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Theory and Criticism
 
Is Deconstruction dead?
Dear All,

After the post-modernism was proved inept and collapsed around the world, are we seeing the back of deconstruction? did it exist as a joint movement in the first place? or was/is it just the works of the 7 - conceptually different - architects who made up the name "deconstruction" back in the late 80s?
Karim Elgendy
Responses
 
Is Deconstruction dead?
Dear Karim,

Deconstruction never truly was a style of its own, but then again, I also do not think that post-modernism was a style of its own either. I belive both of them are sort of cynical byproducts of modernism. Let's face it, you cannot realy have a sustanibale, independent and serious architectural style which bases its philosophy on chaos and disorder, or on re-discovering of secret meanings of parts of other styles. Deconstruction is a conceptual experiment of its time, which, although has yielded some interesting results, overall should not be taken al that seriously.

Of course, that's just my opinion :0)
Luka Trkanjec
Is Deconstruction dead?
hey Karim

i think that deconstruction for the most part is misunderstood, the fact that people think that it cant be taken seriously is absurd! the fact that deconstruction comes from the theories of derrida and we know that philosophy has a link to architecture.

the fact that elements of this philosphy are evident in many contemporary works must show that the fundemental ideas of this movement can be taken seriously and are still evident

derrida speaks about binary oppistites and presence and absence, these fators are being explored today!!

regards
Jarrad Nelson
Is Deconstruction dead?
I agree that deconstruction is misunderstood. As a way of thinking where you are trying to question underlying assumptions embedded in your subject, I think it will always be alive. Or it should be.
Everyone in my studio during pre-thesis at Cornell noticed that we were all using deconstruction in some sense. Some tectonically, some as a philosophic stance.
Joy Knoblauch
Is Deconstruction dead?
Dear Jerrad

I also agree with the notion it has been misunderstood, however what i am questioning is its basic concepts, the works of derrida rejects the world as we know it and assumes a focus shift from nature to technology.

The other issue regarding deconstruction is there is too much ego and formalism in it , as opposed to what i would call "responsible sustainable architecture"

Apart from this it seems most of your agument emphasizes the fact that it was -and still is -a reaction. If it is , then give it a few good years and a new reaction to the reaction will be out, and deconstruction will be " out of fashion"
Karim Elgendy
Is Deconstruction dead?
Dear all,

It is interesting to debate this issue with someone whose views are radicaly different than my own. I say deconstruction was the last drop of cynicism and decadence squeezed out of the battered body of modernism which so many so many times proclaimed to be dead, yet IMHO the style of architecture we still live in is, in fact, an evolved and somewhat disguised version of modern movement. Deconstruction is a rather asstrayed branch of it, one that realy isn't going anywhere. The philosophy has, perhaps, several good points; indeed, sometimes it is perhaps nessecary to shatter the whole in order to free the parts, but on the other hand, to quote Tolkien 'He who shatters something just to discover what it was, has left the path of wisdom.' I tend to agree with that. The use of parts without the regard of whole eventualy leads to absurds, such as is the very name of this philosophy 'deconstruction'. We could call this movement 'condestruction' as well. It wouldn't make any more or any less sense.

Perhaps deconstruction is, for the most part, misunderstood, and perhaps I also do not understand this subtle philosophy. But then again, any wisdom that cannot be explained so it is understood by the simplest persons is hardly a wisdom at all, but rather a demagogy. The fact that deconstruction emerged during the early '80s, following some serious economical crissis, gives a lot of reason to doubt it is truly a style, or even a philosophy, but rather, as Karim pointed out, a temporary reaction of its time which tends to fade out.

best regards,
Luka Trkanjec
Is Deconstruction dead?
Right, the fact that deconstruction allows us to look at design issues differently and create new and exciting enviroments within and surrounding a structure is an amazing thing.

deconstruction in terms of fragmentation and the idea of the structure falling apart may be less evident, however, key elements within the philosophy will still be regarded as a lateral way of thinking, example, if you were to "deconstruct" your design and as derrida says there are binary oppistites, you would find that there is a major and less prominent focal point/points, now doesnt this lead us to question the design and take it further and by doing so allowing the structure to develop and create new intresting spaces and enviroments?


question: what style would you regard Norman Foster/Ken Shuttelworths Gia headquarters in london as?
Jarrad Nelson
Is Deconstruction dead?
They claim sustainability!
Karim Elgendy
Is Deconstruction dead?
I believe all styles will eventually die, and be reborn in a reshaped incarnation, but I think deconstruction still has potent contributions to make. Perhaps one way to approach this question is to see a parallel notion when Nietzsche declared God is dead, a hundred years ago. Is God dead? For some maybe, for others God is very much alive. In literary criticism deconstruction offers creative ways to analyze text, even though profs say it is passe. I don't see why it cannot help in architectural discourse as well, even today. I bet you use deconstruction in your own thinking, albeit you do not consciously name it as such, simply because it has transformed itself into mainstream language. Manuel de Landa points us to a different way of thinking non-linearly, to see history from the perspective of a thousand year evolution. Perhaps then we will be able to discern, the death project in its entirety.
Rey Atienza
Is Deconstruction dead?
I think, the Movement of "Dekonstructivism" is everytime important, if you see "Dekonstructivism" as an instrument to analyse the space in and out of Architecture, not like a stile of Design. I like Gordon Mater Clark or Derridas works about Architecture it has given me much impression.
Leipzig, 10.05.04
Daniel Dechmann
Is Deconstruction dead?
the world is moving so much advance that every one has started forgetting about the basics in every field of life ...e.g....we all uses mobile but we dont know history behind it ....it may b very awkward example but it works........that is how we dont know the basics of modernism ........ our era defines DECONSTRUCTIVISM ......so may we know the basics of that ........ but our next generation will not exactly know its basis they will definatly shift or produce a new paradigm a new movment ........ in which the might negate deconstruction ........... as we dont know the basic roots to architecture where it started and the reasoning behind that that is y we cant define or justify any movment .......... so we can just say architecture is living on .......... movements r just the moods which we want to present..........or which mood could we realy understand .......that is how nothing is dead on this planet every thing is alive some where .......when u talk about dead & alive that is related to the time ...but time is also a man made thing just a tool to justify urself ........ try to think with out time ...that time doesnt exist .......u will not think ur head off ..........
Nauman Pervaiz
Is Deconstruction dead?
Hello, Nauman Pervaiz

