Sunday, March 18, 2007
“创意文化产业”是个新词儿。自英国在90年代末期提出来之后，世界各国起而效之，由于各国在社会与经济发展上的差距，引申出来各种想法与相关的术语。就中文的翻译来理解，“创意文化产业”指的是一种创造文化产品的行业。由英文原文直译可为“创造性工业”(creative industry)，这个概念源自于“知识工业”(knowledge industry) 与“文化工业”(cultural industry)，有追求新知与文化共享的本意，而称之为“工业”，也就是一种生产的手段。
“文化工业”一词原本在左翼的讨论里带有强烈的批判意味，德国哲学家阿多诺(Theodor W. Adorno)认为现代技术将文化打造成一种平庸的“文化工业”，以致现代人无形中变成被钉上分类标签的消费者。这个在上世纪40年代已有的想法，在今天依然有警示作用。“创意文化产业”在本质上是阿多诺所指的“文化工业”，为了谋利，创意很难不流于媚俗，或是廉价的趣味，也沦为用来牵动群众情感的工具。有人说“创意文化产业”将成为21世纪中国经济的支柱产业，我想当人们一窝蜂追求创意，并要求订制量产时，创意恐怕早就被糟蹋成一文不值的垃圾了。
Posted by chi ti-nan at 4:55 PM
Monday, August 15, 2005
PT: I would like to discuss about your architectural practice; how came you into the urban issue? Is it not difficult to run an architect office and also create urban workshops? How do you relate your practice to urban issues?
C: In principal I am thinking of setting up an alternative architectural practice: a kind of a collaborative practice. Today we know that there are two types of practices: One is the corporative office which is more like a company, a business oriented organization. The second type is more European which is more of an atelier for individual architect and more artistic.
I think there is another type or maybe there should be another type. That type is of a kind in between these two types. This in between type could be more about a networking of architects who share same ideas and similar approaches and work collaboratively. The network differs from a group of avant-gardes in a conventional sense. They still maintain each identity while interact towards the mutual goal. It is close to a NGO if you may want to have a reference.
And another realistic aspect is about the projects we could acquire. For corporative office they usually get more commercial jobs. Individual architects may have smaller commissions of individual residences or sometimes eye catching public projects. I think we could also try to formulate a new type of work. It will be sort of suggestions from the architect side to initiate projects rather than being passively waiting for the clients. Architects could be very actively involved in the social process to formulate projects. You see what I mean? That is another type of work. We initiate something for the society then we proceed to work out the design. That is a different kind of work.
PT: Initiating projects by architects… what is the debate or outcome of that? I guess it is very difficult for an architect who wants to follow to initiate projects, to deal with the power structure and established system. According that how an architect could take an active role in the society? How is it possible?
C: That is what we initiate which could be private or public, also both, a mixture of work to do. What is important is that with this kind of work architects are taking a positive role in the society. We try to solve the problems in the city and try to make it into a proposal then manage to realize it. This is the other way around. To work out something for the people rather than the client ask us.
The globalization as it is may end up only islands for the rich and the rest will be drowning. We feel that architects are so helpless in this. In many situations we can only obey our clients and can do nothing. Or, we could just stay within our own imagination and try to do something interesting to please ourselves. But, still no hope for the betterment. Quite depressing somehow… I think all architects feel so… even the big ones or the ones successful in commercial circle. Urban Flashes was certainly out of this motive.
PT: Do you think by this way, with this architectural practice you can reach all levels of the society?
C: I think each time for the UF workshop I try to get in touch with the local people, both ordinary people and high-ranking officers at the same time. In Istanbul I was trying to direct it to the public, but we didn’t go through enough. Maybe the system is a bit more rigid in a way to get in touch with the government and for people to understand what we are doing.
Before I came here this time I was in Bergen of Norway. We had a quite good discussion with urban planning officer of Bergen city government. There were seeds planted and we could wait for the growth. That’s the thing that it is very good for the city. Here, in Istanbul is more difficult.
PT: What it is the reason behind it; maybe the city is too huge and the system is unorganized but rigid…
C: Yes, but also the social system is hierarchic. The decision-making people are being hidden, sitting behind the society and looking at the society. Architects, on the other hand, are not motivated and being considered as draftsmen like in many countries.
The first UF workshop was in Taipei in 1999. At that time I invited architects and artists from aboard to look at the future planning of an abandoned brewery site in central Taipei. We tried to expose the proposal to the public through advertisement boards, major newspapers, TV channels and, then, the Taipei city government noticed us. Then, after one or two years both the central government of Taiwan and the Taipei city government actually took our advice and designate the site as a visionary park for arts & cultural uses, which is exactly our original proposal.
Before our intervention, they were planning to build a new council building on the side of existing office buildings of the central government. They already had a competition and selected a massive office building design. But we tried to say that we should build something else there, and they agreed. It is now in the process of implementation.
PT: For example in Berlin they transformed the one of the most important public space, the Postdamer Platz into expensive, huge office buildings…most of them are useless. Most of them are so expensive that people are not able to rent them; and also as a public space it was very important place for years, however now is useless. People are spending time and re-creating spaces in other parts of city and Postdamer Platz is now just for tourists or just for buildings. That is a kind of wrong urban strategy…
C: That was a disaster… That is what’s of pity in the current situation in many cities. I think it is a key problem what we are looking at all the time in different cities. The local people actually need our help, need our methods to intervene and to forge visions. And that could more effectively provoke the public and the government in respective city. We hope to work with the local people and try to disclose the true nature in their living environment and kick them to be aware….
PT: Like Yona Friedman since 60s, he has also same kind of strategies in urban and architectural scales. Once he explained a kind of method that operates with group of architects mostly intellectuals between the system and the local people that they can communicate and understand the local people. Mainly housing and this kind of problems and then translate and formulate and try to give a solution as a kind of “in between” group. It could be government or planning group and this group could work for the both sides for the public, local people and then translate and formulated to. But I told also to Yona, there is a kind of hierarchy, if I want to look in critical way. Because sometimes the local people don’t know their needs and isn’t it a kind of another hierarchy to operate as a translator group? If you want to look it in a critical way it is also a discussion I think when you work with local people. What do you want what do they want. Their needs are important not the architects or intellectuals needs.
C: I think Friedman was more about suggesting some kind of mega-structure of the 60’s, but what I am thinking is of a micro-approach. It is more about small things, insignificant elements and trying to activate these small areas in the city and then change the city. So I do not propose any big plans. Friedman’s mega-structure is a different approach.
I think more from the stance of ordinary people. Ordinary people can only have small things, such as a cup of Turkish coffee. They do not possess anything extra and cannot have more than that. They have to use these small things to improve their lives. So micro-urbanism is about how to use these micro-materials to re-organize and re-engage the city as a new architectural and urban design approach.
PT: Do you have or developed specific methods in mirco-urban practice, how you think these methods operate and works in different locations and do you think there is a general method or do you have to find the dynamics for every location itself?
C: Certainly. In contrast to macro-approach usually from top down, micro-approach is from bottom up and inside out. What I usually do is to identify the ‘micro-zones’ in the city, where ordinary people may have more attachments, encounters, and conflicts. Within the microcosms people manage to survive by taking immediate solutions to their problems, which could be recognized as ‘tactics’.
The linkages of micro-zones will eventually provide a map of micro-zone web of a city, which shows the real living conditions within macro-planning structure. The tactics disclosed will be transformed into design tools for shaping future scenarios, which include new programs, projects, and visions.
The new scenarios would deform the existing web found previously and further elaborate the tactics on a broader scale. The deformation is supposed to be the adjustment of urban development as chemical permutations rather than formal interventions. Visual and non-visual design proposals will be delivered accordingly that is the procedure. It is both a general method and an approach for specific locality.
PT: We know that there is the betel nut chewing habit, which affects the physical and also social texture of Taipei with betel nut business. Are there another effective factors like betel nut and if there is how these affect the urban condition?
C: As a small business, girls hired to sell betel nuts has to be very actively engaged with the customers who drive by, so they dress in sexy costume standing in a glass box with flashy lights and flirting with the buyers for fun. This is a common tactic I identify as ‘deception’.
The contemporary image culture is bred under the human need to obtain mis-oriented satisfaction. The advertisement alluring the viewers and conditioning the sensation and conception of the reality is not new. How we see these tactics in the light of a form of exchanges and re-place it in the architectural and urban design is more challenging.
PT: Do you borrow some ideas from the Situationists International (SI) movement from 60’s? Their spirit of urban tactics of SI is quiet influencing in urban and visual issues. What do you think of it?
C: Of course, if you see the design of the cover of Urban Flashes books, the red color and the arrows, which I use different kind of shape and simple line drawings of Letrism made by computer software are out of influences from Situationists. They are the main sources. But, what I am doing is probably different from the 60’s. My work is more about the next step to re-shape the city than being critical about its failure.
PT: How do you differentiate the Western and Eastern cities? What is the difference between those two types of cities physically, socially and culturally? Generally big eastern cities seem more chaotic than western cities, how do you evaluate the term ‘chaotic’ in urbanism?
C: Cities of the East in general are after Chinese models. Western cities in general are after Geek & Roman models. The Chinese model emphasizes supernatural orientation and the hierarchy of streets in grid system. The Greek & Roman emphasize the public enclaves and grand diagonal axises. The third major model is the modern mode of anonymous grid with building volumes distributed by land value.
