuming a role which meant the erasure of their own professional foundation: that of art. No surprise then that it is on aesthetic terms that I judge this work. I need to be an architect, a traditionalist, that is, in terms of moral responsibility and ability, to give myself the right to design. What makes me an architect, then, is not so much my capability to design these boxes, but that of identifying them as architecture, as art.

That warehouse would've been much nicer without the logo.
That's how pure space and pure synthesis becomes capital.
(One more cup of tea, please.)



This life seems to only allow yourself to become the expert of one thing within that life. Or, perhaps, it's better to remain a fox overall, and then go all hedgehoggy on the days themselves.

If we take the cultural situation of present-day globalism as granted, it is clear, as I noted many years ago, that a new, global culture-class is emerging, one which wants to position itself internationally in terms of discourse, one whose ideas does not see the edge of the land as any worthwhile obstacle. Meanwhile, critical regionalism has morphed into a sinister copy of its intentions, where notes on a contextual manner of working are either seen as A) translations of form, or B) inseparable from the ground of the architect himself, or, in other words: you remain what you were born to be. This contradiction, of demanding a separation between form and idea, remains unresolved.

Rarely is this so evident as within the conversation of Japanese architecture. The prevailing view is that of a Western-mimicking society not quite successful in its imitation, but all the more successful in its call for a cultural code of design, the "Japanese Way." Just like with third-world artists, Japanese architects are assumed to speak of conditions relating directly to their country of origin. The architects themselves recognise the challenge of sublating Western knowledge within the canon, their upbringing, of supposedly Buddhist ideals, now assimilated to the degree that no-one declares them as anything but indigenous, as part of the hardcore philosophy of a Japanese sensibility.

But an architect like Shigeru Ban, who received his education at SCI-Arc and the Cooper Union, is as much a product of the West as we are. The global culture class trades the same thoughts in the same languages. However, the rift between physical grounding and cultural universality remains, and is perhaps best exposed by such a condition as bilingualism. Consider the sign 詩 in Japanese: it means "poetry", but the kanji combined in it are the words "speech" and "temple." Poetry is thus a remnant of a language spoken in religious settings, and given that the Japanese, as do many civilisations, have their spiritual origin in nature, it is not surprising that the forest became a temple, and to speak of nature in good words was to animate nature.

This procedure is similar to the act of etymologically dissecting words in the Western tradition, often for the purpose of exposing some supposed deeper truth of the matter, which, in turn, directed philosophy. But what it does, today, is rather to expose our detachment from the origins of the older world, in which language kept people apart, identified their origin. The bilingual, therefore, is in the midst of a schism, of the context in which he acts (the language of the city he calls home), and the context he trades with "outsiders." The choice of one language is a preference over another language. He may master both, but he is defined, in every moment, by the one which is most appropriate to his intentions or his situation. By being bilingual, he is grounded not in one form of speech, but in two.

Considering the difference between cultural and physical context, I begin to see how the differences are ultimately reconciled in a speechless totality, not far from a mystical element, but all the closer to the parallel of bilingualism. The schism is therefore resolved not by a choice of context, but in its uniqueness, by the nameless content that must follow. If Japanese culture, like many other cultures, can be said to be "bilingual" in the sense that it has two very strong traditions attached to it (simplified: the Occidental and the Oriental), then it is their right to identify with both, just as any architect has the right to identify with both the cultural and the physical.

My argument here is, that if language is a contextually attached choice of most appropriate expression, then it makes no sense to think of form and conversation as separate, in fact, it becomes a contradiction, since they, in their attachment, prove that a building does not sit in two places at once, in the local and the global, as Frampton implicitly assumes. The issue here has nothing to do with edifice versus idea, but all the more to do with language versus language. Let me be a bit stupid here and simply say: the word comes because it is the most appropriate word.

Able minds will see that this has always been the truth to architecture. Gothic cathedrals dispense with expressing cultural differences; they were attached through necessity to the work itself, they appeared as relevant choices to the local conditions and the site, but the attempt was always universal, to build for God. Today, "God" does not drive the generic architect, he is driven by S,M,L,XL. The profession of architecture is now near identical all across the world. Architects are one of the most internationalised of professions, a trajectory established already in the Gothic. Therefore, the discourse being international, the physicality has to be, as well. It cannot escape the local anyway, as this, as we know, emerges through direct limitations, haphazardness, and coincidence. Bilingualism, therefore, is rather the choice of intellectual framework to a project, and not to a national agenda. Even in the case of the Japanese, you do not remain what you were born to be.


better than I thought #2

#SimonssonHouse, #UnfinishedHouse, #RoofHouse, #MyFirstHouse

The last thing for the portfolio, and now it's time to apply.
Hope I can get a job ... at least somewhere I want ...


what I think to page 831, I think

Strange to think that we care about so different things.


today someone wrote a book I will never read

The romantic within me dies and lives with the rejection of the ideal, upon which we discover that there isn't really anything worth our time in that which is only an image of what is. My suspicion on de Botton turned out to be quite correct - one develops a literary gut feeling with practice - as it is not a book I enjoy to read very much, but which, at the same time, provided a redeeming glance by its conception of language in architecture to be equal to habitation: we dream of seeing ourselves doing something important in the monumental halls of Westminster, or winning a buck and spending it on Jack Daniels one night in Las Vegas ...

True? Yes. Useful? Perhaps not. But it's funny to see how both Rasmussen and de Botton pick examples of their architectural view in photos and drawings of Bedford Square, going hand-in-hand with their arguments. I don't think anyone who actually studied or taught architecture at the AA thought of it as anything but a curiosity - a leading private school of architecture housed in a stout, reactionary, black-as-soot body of bricks and stucco. The only thing it was good for was subversion, of the loving kind.


we are not the other, we are ourselves

No place which we go to is quite the same when we go there again.

Now I am out of books. Or maybe I'm not. I refuse to read Alain de Botton. But perhaps I will read him, anyway, like I've read Jencks, Frampton, Johnson, and just about everyone else who I thought I would hate, in some cases did, but in others found something interesting. Still Hegel. Still the drawing. Now the portfolio. We'll see where we end up.


no night in our quarters

Almost done with Steen Eiler Rasmussen, and then I should've exhausted the library in terms of architectural literature - *interesting* literature, I should say, as I'm not in the mood for "1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die." I don't want to die, but I do not want to see these buildings, anyway. That's the privilege you get from graduating architecture school; you have nothing more to prove. Things were different in first year, where I thought I had to show that I could make the BEST possible BUILDING anyone has ever seen - and make it buildable as well. I think my ambitions at that stage were more realistic than they are today.