Sounds philosophical too, but than a perfect answer - all is alive in its context and time. Thanking you sincerely.
Manish Desai
Is Deconstruction dead?
no! not yet!
but certainly if the deconstruction becomes common or when it will become conventional it will be dead!
b'coz then it won't be called deconstruction
Pankaj Chandani
Is Deconstruction dead?
today the most commonly used word for deconstruction is STYLE..........it may have much more examples ...but one example would be .........reuse of old materials ....... in a different way or meaning will actually deconstruct
Nauman Pervaiz
Is Deconstruction dead?
"question: what style would you regard Norman Foster/Ken Shuttelworths Gia headquarters in london as? "

I think of Norman Foster as an engineer before and architect...
Knut Nord
Is Deconstruction dead?
to deconstruct:I think of it as a process of
re-reading a text, and revealing suppressed meaning form within the chronological juxtapositioning....but frankly.... u need to have something to deconstruct, in order to grasp the idea better.
we see a lot of emphasis given to the formal aspects of architecture when we talk of architecture and deconstruction, so I guess other aspects of architecture have still a lot of potential to be deconstructed, so in my opinion deconstruction of form is probably dead... But typology, program, fabrication, structure has not yet seen the last of this great process of our epoch.
Adeel Mumtaz
Is Deconstruction dead?
Can deconstruction come back to live? Bernard Tshumi did parc de la villa based on this theory but the shallowness or unresponsiveness of this theory to the reality did not survive.

deconstruct : a philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep-seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning

decontruction : A philosophical movement and theory of literary criticism that questions traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth; asserts that words can only refer to other words; and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings: "In deconstruction, the critic claims there is no meaning to be found in the actual text, but only in the various, often mutually irreconcilable, 'virtual texts' constructed by readers in their search for meaning" Rebecca Goldstein.

deconstructivism - a school of architecture based on the philosophical theory of deconstruction

However, deconstruction theory is relatively successful in the fashion industry where Gorgio Armani managed to use this philosophy to design and as a marketing branding. There was when Armani make his mark. He is a trained architect turned fashion designer.

Is deconstruction dead? NO... but deconstructivism IS.
Maya Sanskrit
Is Deconstruction dead?
Deconstruct is simply a Politically Correct euphemism for destroy, so if taken to its logical conclusion it has already self-deconstructed itself. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Is Deconstruction dead?
I think we must ask:
Is diconstruction exist?!
Diconstruction does not exist at all because it is "lack of construction" and in contrast with its reason of being: Architecture & construction!
Mahdi Raeisi Nafchi
Is Deconstruction dead?
`question: what style would you regard Norman Foster/Ken Shuttelworths Gia headquarters in london as?'

High Tech Architecture
Maya Sanskrit
Is Deconstruction dead?
salaam!
"Is deconstruction dead?"

Scientific disciplines do not breathe or live - either they are applied or they are not.

Is a 'point' dead? Is a 'line' dead? Are 'planes' dead?
Of course not - not even at issue. What we see here is the 'politicization' of terminology. Any designer worth their salt will not have a problem with 'deconstruction.'

Does your creation spring forward with no thought to balance and relationship? I think not, but it is best not to become confused between subjective, easthetic judgements and actual engineering.

Yes, I understand - 'deconstruction' is hopeless entangled in negative connotations political and otherwise. All manifestos have been written with pen and ink - so we throw away all the pencils before someone gets hurt.

The discussion on Derrida is good. The discussion of relative importance of debate is good. Actual development and exploration of vital architectural values, how they may serve in society is better!

Use what is good, dismiss the rest. Life is good.

ma salemah! and have a great day!
Anthony Stewart
Is Deconstruction dead?
To say that with the political writings of Derrida (etc) a scientific discipline called deconstruction was created, parallels the way Sociology was orginally created (circa 1837) as a non-faith "scientific" pseudo-religion and yet is now known worldwide as a science.

Looking in my crystal ball, I can see by the year 2170, Deconstruction will have become a major science. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Is Deconstruction dead?
deconstructivism is nothing but a passing trend... but hey, like all trends, they do come back in circle.
Maya Sanskrit
Is Deconstruction dead?
karim, jaques derrida as the founder of deconstruction never thought that his ways of understanding the world as a language became dead or gone. it will only evolve.
in the world of islam culture there is a time where sufism is in trend. approx in the 18th century. i read some of it than i thought that it also a deconstructionism in ways of "reading" the world.
then it all becomes blur
best of luck 2 u.
Farid Nazaruddin
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