Today European cities evolved more like a patchworks of different periods. The segregation of social classes is more obvious and somehow you have a sense that Europe is not really looking forwardly in term of cultural transformation. People prefer an idyllic environment. Modernization is more an utilitarinian tool than a new way of life.
Asian cities are more of a complex overlay of the traditional patterns and modern planning. In Taipei, you do not recognize the social differences from the area and the look of the buildings. Rich people may live next to low-income housing. And, a rich person may just be the owner of a food stand at the corner of the street nearby. Recent telecommunication technology is altering the priority of infrastructure in the city. More digital signboard, computer game shops, monitors, electronic devices, halfway stations are exigently installed and integrated into everyday life.
‘Chaotic’ is a meteorological term we use to describe the above-mentioned condition. For an analysis of a complex phenomenon, Chaos theory could illuminate a part of the transitional process in it. There always exits discrepancy in scientific reduction including the association with swarm of bees to decipher the urban complexity. I like to use plasm, plasma, or plasmodia to relate to urban condition which is in reality primitive, incidental and irrational. But, more importantly I think it is a new way of life which is of fast moving images, mobile connections, rearranged mixtures, time-sharing mechanism and intelligent animations. And people enjoy it.
PT: Generally non-western societies searched their own modernization process/paradigm. How was it for Eastern cultures?
C: In the East, people gradually adapted to the western ideas through intellectuals and books over hundreds of years process... The modernization was not forced by colonization. Only Hong Kong and some countries in South East Asia on the trade route were long term colonized by the West. Japanese emperor set up modern policies in 19th century and Chinese overthrew imperial dynasty in 1911. I think it was after WWII Taiwan and Korea starting to fully grasp technology and world market. Especially After 70’s, cities in East Asia were rapidly developed, including Tokyo, into a hyper-complex condition.
PT: I think they adapted new economical model, political and social strategies. I think they did in a very short time and maybe this is where complexity comes from; a complexity with the combination of local…
C: No, that happens before the 70’s. The modernization process occurred much earlier. After 70’s, it was another story of new conditions. The crazy development is not really a part of modernization, rather post-modern phenomena. In fact, I think we need to get out of the Western discursive track to find another term for this after-modern development in Asia.
PT: Yes, Yes, this is the problem from general economical crisis in 1970s. So, economical system gained power over states/nations. Private companies lead to post-Fordist economical strategies. So, I am speaking not about 1970’s, I am speaking about the economical problems above the cities after 1970s. How the cities where shaped with post-Fordist economical strategies?
C: Maybe before the 70’s, especially Taiwan and Korea are having the role as production backyards for the developed countries. Japan may already go beyond that stage at that time. After 70’s, Taiwan and Korea also went beyond that. Now China is taking this role as a production yard of the world where cheap labor is available. Paradoxically, when investment of production going to these places, in the meantime the technology is also being imported. Taiwan and Korea were under these forces gradually building up their competence of high technology and being more active as providers of sophisticated products.
The less formal sector was always an inevitable part of economy in Asia. The ‘home factories’ and entrepreneurs of small industries of specialization were key factors in the process of laying the ground of economy, especially in Taiwan. Japan also started from low-end industries after WWII, then reached the 2nd world economy in the 80’s.
That is why cities took rapid changes out of many inner sorts of drives after 70’s. People create new life styles, new types of public space, and new kinds of program and urban fabrics. Then, reached an unprecedented complexity, a kind of complexity in one way very interesting, on the other hand is quite mystic. So Rem Koolhaas is quickly tempted by these phenomena. However, he looks at it from a distance and doesn’t really understand it. He is simply using it as a tool for his work. May not even be interested in its true nature. Thus, we are very important voices here in this aspect. We have to say something from another angle.
PT: How do you see recently the western approach? How do you situate yourself as an architect in western paradigm? Do you think that architects from non-western societies could speak for themselves?
C: I think one of the reasons that they don’t understand is it is very new. I think they are thinking as they were in the 70’s in city planning and architecture. The Western cities and their profession haven’t really changed. For example, Archigram from the 60’s is considered farsighted in the West as they had proposed instant city, network city, image apparatus and mobile lodges, etc.. Those proposals are actually being part of everyday life in Asia at least since 20 years ago.
In general, The Dutch circle is quite productive with less quality. They continue to sell their aesthetics. The English-speaking circle is disinterested in reality. Some just merge themselves in form genetics through CAAD and CAAM. The German circle is hardheaded as usual. I think a new condition arrived and should try to do something else.
We also know architects in the West who do not like to be in a crowd. Therefore, I think a network of independent architects and artists globally is necessary. It is a fight.
PT: Do you want to say something about Istanbul and compare to Taipei and Istanbul?
C: Istanbul is a city I can learn a lot of things. It indicates the city in the process of formation. It is not about planning. It is more about the interactions of people. And then eventually evolves into this condition. I think Istanbul is a case probably more useful and relevant for today’s discussion. The condition here to me is a database showing how tactical moves define spaces. If we can achieve doing something here then we can apply the experiences to any other places.
Taipei is flat. Istanbul is hilly. Taipei is not a harbor city as Istanbul is. The population and density is roughly similar but Istanbul exceeds Taipei according to statistics. Taipei does not have deep history and not much left today while Istanbul has historical layers of thousands of years. I think what’s in common is the rawness of both city which displays a naked state of how people manage to survive in the city.
PT: You also wrote some books about architectural thinking and cultural observations. It seems to me that you are interested in more emotional and spontaneous way of thinking of architectural practice? How could it have effect on the education of architecture?
C: I always want to emphasize one thing: city or even architecture is not out of rationality. We had mistakes trying to rationalize it and provided the market for that. I think we should try to get a control of this rationalist idea and find another way to work. It is very important to set up a track in the future that could be a new route for education. Now the school is being kidnapped by mentality, which is out of insecurity of insanity. My idea is not really new. It has been tested throughout the history of architecture. I hope our UF workshop for example is a kind of educational platform. It is an education not only for the youngsters but also for all the participating architects. Gradually we will built up consensus and become clearer and to be confident about our approaches. And then we would be more on solid ground.
PT: It is a level of communication, creating a communication level. Architects, Urban Planner, Artists and Social Scientist have different methods and ideas, but with interactive way of establishing communication ways to create a consensus.
C: Also it is nearly more artistic. Artistic ways are not about working on clever stuff. I think it is more spontaneous more lively, basically, more from instinct and basic knowledge of life. Architect doesn’t need to be more intelligent or to be able to produce certain forms. I always say architect has to be formless. I think there is a side of very simple realm and at the same time artistic. It seems too individualistic from outsider’s view. But it is not individualistic at all. Everybody is an individual. The flow of actions and each has his own tactics to survive are so important and artistic.
PT: Could you please give examples from the project about your ideas/approach that are realized in various cities?
C:In Venice Biennale 2000, I exhibited a project entitled ‘Z Tunnels’ to demonstrate how to place small elements to enhance the urban transformation in a major park zone in Sin-Chu, Taiwan. The original commission to us includes a new museum, a new park, renovation of several old buildings, and reservation of a historical Confucius temple. We suggested to the city government to add new programs and new tunnel-like structures to weave detached tasks on the urban scale.
The tunnel-tubes were very detailed designed and carefully positioned in a random fashion to create a new layer of city orientations and walking network. Each tunnel serves a different function for the park zone and its related facilities. One of the tunnels was as humble as a drainage ditch on the ground with extra use as sitting bench. One located inside of museum is equipped with monitors, LED signs and interactive fiber lightings as an information tunnel. Some are more visible as a building or a public space being part of landscape.
These elements are seemingly useless and unnecessary, and it approaches formless. My intention is to give an example of micro-urban diagnosis and treatment by employ low cost means to improve the city. At Arsenale exhibition hall, we piled up hundreds of square candles to make a low wall on top of the flat design drawing on the ground. It is like the way we put simple elements in a city, which direct the viewers in the space. When candles lit up and burned out, the process is an ongoing journey of Odyssey.
