Imagined Plan of King Minos’s Labyrinth, Knossos, Crete, 1997 (via field)
"In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth (Greek λαβύρινθος labyrinthos) was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at the palace Knossos. Its function was to hold Minos’s son, Minotaur, a mythical creature that was half man and half bull. Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could barely escape it after he built it. Every nine years, Minos made King Aegeus pick seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to Daedalus’s creation, the Labyrinth, to be eaten by the Minotaur. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in the underworld. The Minoan civilization of Crete has been named after him by the archaeologist Arthur Evans. In colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two: maze refers to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path and direction; while a single-path (unicursal) labyrinth has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.”
Romantic remembrance may have been a form of mourning, but by the same token, it brought the past to life through an imaginative, restorative process that lead to unprecedented investigations and fresh insights into the phenomenon of historicity.
I remember an extremely vivid emotion of my childhood which is still fresh in my mind, though the incident in question must have occurred at an age which generally leaves none but the vaguest recollections. I was often entrusted to the care of an old servant, who took me wherever his fancy happened to lead him. One day we entered the church of Notre-Dame; and he carried me in his arms, for the crowd was great. The cathedral was hung with black. My gaze rested on the painted glass of the southern rose-window, through which the rays of the sun were streaming, coloured with the most brilliant hues. I still see the place where our progress was interrupted by the crowd. All at once the roll of the great organ was heard; but for rue, the sound was the singing of the rose-window before me. In vain did my old guide attempt to undeceive me; the impression became more and more vivid, until my imagination led me to believe that such or such panes of glass emitted grave and solemn sounds, whilst others produced shriller and more piercing tones; so that at last my terror became so intense that he was obliged to take me out.
With the various historical revivals of the period, Gothic revivalism chief among them, architecture conceived of itself for the first time as an intervention within contemporary reality, a corrective to a defective present. Thus, paradoxically, revivalism came to generate one of modern architecture’s most original practices.
Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.
All communities larger than primordial villages of face to face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined … to be distinguished not by their falsity and genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined.
The city as we might imagine it, the soft city of illusion, myth, aspiration, nightmare, is as real, maybe more real, than the hard city one can locate in maps and statistics, in monographs on urban sociology, demography, and architecture.
There are things I can imagine and I can draw. There are things I can imagine but I cannot draw. But, could I draw something that I cannot imagine? That interests me greatly.
— Istvan Orosz, “On Drawing,” c. 2000
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
The scenographer has to be an artist who can understand how to work with and incorporate the ideas of the director, understand text as a writer, be sensitive to the needs of a performer exposed to an audience, and create imaginative and appropriate spaces for productions.
we like to build
and we believe in reality.
but we also believe in possibilities.
we imagine alternatives
and we rethink the givens.
we search for meaning.
we think of architecture
as a place of habitation
as a social construct
as a space for the life of human beings.
we see beauty in rawness and refinement,
in dematerialization or even monumentality.
we are interested in how architecture creates memories
and how it creates stories.
we are interested in narratives,
in the stories that could be imagined
and that could unfold
within the spaces we create.
design is simply a tool
it is the tool we use in our work,
but it is not our work’s meaning or content.
architecture should connect
the people that inhabit it,
the people that imagine it,
cultures and natures,
technologies and materials,
psychologies and experiences.
we are inspired by complexity.
by its beauty and freedom,
by its subversive nature,
by its inability to be completely defined.
but we are also committed to clarity,
to a strong rationale and logic,
and to a thorough understanding
of whatever is at stake.
we are professionals,
but we question our own assumptions.
we don’t simply tell you what you want to hear,
but we try to identify what you should know.
we do not only observe or analyze,
but we engage and become involved.
and we change our own position
while we change our environment.
architecture is about responsibility
and it requires the fullest commitment
to its realities and its fantasies,
to its demanding and intricate process.
we are partly european
and partly asian.
our minds and experiences
are a hybrid of different cultures
we are interested in what we can learn
and how our own position
creates links between the multiple realities
the world is embedded in.
we engage in an exploration of strategies
rather than the implementation
of predefined methods and matrixes.
knowledge is as important
as the ability to think things anew
we believe in our intuition
and we believe in its utmost importance
for everything we do.
Hans Dieter Schaal, Paths, Passages and Spaces, c. 1975 (via ryanpanos)
"Hans Dieter Schaal (1943) is a German architect, stage designer, landscape designer, writer and artist. Throughout his whole career he constantly crossed the borders among the different disciplines to produce a unique corpus of works. In his famous 1970′s black and white drawings, Schaal synthesized some of his researches on the continuous space, the relationship between natural settings and man-made structures, the path as a space for representation, always keeping an ironical eye. The repetition of a basic object, like a bed, a door, a curtain, a stairway, becomes the starting point for the construction of an imaginary field of possibilities."
Let’s talk about humanity, individualism, imagination and creativity — those are the values a society is built on. What education are we getting, what dreams do we dream?