( Interview with Ti-Nan Chi by Pelin Tan, XXI, Istanbul, 2004 )
Posted by chi ti-nan at 2:53 PM
Friday, July 15, 2005
Reality is the consequence of conflict within human will and energy. We commonly place great importance on intention and action, with the result that social movements and the decisions and acts of power holders become the focal point of world attention. On this premise, the built environment in particular is treated as an object and medium to be fiddled with and fabricated into all sorts of masses and shapes. This kind of fiddling and fabrication is in a certain sense an excessively sedulous display of artificiality. Generally speaking, under sociopolitical functions, the principles of our environment often come from monotonous, cause-and-effect concepts, to the point that reality is changing in a predictive mode. At the same time, applied through our faith in social justice and concern, the need to change reality expands as so-called public consciousness or collective will. Consequently our living environment continues to be shaped by the optimistic beliefs of the public. Yet people stress the weakness of the human role in this world, noting for example, the futility in fighting with nature, the vicious cycle in the urban megalomania, or the hopelessness of understanding and communication, and the struggle between individuals and the state. All of these phenomena show the baffling and unfathomable nature of reality, yet people are still determined to fabricate reality for their personal satisfaction and the satisfaction of others in the unending, muddled rush. I am not saying that fabricating reality is false or empty. What I want to say is that the tangible and formalized method of fabrication is execrable. On the other hand, the intention to fabricate can be aimlessly accidental, following the intimate reactions of the experiential world. At this time, the fabrication of reality will no longer be a pre-supposition nor will it echo ethical norms. Rather it will gradually become a part of reality and develop and evolve with reality. This kind of fabrication, which may be called the 「disappearance of politics,」 can be used to replace all political methods and slogans. Most importantly, it is a way to consider spatial situations as the fundamental arena of reality and a basic paradigm for political application. In this way we can completely escape from the interior war of social forces and fully merge with the adventures of life to create a new beginning for human society. Simply said, the composition of society can escape the cage of human planning and artificial constructions. We can break the very nature of manmade constructions and try to use instead non-human, non-material knowledge and images. Social content will multiply in the flow of corporeal desire, and in the twists and revolts of spatial situations, individuals will become the essence of political activity, completing the stages of human self-revolution and transcending the collective nightmare. There is no doubt that architecture will clear the way toward the disappearance of politics. Architects no longer play a divine role and have no right to carry out any divine decrees. Nor ought they feel like representing any public opinion. Architecture is only an image of another world from an architect’s personal world. Brought into reality, the spaces become an oppression and self-indulgence that impacts every minute and second of our thoughts and feelings as it accumulates chaotically in cities. Through learning and selection, people gradually begin to live in a state of sudden encounters. This begins with the touch of a wall, walking down a bright corridor, weaving through furniture and lights, or entering a room under the eye of a video monitor, pausing to look at the face of a singer on a TV wall, touching another person and being squeezed into a small, sealed cell. Sometimes it alters the habit of sleep, passing from a dream to another city, or being submerged in a bathtub. One cannot help but swallow some unidentified stuff from the network download. Sometimes it is the degree of ease of passing between glass and air that creates the basic impression of a building. All of this imperceptibly forms the concept and reality of our lives in which architects participate but are not necessarily present. The disappearance of politics is not an alternative for politics. It is an alternative for wandering into the corner, replacing it with a fortuitous encounter on a stroll. Even a guerrilla warriors uses certain concepts to support their moves. Nihilism is a ubiquitous meeting and parting, giving rise to many dimensions, levels, and universes. Architecture thus, is endlessly through material morphogenesis in the immaterial state of non-human environments approaching annihilation. Ti-Nan Chi ( tangibleintangible, Garden City publication, 1998, pp56-61 )
Posted by chi ti-nan at 4:59 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Things of the world often appear in various form. In architecture, the principal image has been one of spectacle. Its hypothetical existence attempts to fill out the contours of objects, eliminating in course their primary elements. Perhaps this is because of lacking substance, requiring exaggeration to attract notice. The problem is that what seem to provide appropriate stimuli are in fact random and unnecessary: impenetrable outgrowths consuming space until nowhere is left to escape.
This is in fact a form of social engineering. Architects might already be accustomed to and compliant with this global fakery. This is apparent when merging in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Seattle, Frankfurt, Milan, New York, Chicago, Osaka, Toronto and ……………. My purpose is not to criticize the urban strategy the 20th century offers, and thus I have no intention to discuss the history of urban development or urbanization problems. Urbanization is essentially a mixture of the material and immaterial. Between matter and non-matter lies the consciousness of a city. Inevitably, though, accretion turns cities into inexplicable chimeras. City builders attempt to reverse the irreversible possibility of chaos; using superficial means to cover what underneath has long been human degeneracy and nature.
Beneath this temporary facade, we can still peel back the thin, frail membrane and dig for latent vestiges amidst the scars. When we consciously look for these remnant emotions waiting, it seems, for extinction, the whole environment is implicated beyond credulity. Yet through persistent effort and unintentional contact a new landscape is depicted. At first glance it seems an aberration. But on closer inspection we discover another way that matter adheres to reality. This attachment is neither escapist nor destructive. Rather it is the true face of existence. All things await death. Death uses various forms of reluctance to let go to warn us. Except for the overly optimistic or delusional, people generally accept that death has registered their allotted space and time here.
If architecture ceases to produce totems of spectacle, its momentary features must thus be chosen from various derivatives of things and nothing, even though this may fail to attract attention. At this point, architecture will no longer be classified as visual art. In other words, visual art will create, through non-plastic theory, indistinct shape and texture. In the end, architecture will ceased to be confined to the visible world. We have long been too busy to differentiate the distinction between existence and non-existence. Being not being is to actively engage in the city between the world we live in and our existence.
Tangibleintangible is neither a pre-fixed position nor a building theory. It is an unclear condition related to the disassembling building techniques can be disassembled. It is also difficult to describe in serial chapters. I believe the basic dilemma of modern architecture in the 20th century begins with its impatient rush into a specialized, systematic lanes.
Unintentionally, it has locked itself a grand cage and neglected the delicate constitution of material existence. Clearly I also am alluding to a phase of social and political revolution, in which the basis of the real world is reshaped. The state of being not being can induce evaporating of political incidents. In the manifest activity of new man and matter, we can enter a new society of tangibleintangible.
( tangibleintangible, Garden City publication, 1998, pp12-16 )
Posted by chi ti-nan at 6:11 PM
Sunday, May 15, 2005
As French film director Guy Debord indicated :" The capitalist need which is satisfied by urbanism in the form of a visible freezing of life can be expressed in Hegelian terms as the absolute predominance of the peaceful coexistence of space over the restless becoming in the passage of time" . It is noticeable that present urban area as developed in this century represent forms of commodity for the mass society. Cities usually provide image of efficiency, regulation and prosperity under a simple unification rational to generate streets and volumes to occupy the natural land.
To be more specific, current architectural profession has long been part of the production system which direct building industry to conform investment. Architecture has to take the crust of a building in order to prevail, while inevitably programmed and reduced into pseudo-needs to maintain economy. Those seemingly active theorizing of Modern, post-modern or deconstruction, chaos, fold etc. are vulnerably pushed aside as irrelevant stylistic indulgences. The hard-core determinant of built reality could never been truly independent as a free expression of genuine situation of living. In another word, architecture now could never be truly human and livable in a sense, let alone ushering creativity and imagination of 21st century.
Architects of my generation bounded to face the unknown changes of next century. Prophecies, whether mythical or scientific, allure us to an even greater uncertain and dreamy mood. My acquainted contemporaries probably all share a resisting hunch, trying to push architecture into the realm of sensational techno-syncratic topography to awaken individual situations, and to fight with the spectacle , imagery of urban empire, hierarchic society and grandeur of past memories.
Back to the Asian world, I would particularly state that, after post-colonial restructuring of global economy and politics, Asian societies jump into world cyber-information networks, which, in my view, risks continuing feudalism with a different costume. The masses could be just sleeping in an ongoing megalomaniac manipulation from an outer space of busy transmissions, simulations and amplifications. Meanwhile our urban development optimistically follow 19 century modes. Natural environment and traditional cityscape and texture are there for exploitation. Architectural innovation would usually mean the succession of national economic growth for which cost efficiency, profit security and profound image of massing are considered.
In 1984, when I just came out of military service of Taiwan, I started to watch closely the everyday space and people in Taipei. Some half-way done house and illegal constructions attracted my attention. What interests me is that these built works are spirited with very natural and spontaneous reaction towards living in a congested and always humid conditions. These habitants re-arranged their living environment by building up alternative structures of their own to meet specific needs, expressions and changing milieu. Some of these works are ugly. Some are utilitarian plain. And you can find some quite articulated and thoughtful cases. They respond to the surrounding forces in a very resolute, yet plastic way.
Groups of these kind of settlements scattered in the city, like nomadic wanderers seeking better place for home . They are particularly sensitive about genius loci of the site. Having been intentional squatting city corners or vacant lots, these structures revitalize the existing city. Sometimes these areas occur to be the most fun place for certain people in the city, either strolling or gathering. Until one day, when the city official starts regulating actions on these areas, soon they will disappear hardly leaving any traces except memories with local people and dwellers themselves.
The observation resulted in a drawing for the Shinkenchiku international competition 1984, A style for the year 2001 , in which I tried to delineate the chaotic phenomena of Taipei city while choosing the site of Rome, the eternal city in the West, Professor Koji Taki commented:" It does not depict poverty or slum conditions, and it would be a mistake to see its village of anarchic, primitive and punk-like vitality as the fate awaiting today's cities or to see the Asian city depicted in ironical contrast to the modern city" . Indeed, it was intended to be a positive and optimistic proposal for the city future, suggesting a playful and complex synergy of the formation of urban space without imposing any formal precedent.
I will not get too romantic in order to keep focused on the issue of urban architecture with psycho-geographical nature. Again, a situationist invention, psycho-geography is conceived of as the studies of the laws of specific effects on the emotion and behaviors of individual in the environment. My experiment on fluctuating lifeworld took the art form of installation. The work titled realism on space of Taiwan displayed at an alternative space in 1991 was an investigation on the private and sensual space obsessed by Taiwan people. The work occupied an ordinary townhouse floor with 10 narrow subdivisions as rooms in which re-designed traditional benches inserted and a TV monitor mounted on the inner wall. Flashing light bulbs were on top of several standing panels to create commercial signboard effect and an ephemeral atmosphere. It was a critique on the status quo, the kind of space one sees in the massage barber shop (brothel) or MTV, KTV chambers common in Taiwan. On the other hand, I realized that, with slight differentiations, the environment could alter drastically and the power of individual space is crucial.
In 1994, Z house project had the opportunity in dealing with both public and private domains. The site is a typical townhouse lot located alongside the major boulevard of Kaoshiung city, the largest industrial city in Taiwan. Within rapid high-rise real estate development and facing traffic flow, it planned to include private residence, research laboratory and gallery space altogether in 5-story building; it has to take a strong hold of its authenticity in contrast to the fake glory of the expensive housing nearby, a stance congruent to client's role as a sturdy historian. By compressing one site of the box, I created a concaved room for courtyard and for acquiring light for the interior space. Then, the frontal shape began twisted a little, standing as a figural gesture to the street. Inside of figural corn became an enclosed dark space of protection. Therefore, it is responsive and reserved at the same time, lively transforming the typical box-like townhouse into an individual situation asserting a rather idiosyncratic quality, while defending against the final siege of banalization by capitalist society.
Cited in SD review 1995, this design also emphasized the changing milieus and homelessness as the key issues for architects today. We no longer believe in a grand solution for human habitation, which tends to stagnate our life and history. Dwellings need not to be necessarily rooted in the ground. Each unit of living space is essentially temporary waiting to be changed, like one day a house could sit on the wheels moving to the seashore to watch sunset. This mobile inclination violates territories, shaking the urban condition into a new type of anarchy in which cooperative multi-layering social and cultural interactions can emerge.
Current rural landscape was under the same ideology reflects the other side of story of urbanism. Large industrial zones, amusement parks, vacation villages, suburban housing and shopping centers are integral parts of the urban strategy with consumeristic logic and values. Relief X , the national art park project won from the competition attempted to rescue natural land. I managed to redefine the land form by extending continuities of topographical features, by bending geometrical edges, by digging caves and, above all, by squeezing the land skin into a relief on earth, similar in shape as occurred in Z house. Man, as wanderers, will be encouraged walk on and through the site of feel this found landscape in which artist workshops, artist residences, galleries and other supporting facilities merge in. Thus, natural environment will be re-introduced and re-created, rather than deployed for purpose.
This radical attitude lies in the same direction as that of urban approaches which hope to set forth the ultimate concern of creative understanding and appropriation for the particular situation. Architecture is a way of discovering the truthful, not necessarily the truth, in the voyage of life and time. Architects have to play with the substance at hand while triggering the collapse of the edifice of dominance.
Being innovative without imperative.
( This essay was presented at the International Symposium on Innovative Architecture in Asia 1996, Osaka, Japan )
Posted by chi ti-nan at 2:19 AM
Friday, April 15, 2005
“新竹玻璃工艺博物馆”之基本构想来自于针对未来都市发展所提出之都市设计策略，尝试在新竹市中心的“新竹公园”地区注入新的都市元素，增进居民在城市空间中 生存的活力与趣味，我们统称在此地区所作的规划设计案为“Z隧道计画”( Z tunnel project)，“新竹玻璃工艺博物馆”为其中主要工作任务之一。
“Z 隧道计画”主要内容系针对“新竹公二公园”中五栋旧建筑物之更新，在其中一栋预定再利用作为“新竹玻璃工艺博物馆”使用的日本时代建物中，有一个介于内部 两座主要楼梯之间的必经通路，走过此通道时有如穿越“隧道”一般，由于“隧道”具有心理地理学上的重要意涵，于是我们尝试引用“隧道”的概念作为此地区空 间运动与连结的模式。
由于是在一个十分纯粹的思考状态下进行的设计工作，所提出的设计案能够瞄准理想中的空间与行为课题，唯在实践这些具有超越性的设计理念时，我们预期会遇到不 少现实条件的限制，包括在绘制合约图说的方式上，需要寻找新的做法，在构造细部的执行上，也必须努力克服一般公共工程施作上的因习成规；我们准备接受挑 战，一方面尝试跨出一般商业性事务所的工作模式，一方面因应台湾政治、社会与营造业现况，试图找出属于台湾的另类工作方法。
全案的基本设计构想来自对于旧宪兵部队 (含日本时代的自治会馆以及民国时代的增建) 建筑空间的认识与了解，我们发现该建筑物中有一个联系前后主楼梯之晦暗的走廊，为整体建筑空间构成之核心，也可说是此历史建筑的内在精神所在，我们将此走 廊转化成为一中央隧道的概念，以引导出未来博物馆之动能，并在中央隧道结合了多媒体设配备形成“资讯隧道”，将影像、声音及文字符号融入步行观览之经验 中。
重要灯具系邀请国际当代艺术家以玻璃艺术方式制作，并以霓虹灯管制作室外的公共艺术品与厕所标示，原宪兵队部禁锢室内的墙面、地面、囚室栅栏、马桶、冲水 器、方块棉被、洗脸盆、钢杯、拖鞋等，转换成名为“玻璃监狱”的装置艺术作品，同时将旧圆形木窗内之一般窗片改换成手工镶嵌玻璃窗片，并将回收之强化玻璃 碎粒填充成游客中心的外墙壁面内，提供玻璃艺术发展之新方向，将建筑空间与玻璃艺术深入融合。
在发包前，我们特别重视特殊施工项目之施工说明与规范，以保障施工品质，我们预计以三个月的时间完成，而实际施工进度超前，落实了整体施工监造计画方针 – 长考短作。
玻璃构造中的构件设计要极精准、接头收边要极简明，充分发挥玻璃材料的本质与结构可能性。在“新竹玻璃工艺博物馆”中，两栋旧建筑物之间特别以“玻璃结构 桥”连结，这座玻璃桥长度为六米，超过欧洲五米长的玻璃结构桥先例，不只四周空间全以玻璃包覆，行走桥面下的支撑梁也使用由德国与日本进口之内含杂质成分 在一定标准之下的结构玻璃片。
Posted by chi ti-nan at 4:41 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
We have a responsibility for what the visual language should include today. We are used to learn in our profession a tradition where we consider the fewer things – or one by one. We need a visual language that talks about the greater number, to make all people and situations visible. The Visual vocabulary; Individual “marking” ,and develop a personal language. It is our signature in the landscape. The totality is more then adding up the different pieces into one.
Here at our school we are operating with a term called DAV (Den Andre Verden = The other World) – DAV is the key to visual understanding. “Visual Structure” is included under this umbrella. Visual Structure is built upon the teaching of form, at the artist academy in Warszawa, by the professor Oskar Hansen*.
We teach visual structure as an introduction to the 1th year students, then more advanced courses throughout the 2th and 3th year, and as group courses in our 2. part the 4th class students. Professor Svein Hatløy who teaches is in collaboration with the other teathers. We will also build one of our courses in part 3, the post-graduate program on our visual structure methods.
Here are some examples from the teaching prosess:
It could be useful to work on a drawing over a longer period – to learn to see. As one of the traces this is row of practicing, from simple expressions of a few elements in a closed space, to complex expressions in open form with various objects.
visual structure–“form of space”:
As professor Oskar Hansen taught it – Looking and Seeing, this is training the ability of seeing. As with most of the practices in visual structure, this refers to a situation already given, or which is created during the process. Looking and seeing – what makes you choose what you do? Show it!
It is important to create a reflected and controlled relationship between person and object, seeing the object walking around it.
Concrete qualities of form characteristics–different types of contrasts between objects. Of size, of shape, of heavy and light, all presented visually.
visual structure–the concept of pressure and tension
visual structure–open form, dynamic expression, continuity and simultaneity.
visual structure–by the great number of elements:
Making a great number of identical elements legible by adding more elements in a visual structure, not taking away existing elements.
The richness in this expression lies both in the number of elements and in their individual identity. To make this comprehensible more elements are added artistically. The readability lies in an expanding order by a visual structuring. The quality of all the forms, as well as the richness of the whole, would get lost if we take away elements to make it readable. An open form as this will loose its qualities if the elements were restructured into a geometrical order.
Oskar Hansen, Architect and artist, professor at the Art Akademi in Warzow (ASP) gave name to the theory ”Open Form” in 1959 on the TEAM X-congress in Otterlo, Nederland. Oskar Hansen have worked directly from this scheme on the different prodjects he and his wife Zofia Hansen has developed. He evolved and clarifyed the visual language through his didactic work, and through his engagement at the sculptural classes by the Art Akademy in Warszawa. He has advanced the subject visual structur and worked in order to make a dialog in between and to incorporate together the different subjects -space/ landscape/ and sculpture. Oskar Hansen had introduced the topic, visual structure and taught the subject Visual structur at BAS.
Line Frøyland, Bergen School of Architecture, 2005
Posted by chi ti-nan at 6:41 PM
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Posted by chi ti-nan at 5:57 PM
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Posted by chi ti-nan at 2:14 AM
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
TL: Why architects are involved in the Gwangju Biennale?
C: When the people from the IT PARK people asked me to be the architect for the exhibition, I wasn’t sure about about my role in this.
Later, I found my task was to catch the moment of IT PARK as people gathering in, rather to bring the physical space of this altered street-house with illegal additions, and manage to acquire eight installation works of the participating artists within a tight budget and given conditions.
The size of space we proposed was asked to be reduced several times, which was a drama to us as each reduction unveiled a new idea and new dimension of our work, or a trauma at the same time as we had to keep the communications, negotiations and drawings through emails and faxes with the Gwangju side. The situation was close to working in constraint projects at norm for we also flew to the site for further clarification and supervision two weeks before the opening.
TL: How do you see the show as a whole?
C: The show was a mess.
I like their attempt to push the alternative further to include architectonic aspect with the milieu for genuine art production, or to present the genius loci of contemporary art with context.
One could find that the layout of the exhibition space was followed after the orthogonal grid in the earlier drawing and another set of drawing showed how these bulky boxes were scattered to simulate a spontaneous and chaotic condition to make the mock up seem more interesting with gesturesque and image-making stuff buzzing around.
TL: Which art piece you like most and why ?
C: I must say that I like works that are least about cultural heritage but culturally dense and clever. Yoshiharu Tsukamoto’s shrine of comic books quickly came to my mind, a funny and nice piece.
I think culture prevails when unprecedented novelty and mutation occur. Established legacy will collapse at times. Architects and artists are key persons to pick up by instinct and knowledge. It is by no means a creation in a conventional sense, which is the culture product leading the society.
TL: Would you consider yourself an“artist”? why and why not?
C: Sure, but speaking of it does not do me any good as an architect in Asia.
Architects have to appropriate the world and open up the world as if were in the position of artists in an epistemological sense. I think we Asians need some time to recollect this awareness and appreciation buried under our utilitarian mindsets.
On the other hand, artists and architects are already taking different roles in the society. It is not a question of an architect being an artist or vise and versa. Architects need to identify themselves once in a while and fight their way through the social-cultural complexity of today.
TL: When and How did you get involved in the first art show?
C: I did graphic works and experimental films back in my college years, but never given serious considerations to exhibiting them. I think it was after my study with Frank Gehry in 1986 when we held an exhibition in the A&A gallery at Yale had I gained a sense of being a cultural creator.
TL: How does the art scene react to architect’s work ?
C: I feel that artists today are kind of spoiled by being treasured as “artists” and being tied up to their history. Architects are often obliged to confront the reality and somehow are not satisfied with the status quo. Courageous works do not necessarily seem bold and are sometimes about subversive act taken in the daily life as architects might do.
For my project in Gwangju, I think artists were more receptive to the designed space than to tempering with it, as the Tate Modern, an overwhelming space for the art scene to stage to which artists are being tamed.
TL: How do you see public art as an architect?
C: Public art is really problematic. I saw quite a few bad works produced in the city, regardless in Europe or Asia.
The division of public art and public architecture since 60’s was a tragedy. The system today is even more hopeless and domed to failure as the definition of public and the mechanism behind it is rapidly changed.
There was time that architect could work coherently with artists or as an artist at the same time to tailor the public space. I always like to remind myself of the city design of less known cities before Modern planning such as those in Eastern Europe. I think we need to find a new equilibrium for the future public realm in which all elements are active in the plasmordial whole.
TL: What projects you are working on right now ?
C: Europe is reaching a crucial point of change. It is not unexpected that Europeans are looking for remedies for their problems from the outside world. I have been recently approached by a number of European urban projects which seek new proposals and new tactics for city centers.
I'm also working with members of the Urban Flashes on a global boogazine of architecture and urbanism which is intended to be a truly transnational investigation on the dirty reality of our environment.
( Interview with Ti-Nan Chi by Tim Li, Hinge, Hong Kong, 2002)
Posted by chi ti-nan at 4:45 PM
Monday, November 15, 2004
不 久前见《读书》杂志上顾孟潮先生所写的“从‘建筑之树’说起”，言及扬鸿勋先生提出要求纠正西方学者对中国建筑的误解，而这种误解被认为是以那棵弗莱切尔 (Sir. Banister Fletcher) 的“建筑之树”(Tree of Architecture) 为典型意义的。关于“建筑之树”与《弗莱切尔建筑史》( Sir. Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture)，在我国的不少有关建筑著述中有所提及，但是或多或少地存在一些误解。而这种误解则从一个侧面反映了我们的建 筑文化观念的落后。笔者希望在此澄清这些误解，并对有关问题进行讨论。
《弗 莱切尔建筑史》是一本首版至今已有一百多年历史的巨著，是世界最重要的建筑史书之一。由英国人弗莱切尔 (Banister Fletcher) 及其儿子小弗莱 切尔 (Banister F. Fletcher)于一八九六年首次出版的。但是，所谓的“建筑之树”以及对非西方建筑文化的论述，并没有如我们的大部分学者认为的出现在 首版里。（此错误所见于许多学者的著述之中，吴良镛先生的《广义建筑学》 也未能幸免）首版的佛莱切尔“建筑史”并没有涉及西方以外的建筑文化，而仅仅将正统的西方建筑文化主线，以“历史性风格” (The Historical Styles) 为主题， 从埃及、希腊、罗马，到中世纪、文艺复兴等一一描述。该书出版后，在当年再版了两次。这巨大的成功给了弗莱切尔父子极大的鼓舞，同时也由于西方学者对东方 文化视野的扩大，他们准备将当时已经成为热点的印度、中国、日本、中美洲及撒拉逊尼（伊斯兰）等非欧洲建筑文化列入他们的“建筑史”，并将之定为“非历史 性风格” (The Non-Historical Styles)。这就是我们后来所看到的， 在一九零一年由小弗莱切尔出版的第四版《弗莱切尔建筑史》， “历史性风格”与“非历史性风格”成了该版 《弗莱切尔建史》的基本两大部分 (Volumn) 。那棵著名的“建筑之树”也是第一次出现在这版之中，可以说是小弗莱切尔的所为。当然，这 一版的体列一直延续到了第十六版，也成为在世界上流行最广的版本 。我国建筑师所了解的《弗莱切尔建筑史》基本上都是这版的情况。然而，这种情况并没有一直不变。一九六一年，由考定雷教授 (Prof. R. A. Cordingley) 主编的第十七版《弗莱切尔建史》，在体例上虽然仍然保留原来的两大部分，但是以“东方建筑” (Architecture in the East) 替代了“非历史性风格” (The Non-Historical Styles)，以“古代建筑和西方的继承发展” (Ancient Architecture and the Western Succession) 替代了“历史性风格” (Historical Styles)。考定雷教授明确地指出：“以往版本第二部分的总题目（非历史性风格）是不合适的；东方的建筑应该和西方的建筑同样是历史性的。”与之相应 的，“建筑之树”也被取消了。这充分说明了一种观念上的变革已经在《弗莱切尔建筑史》的后继编者中产生。随后一九七五年的第十八版和一九八七年的第十九 版，都在体例上有了进一步的改进；取消了东、西方两大部分的布局，以全球性的眼光，将各个建筑文化体系按时间分为章节来论述。并请各个国家的有关专家撰写 相应的章节，如中国清华大学的郭黛恒教授和同济大学的吴光祖教授。在内容上则大量增加了民居和市政工程等方面的实例。一九九六年又出版了庆祝该书一百周年 的第二十版，在第十九版的体例基础上更进一步地扩充了内容。
《弗莱切尔建筑史》历经一百年来的世界建筑文化大发展，而西方建筑理论上的观 念之变革，尤其是二战之后对经典建筑 (Classic Architecture) 一统建筑理论之局面被打破，在该书的体例上起着重要的指导作用。我们如果不以发展的眼光来看待西方的建筑理论，而以孤立和静止的眼光将该书看成某种固定的 西方观念与模式，就会导致不可避免的误解和偏见。
从《弗莱切尔建筑史》的再版变更，我们可以看到西方的建筑历史学家对非西方的建筑文化有 一个认识过程，从无知和偏见到客观和全面。而如果我们现在提出要求纠正的，实际上是人家在几十年前就已经开始纠正的错误，这似乎显得有点可笑和无知。这说 明我们对西方建筑历史与理论变革的了解之匮乏，理解之浅薄。而事实上，我们又都在盲目地、不自觉地服从于这种变革，这正意味着一种理论上的落后。笔者以 为，我们没有必要去过多地去指责别人变革之前的错误，但很有必要去了解这种变革的由来。
我 们似乎过多地在乎了自己的成就对西方建筑理论家的影响了，以为没有我们的贡献，西方建筑理论就难以突破对非西方建筑文化的认识。在顾孟潮先生的文中，将 《弗莱切尔建筑史》版本更替中对东方建筑的认识改变归结为中国建筑师或东方建筑师的努力。我们应该认识到，西方建筑理论界对非西方建筑文化的认识之提高， 固然有非西方的建筑工作者的巨大贡献之作用，例如我国的梁思成、刘敦桢等先生的研究和介绍工作，然而更重要的是，西方建筑文化自身的观念之变革所带来的对 全球建筑文化的重新认识，这种重新认识自然包括了非西方的建筑文化，也当然包含了中国建筑文化。
总体而论，自上世纪至今，西方建筑文化的 观念是从相对单一、狭窄的“艺术风格”大大扩展其外延并深化其内涵。其中在二战之后，将建筑学的领域扩大到“无名氏建筑”（Anonymous Architecture）是突破性的进展。最具轰 动效应的即《没有建筑师的建筑》（Architecture without Architects），由鲁道夫斯基（B. Ludofsky）主持在纽约现代艺术博物馆举行的同名展览并出版该书。与之相应的在其他学科，如考古学、文化地理学、文化人类学、博物馆学等领域都出现 这种变革，开始将历史的眼光更多地落在文明体系的具体形态，而不若以往的过多地偏向了政治统治者和强权者。那种偏重政治和强权的历史观，在建筑学领域就反 映为表现古代强权的经典主义（Classic），而偏废人类居住文明之整个发展史。正如鲁道夫斯基的所批判的，将建筑历史仅仅局限在经典建筑部分，就如同 将音乐的历史描述成自古典交响乐的诞生而开始那样可笑。新兴的研究领域大量涌现在民居、聚落、人居环境等方面。这种建筑观念的变化，必然而然地导致对其他 建筑文化的从新认识和重新评价。事实上，从人类居住文明的观念出发，不同文化的建筑更具有研究意义和价值。五、六十年代不少英、美研究项目都是选择非欧洲 文明体系为对象的。如著名的莱普珀特（A. Rapoport）的《居住形态与文化》就是主要针对非洲、亚洲及澳洲土著人的居住形态研究的成果。
一 九六一年第十七版的《弗莱切尔建筑史》，部分地反映了这种变革的开始。这一版的主编考定雷教授，正是主导英国建筑学术界研究方向和观念转变的一个先驱者。 考定雷教授曾于1948年向“英国科学进步协会”（the British Association for the Advancement of Science）建议对英国本土的民间建筑进行系统地收集、调查，为此以他所在的曼切斯特大学为基础而首次建立了“曼 切斯特项目”（Manchester Project），在五、六十年代曾有大量成果出现。使 英国在这方面的研究走在各国之前列，并对建筑观念的变革有重大的推动作用。
值得说明的是，五、六十年代西方兴起的这场建筑观念上的变革， 在西方建筑理论的发展过程里是承上启下的；对之前的现代主义（Modernism）是一种深化，并使之具有更大的包容性。因为这种新观念在现代主义的赖特 （ F. L. Wright）和勒·可布西埃（Le Corbusier）那里已经被提出。同时，这种新观 念对后来的“后现代”（Post-Modern）主张“多元”的思潮也并无矛盾，因 为这种变革的本身是走向多元的开始。而七、八十年代兴起的对聚落、城市设计、 环境设计、 人居环境研究、生态理论，乃至九十年代发展起来的“可持续性发展”理论等，则更是与之一脉相承的。
关 于对《弗莱切尔建筑史》、尤其是有关“建筑之树”的不满和批评，虽然几十年前就已有日本人伊东忠太、中国人梁思成等提出过，但多数中国建筑学者是通过香港 建筑师李允鉌先生的《华夏意匠》首次了解的。这本作为在八十年代初期出版、以全新观点论述中国建筑设计问题的著作，在中国建筑界的影响是十分巨大的。在中 国建筑的研究领域里，随之出现相当多的研究受之引导和启发，受益者甚多。然而，《华夏意匠》在给予我们相当启发的同时，也提供给我们相当的误解和误导。
究 其根源，《华夏意匠》在研究中国建筑方面的新意，主要来自于李允鉌大量应用了当时还不为中国建筑师所熟知的西方学者对中国建筑文化的研究，其中李约瑟 （Sir. J. Needham）的《中国科学技术史》（Science and Civilization in China）就是其最重要的学术基础。纵览李允鉌的《华夏意匠》，其基本观点、思路和写作方法都参照了李约瑟的《中国科学技术史》之建筑分册（第四卷、第 三分册）。另外，与李约瑟思想基本一致的英国建筑学者博伊德（A. Boyd ）也是李允鉌《华夏意匠》的重要参照。对中国建筑的科学性和高度文明，李约瑟在成书时是抱着既不满西方学者的无知和偏见，又痛惜中国学者对自身科学成就认 识不足的遗憾。当然，对西方建筑史学者的无知、偏见则表示了强烈的指责，并明确指出了《弗莱切尔建筑史》为首当其冲者。李允鉌的《华夏意匠》显然是接受了 李约瑟的这种思想而对“欧洲中心论”的西方建筑史论提出批评的。从思想方法的意义上看，《华夏意匠》实际上可以说是李约瑟思想体系的中文、中国建筑版，只 是我们大部分中国建筑学者没有同时对照二书，而将许多观点权当李允鉌的贡献了。在笔者看来，李允鉌先生的贡献，正如同他所处的时空条件（七、八十年代的香 港），提供了中国大陆与西方之间的建筑学术中介作用。我们的误解正是在于将中介当作为本源了。
建 筑发展史在世界文明体系中扮演的角色，显然是十分重要的。但是，长期以来，人们过多地看重政治因素在文明史中的作用，以致于各个文明的发展史成了国际地缘 政治的基本依据，各建筑文明史也是为之服务的。第四至第十六版的《弗莱切尔建筑史》，显然在意识形态上是服务于殖民文化之盛期的“欧洲中心论”。然而，时 至冷战之后，“后殖民”、“后工业”盛行的今日世界，强调对抗性的地缘政治理论依然有如亨廷顿以西方为立场的“三大文明对抗论”，相对应的有赛义德等以东 方为立场的“东方主义”和“亚洲价值论”。对《弗莱切尔建筑史》以及“建筑之树”的批判，再次显示了建筑理论对国际地缘政治的一种符合。如果我们更进一步 深究其背后的心态问题，可以看到“中国中心论”的影子。我们不会忘记，中国在上世纪被西方列强轰开国门之前，是数千年一贯的“中国中心论”。然而，经过一 个世纪以来的历程，今天我们应该不难认识到；不论是在广义的文明体系，还是狭义的建筑体系，以“中国中心论”去对抗“欧洲中心论”是不可能有好结果的。
其 实这种将建筑文化过多地联系、服从于国际地缘政治，是一种太狭隘的建筑文化观念，只有在仅仅注重建筑单体样式的时代流行。当今天世界建筑文化的内涵已加深 到了人居环境为其核心，以各个文明体系的建筑构成世界共有的人居文明，建筑理论应更注重发现与开发各个建筑文明体系中的合理成分，来为今天和未来的人类服 务。
对“欧洲中心论”发出最强有力冲击和有效突破的西方学者李约瑟，曾经阐述过他的关于世界文明发展史之重要观点，笔者在此称之为“文化 之河”。他认为：世界各个文明体系在她们的历史进程中相互交流、影响，远比我们的历史学家所想象的要更积极。他强调了西方人用之开发全球的重要工具，源自 于中国的“四大发明”这一事实。他描绘了人类的文明发展史是如同河流的形态，由各个支流汇至主流再奔向大海。笔者非常欣赏这一描述，因为李约瑟的“河”是 与弗莱切尔的“树”相对应的。“河”与“树”可以是相同的抽象的图形，但相反的发展方向。然而这相反的发展方向则表示出了二种完全不同的世界文明史观念， “树”形是强调了分立和对抗，而“河”形则强调的是交流与共享。
时 至中国的经济、文化大力发展，国力渐壮的今日，来看待中国建筑的过去、现在与未来，应该有一种宽广和坦然的心态。不然极易因曾经不被了解和“受压”而进入 一种不平衡的对抗心理，不自觉地在以一个“中心论”去抗衡另一个“中心论”。笔者以为：李约瑟的“文化之河”给我们展示的是一种合理的发展模式。如果我们 实事求是地、心平气和地来回顾与展望一个世纪以来的中国建筑文化之发展，应该能认识到：中国建筑文化作为具备其悠久历史的一个独特文明体系之“河”，与其 他建筑文化体系一样，她已经并正在不可抗拒地汇流于世界建筑文明之“大海”。
Posted by chi ti-nan at 3:24 PM
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
It was said to be superficial, yet, I find, directional on the future of Asian architecture through IAA. On the whole, IAA symposium was never too bold an attempt to push architects of this part of the world to be aware of their role at the threshold of a new era. It fully reminds me of the collective effort behind CIAM in the early 20's. Those European architects, facing the transition to new society, decided to build in a different manner by expanding social responsibilities, elevating autonomy, and proposing design strategies under new production method for the betterment of human life. Within those signed the La Sarraz Declaration, there were apparent conceptual conflicts, and their works were not with one accord. However, Modern architecture emerged onto the ground when action taken. And, I would say that Asian architecture became a meaningful category after IAA.
As anticipated, we discovered things beyond "function xeconomy" bio‑formula, that is, reworking on the vernacular, transformation of cultural form and object, combination of locality and modern design and construction, oriental aesthetics of space, and more idiosyncratic approaches. In general, it appeared that the innovative endeavor was mostly prconceived around the issue of the continuation of cultural identity, and lesser attention to new technology and social-behavioral change.
Since many countries in Asia were colonies of other race and power, Asian history was not a simple story to tell, in which people are constantly seeking their authenticities in conjunction with bewilderment within culturalpolitical dominance. Hong Kong, for example, is a place being cut off cultural ties for operational efficiency in which architects used to look more to their dynamic physicalities rather than racial issues. Place like Taiwan and Singapore are more conditioned by Chinese culture, at the same time, consisting of determinant Japanese, British or American and native cultural facets, where some architects want to redefine themselves through selected cultural symbols, often from Chinese tradition as in C.Y.Lee's case. Continental countries like China, India and Korea seem to have no problem of cultural orientations. However, architects from China showed seriours concern about the manifestation of their racial-cultural legacy, for the fact that inland cultural diversities coexisting in China aroused the cry for national unification policy.
Being culturally composite in reality, quite a few architects had expressed anxieties on how to elongate their tradition perse, While, from their works, we could see vivid British influences coming out of AA graduates, and American and Japanese precedency leading the way of other architects with such connections. The semantic configuration was one of the main topic, and few designers went beyond imageries into structural analysis as in Y.H. Chang's pictographical study and K.N.Tan's calligraphical simulation. Gerard da Cunha, on the other hand, took the pass leading to the persistence of the essential of local constructioti. However, there won't be simple solutions for better representations of culture when the problem at hand is of changing and complex nature.
Unlike CIAM, we saw comparatively less thoughts put on urbanism, though the prescribed topics were about city. Asian cities are now mostly under late 19 century modes of planning, in which architects are vulnerably impotent or just blindly optimistic. In order to avoid former mistakes and to iginite creative explosion, Asian architects should move gallantly to the shaping of the future environment. For people in Mongolia, the decison to embrace urbanization means to abandon normadic living once for all. This is a crucial point of departure for us to reconsider our unban life. When railroad in Bangkok could also be the pedestrian route for the market along each side, we really need much greater imaginations to cope with any easy and habitual judgement. As Rocco Yim commented that architecture is related to what we are and shall be, Asian identities could be more reflected in its living settlements rather than found cultural motifs.
At the last section, Shin Muramatsu mentioned about the new model for Asian architecture, which sets this symposium on the teleological racetrack. My quick response is that we need a much more sophisticate and genuine approaches to respond to many levels of our consciousness, to the frail nature, and to chaotic cities. The innovative model might exist in the process of production, therefore, a sort of methodological theory then leads the way to the end product. Cultural identity is something to be generated simultaneously during rapid societal growth by architectonic talents. It is certainly not a frozen composition, not necessarily a genealogical fetishism, and not the objective set beforehand for the design task.
Fumihiko Maki began his lecture with indication of the possiblities of 100 kinds of modernism and ended with his youth dream of making a vessel, which is illuminating in term of the innovative direction for Asian architecture. I believe we, Asian architects, will testify the alternative modernities and share the spiritual pursuit of space and time in grasping our fantasy within each defferent local condition. As Otto Wagner stated in his writing of late 19 century: "The question 'how should we build?' can not really be answered in a strict sense. Yet today our senses must already tell us that...", in deed, we have to ask ourselves the same question over and over again!
( SD 9702, Kajima Publication, 1997, pp 97-98 )
Posted by chi ti-nan at 6:27 PM
Thursday, July 15, 2004
The Asian city defies most conventional (western) urban analysis – identifiable structures and street patterns, or an easily traceable historical lineage – which often prompts generalist descriptions such as ‘dense’, ‘rapidly developing’, ‘chaotic’ and ‘ad hoc’. Taipei Operations provides an alternative model for examination, speculation, and projection, which is based upon an intimate connection to the material at hand, the city, as opposed to the imposition of a formalist overlay from above or afar. This is not a language of hyperbolic qualifiers: extra-large or mega-Dutch; it is an opportunity to question our methods of engagement and provide an alternative to the master plan.
The book charts the research of thirty-three architecture students from Tamkang University in Taipei and RMIT University in Melbourne. Observation is the operative process; all responses to the city are considered valid. The mapping of these individual preoccupations is rigorous, often obsessive – a type of forensic study in the search for clues that reveal hidden phenomena. The studies flip between small and large, from a personal reading to a universal understanding. A specificity of time and place is required in order to avoid generalisation and simplification. Issues become identified, and patterns are revealed from within the system.
Whilst it is often considered a problem to work outside one’s cultural milieu, for fear of a lack of understanding, or misinterpretation, we use this as an opportunity for discourse. The work strives to find common pleasures within the city and to accommodate different readings; what some regard as strengths, others may consider weaknesses. The seemingly banal is reconsidered. This dialogue becomes a paradigm for the city; the issue is that of negotiation, for different voices to be heard and to allow for multiple narratives and complexity. The architect and urban designer can assist in this act of curation.
I fell in love with Taipei on my first visit. It reminded me a little of Paris with its hierarchy of streets: magnificent tree-lined boulevards protecting the smaller grain of the interior of the blocks. The buildings decrease in height as the streets narrow to a network of lanes. What the plan doesn’t tell you is how the city is used – of the quantities of motorbikes loaded with all sorts of goods, or the time when the car got wedged in the lane. 7-11’s are ubiquitous - globalisation at work – but where else would you find fairy lights 24-hours a day? Taipei has adopted the chain as its own (town hall); you can pay your parking tickets and bills there as well as buy snacks. It’s when you get up close that the city is really revealed: the way they stack goods, the smell of the food (delicious). How does one reconcile these two extreme scales? And how does one avoid becoming seduced by the image.
The plan of Taipei produced by the Department of Urban design is an extraordinary document. Building lines and city blocks are delineated; streets and pavements are drawn. However this is where convention stops. Only the hatched buildings exist legally, with approvals from the statutory authorities and in accordance with the master plan. All crossed-hatched structures are illegal in this context, and have been constructed according to the rules of some other system. Laneways are filled in, or become internal courtyards; the footpath disappears completely at times. New typologies are created: arcade kitchens, doughnut buildings, and wrap-around commerce. Any open bit of land is up for grabs. The authority of the map is challenged by the entrepreneurship of the inhabitants. The planners recognise (and draw) this dilemma; they are both rule-makers and citizens who, too, delight in great food available any time and everywhere - the spirit of street-life Taipei.
Urban diary: ‘The World Famous Mango Ice Store’. A 24-hour ‘stake-out’ reveals not only the entrepreneurial spirit in the (illegal) appropriation of the public space of the street, but also a social code in the system of negotiation with adjacent businesses. The structure opens at 11am and begins to gradually unfold onto the adjacent lot and footpaths: tables and chairs, service stations, the overflow from the kitchen. The popularity of this fruit and ice treat grows throughout the day; the crowds build, and illegally parked cars and service vehicles expand deep into the neighbourhood. By 6pm an employee from the ice store arrives to establish an unobstructed frontage to the Japanese restaurant next door when the queues get long. This grass-roots response appears to provide a viable alternative to the systems of legislation and planning.
The diary is a summary of our methods. We start small. An object, event or a district is selected and located specifically in time and place. From there we ‘zoom out’ to locate the investigation within a larger space and longer time frame to determine the site or context of the work, and how ‘big’ the idea is - the issues arising. (My views about the architectural project is that it exists somewhere between the scales of 1:1 and 1:100,000 and should be considered within the time frames of a moment and a minimum of 100 years.) All observations start from the personal reading, and rely upon our ‘being there’. We make catalogues, stay in one spot (over time), trace routes, see things in motion, compare them to where we have come from, and position them within the map of the world. The data is broken down, edited, analysed, - compiled as a list, arranged by colour, categorised, and seen over time in order to reveal the particularities of Taipei.
The process of depiction or making the map is undertaken consciously; it is not a neutral activity. All maps lie, to paraphrase Robert Smithson, and reflect the bias of the mapmaker: one set of data is privileged over another; the means of representation selected offer some possibilities for interpretation and exclude others. The construction of the map is the construction of the city - the design of the site of speculation – and the initial intervention. Propositions thus flow seamlessly from the analysis of what is already there.
The position of the author is reflected in the bias of the map, and it is only through a considered social and political agenda that meaningful contributions can be made within the built environment. This is demonstrated in the work of an Australian woman who was uncomfortable with the lack of clear distinctions between the public and private realms. What could she photograph? How does one determine the (public) space of the street where on one hand a shop’s merchandise blocks the footpath while next door domestic rituals take place (in full view)? How could she reasonably operate in an environment without a full understanding of the culture? A series of drawn delineations of her perceptions reveal the nuances of occupation she discovers - alternative plans and sections to those indifferent documents issued by the city, which register property ownership and buildings.
Through representation and critique, the observations of the existing conditions are evaluated; the particular becomes general as the (larger) issues are raised, allowing others to engage in dialogue. All opinions are acknowledged and respected. In some instances phenomena can be considered both positively and negatively. I, personally, remain charmed by the garbage truck that heralds its arrival in my neighbourhood on Monday evenings with a digitised version of Mozart’s A Little Night Music. The neighbourhood congregates to load their rubbish in the ‘village’ square.
The authors of an alternative proposal to rubbish collection in the Yong Kong District are less romantic than me, realising that this ‘ritual’ poses a nuisance to those with large families, during a monsoon, and for the elderly or handicapped. They pose questions that avoid an over-simplification of the problem(s) and thus an expedient response. (They are not seduced by the image.) Their strategy to create neighbourhood recycling centres instead of dumping waste on the city’s periphery not only maintains the community spirit, but also ensures a continuing economic mix with the introduction of additional local employment. Abandoned historic Japanese houses are co-opted and recycled in the process; urban typologies such as the shop house and the light-industrial unit maintain their relevance in the face of impending high-rise development. This is far from preservationist position, yet it enables the urban fabric to remain intact. By dealing with the complexity of the site phenomena at both the local and city scales, and over a period of time, they create a truly sustainable project with its requisite breadth of concerns.
It becomes apparent that starting with the particular does not preclude the scale of the proposal. A fascination with traffic flows and motorcycle culture (the scale of a pedestrian with the speed of a car) starts with time-lapse photography from a bedroom window and concludes with the redevelopment of the movement systems within an entire district. The coexistence between these scales – ‘being there’ and the master plan - becomes the issue as does the varying and often contradictory needs of the population. Zoning and pedestrianisation are deemed to be oversimplified solutions in this context. By using the language of the ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ appropriation of public space a physical system of negotiation is established by reordering the existing; nothing is qualified or removed – only rearranged. Surgical incisions and the subtle addition and subtraction of hawker stalls, kiosks, small structures, stairways, balconies, and roofscapes provide an alternative to the heavy demolition and construction of most infrastructure projects. An evolutionary process is set in place, over a much larger time frame, much like the way one might design a landscape.
The explorations by the individual authors (as outlined above and graphically throughout the book) become part of a larger body of work on the city – and a composite map of Taipei. The specificity of these fragments becomes abstracted into patterns when the work is seen as a whole. The 1:1 scale is read simultaneously with the map at 1:10,000; the phenomenological coexists with the physical. Taipei is perceived as a series of specifically located moments with strong identities and character. These observations build up, as does the work, to reveal a complexity of issues, attitudes and responses that range in scale and types of strategic intervention.
An installation of the work in Taipei and Melbourne disseminates the outcomes of the workshop, and summarises its spirit. A series of identically-sized folio plates are placed on an ‘examination table’ in the centre of the gallery. They can be read as a series of individual projects, by negotiating the piles. The loose plates by their nature have no hierarchy; they become rearranged, reconfigured, added to, or deleted. Velcro installations on the gallery wall invite the visitors, as well as the authors, to ‘curate’ the city by affixing the plates by issue, by location, by program, by project, by media, by accident, and by desire. Overlaps, adjacencies, comparisons, contradictions and tensions amongst the plates underscore the fact that there are many readings of a good city and that anyone can and should be encouraged to contribute.
Curation best describes our activities in Taipei. Who needs a designer in the face of such inventive entrepreneurs? And what is the role of the planner when neighbours can negotiate? And who are we (whether foreign or local) to swan in from high with our bird’s-eye views? Our traditional spheres of operation as architects, at 1:200 scale in plan and section, for instance, are of little use to the growing complexity that practitioners in the built environment are faced with today, such as the scale of a highway or the time frame of a sustainable agenda. When working at a larger scale we are often distanced from our subject matter and create the sorts of disenfranchisement that are addressed by ‘urban agitators’ such as the Situationists in Paris and the Stalker group in Italy. Questions of authorship, and the responsibility that this entails, remains clear in our practice, but we need to remember the common pleasures we share as citizens. It is our responsibility to enable and empower our constituents in the curation of their cities.
(Taipei Operations, Human Environment Group, Taipei, 2004, pp4-9)
Posted by chi ti-nan at 6:19 PM
Saturday, May 15, 2004
如 同诺伯休兹(C. Norbert-Schulz)在《场所精神》中描述的布拉格(Prague)、卡潼(Khartoum)与罗马(Rome)等存在特色截然不同的城市， 被安放在特定基地(site specific)的装置艺术作品系以各种混成的方式聚合地点、地方、空间、时间、天与地、人与灵，每一个作品或人造环境所打开的世界是经过制作者重新组 装后的结果，因此分析图示仅为简略的分析，并不能切入真实作品的复杂状态，这也是评论与创作之间基本的隔阂。
自 上世纪末，当非空间与非地方现象逐渐占据了我们的生活世界，以海德格思想为本的住居理论与艺术论和当代时空的关联强度快速下降，现象学存有论对于世界的解 释与所采取的角度显得十分保守，而胡赛尔的认识论则被视为研究传统课题的学院典籍；严格说来，此两种现象学进路的运用有待打开新的向度与补充批判性的申论 内容。
Posted by chi ti-nan at 3:48 PM
Monday, March 15, 2004
上一期《非台北观点》一篇〈东海建筑的出路〉发了点议论，朋友打电话来关心、讨论。加上编辑部又告知，半年的专栏已告终，心里一则喜一则忧，喜的是结束了每两周缴一次稿的压力，忧的是发牢骚的地方没有了。“东海建筑”当然不是我真正关心的唯一专业科系，但它因有强烈的示范作用，所以不得不讨论。其实今天所有的建筑系早就已经碰到教学瓶颈，学生大部份时间都投掷 在形式操作的囿限里，一周两次改图耗掉所有建筑系学生的精力，就像所有的填鸭式教育一般，只能训练出形式的“工匠”，而无法造就堪与国际比拟的“巨匠”。 原因很多，首先是我们这里缺乏引领建筑界前进的典范，当然碍于历史时空的限制，无法强求。少数像王大闳这样的建筑师又过于低调，不投身教育，以致亦缺乏该有 的影响力。再者是建筑系毕业后出国深造，大多数以美国为主（尤其是想从事实务设计的人），匆匆几个月或两三年的学程就回国，美国在西方文化本就是个弱势 国家，我们又匆匆路过，结果自然想当然尔。 再来就是我们的职业环境恶劣，先是公部门的制度问题丛丛，黑箱竞图、设计费、发包制度……；其次是建筑师公会的不事生产与利益共生；最后就是资本主义市场的商品化运作，让文化品味不高的大众市场更加沉沦，政府的公共建设（包括国宅）似乎不想扮演引领品味前进的角色，一昧地上下交相贼，最终导致九二一的验收惨状，建筑师、营造厂该付出代价，不知那些曾收受百分之十至百分之二十回馈的政治人物或公务人 员是否也应该接受惩罚。时至今日，还有许多“封闭”的“国营”机构，像国防部、自来水公司、电信局、电力公司、中国石油、邮局、高速公路管理局……，它们动辄在城市或乡村地景上兴起庞然大物，但制度的局限或不透明，让这些部门的硬体建筑“了无生趣”、无法扮演引领的角色。 当然问题我们还可以直陈下去，像台湾这几年的住宅（由宜兰厝扩散）、老建筑再利用或都市更新议题，这些都会涉及到更复杂的都市设计议题，如果拿季铁男的论述就叫“微观都市”，而我称之“都市缝补”。建筑系准备好面对这一切了没有，别以为会揉捏形式就会处理以上问题，经验告诉我们，每一件事情都需要深刻的知识与不断的研究，因为住宅议题的了解得重回二十世纪初德国、荷兰，乃至奥地利等现代主义现场，而再利用涉及东西方建筑史，都市更新则更宽广，除前面提到的东西方建筑史外，还包括城市史。当然不是说建筑系基础性的美学操作不重要，但没有宏观的视野、没有社会的批判力，美学只能是自慰式的语言，最终将流于矫情、呓语。别以为我说的是未来，台湾几乎所有的室内设计已是如此（包括许多已得大奖的建筑师），翻开杂志，一片呜呼，语言虚假、一致的不像话。这些建筑师就拿着同样的方式盖建筑、教学生。真奇怪，台湾用英雄主义式教学教了四十几年，也没教出半个国际级的英雄，却把台湾的城乡风貌搞砸了，好，建筑师没那个能耐，是帮凶不可否认吧！我们的建筑系到底是没办法回应外面的问题？东海建筑的出路算是个指标吧。 徐明松，台湾日报副刊非台北观点专栏 2005
Posted by chi ti-nan at 4:47 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Posted by chi ti-nan at 6:31 PM
Monday, December 15, 2003
1920年德国建筑家陶特（Brono Taut）在他鼓吹组织的水晶链（Crystal Chain）团体的通信中写道：“……朋友，不要羞怯于表达自己的观点，摧毁裸露的恐惧……我所做的都是我独自在做：一个孤独的人在空间中呐喊。”夏龙在给陶特的信中曾呼应：“热情的力量随着韵律运行。从人类的红色曙光之核心中释放出来……无限并不在我们外面，不是我们能够强迫降至地球的一颗星，而是细致地闪耀在激动的艺术家想像之中。”葛罗匹斯（Walter Gropius）在当时也是水晶链团体的一员，但未直接参与通信，且对陶持的个人艺术表现行径有所批评。在葛氏创设“包浩斯”（Bauhaus）建筑学校之初，仍然延揽了不少“表现主义”的艺术家们。后来葛氏积极与社会现实结合，走向规范性的路线，有效带动了德国新建筑与世界现代建筑的发展，以致其锋芒几乎彻底掩盖了早期德国艺术与建筑发展中的尼采式神秘性格及其根本的影响。
青年时期的夏龙除了受到陶特的启发之外，也对当时属于同一圈子的知名前辈建筑师波尔兹克（Hans Poelzig）十分注目，其早期充满表现性的建筑作品可能直接提示了夏龙未来设计的一些方向。波尔兹克曾指出：“民居建筑首先必须从外在的概想中解放，需要去制造从内向外的运作，以辅助建筑达成共确性的考量。”这种着重内在与追求绝对的企图与现代艺术的基本出发点相仿，也是二十世纪促成“功能主义（finctionalism）思想的根本因素之一；影响夏龙至深且带领夏龙等人结社对抗当时保守政策的前街建筑家贺麟（Hugo Haring）进一步奠下他们有关形式与功能之间关系的理论基础：“出自功能准则的形式是经由生活所创造，所以是基本且自然的形式而不是源自于人，而为了表现所选择的形式是经由人类智慧的法则所构成……目前我们尝试不允许我们对于功能的态度与我们表现的需要相冲突，但保持两者并存。”显示表现的意志与实质生活方式构成了建筑形式的内在本质，与一般“功能主义”完全以功能决定形式的机械式观点大不相同。
夏龙的建筑设计一方面承袭自贺麟。一方面也受到莱特（Frank Lloyd Wright）的影响，实际上，贺麟与莱特在“有机”（organical）的观念上并不相同。莱特的“有机”思想意指一种空间的关联性．并借用“新风格”（Stijl）的形式原则建构空间的文流与自然环境的整合；贺麟的“有机”理论意指一种功能的有机体，如同人的器官一般，设计是依据有机体的性质来创造形式，显然夏龙的设计采取贺麟的角度，而莱特可说是精神上的导师。
Posted by chi ti-nan at 11:26 PM