Knowledge in architecture and graphic design : what relation?
20.03.12 9h00 - 17h00, opening at 18h ÉSAD Valence École supérieure d’art et design Grenoble-Valence Place des beaux-arts 26000 Valence 04 75 79 24 00 http://www.erba-valence.fr/
Going beyond the formal or structural analogies that are often recognized between architecture and graphic design, we will be considering how these two fields have been profoundly affected by the same digital revolution that has led to a redefining of practice. The contemporary world is characterized by major technological changes which realign our sensitivity and define new common territory in design and architecture and in particular the architecture of information. Today graphic designers have two distinct registers at their disposal, two different types of aids belonging to two large categories of media. The first and most tangible comes from a long tradition in printing, the second emerges and is modified constantly before our eyes through screens connected to digital networks. As far as the transmission of knowledge is concerned one does not replace the other, there is no simple substitution of the printed by the digital. Thus the following question will structure the day’s round tables: What complex forms will relations take between architecture and graphic design in a digital culture?
Round table 1
We thought a brief look back to the founding period of the Renaissance would be useful to shed light on the generic methods used in constituting and formalizing knowledge. We will look closely at those that were tactical and strategic, of which, constructive architecture is a part. More recently the question of postmodernism from an architectural point of view came to the fore most notably when the celebrated work Learning from Las Vegas was published and also in the way it was received. Its complexity and even its misinterpretations are still relative today. Together with Archigram’s speculations, that are now accessible through analytical study, valorisation and distribution on line, they will be the starting point for the presentation of certain claims and up to date research on architecture by the laboratory Experimental Practice whose activity in the editorial domain is strongly developed. > Moderator: Gilles Rouffineau
Pascal Dubourg-Glatigny, Reduced into art
“Reduced into art” is a mode of operating for providing examples of how to write on knowledge and learning connected to action. This concern was already present in Antiquity, notably with Cicero and its use developed during the Renaissance among a circle of practitioners exercising a wide range of disciplines. “Reduction in art” is a two phase intellectual method: first it rationalizes the gathering and ordering of information, then provides a line of conduct for the making of a printed book which becomes the new vehicle. “Reduction in art” infers formal transdisciplinary models, intended not only for the creation of text, but also for figurative accounts, the relation between text and graphics and more generally the typographic layout and organization of the printed page as a tool for the transmission of information.
Valéry Didelon, Learning from Las Vegas: a new genre of book on architecture
Robert Venturini and Denise Scott Brown, both American architects, published three editions of Learning from Las Vegas in 1968, 1972 and 1977. The successive transformations of this work well-known for its content as much as for its form, are the fruit of intense exchange between authors, publishers and readers. Through study of the controversy that accompanied the publication of Learning from Las Vegas, we will concentrate on the appearance of a new kind of book on architecture that contributed to making postmodernism a pluridisciplinarian cultural movement.
Kester Rattenbury, Re-Presentation: Three New (Or Old) Projects
Three recent projects in which graphic design and the representation of architecture have played a significant part will be described. These three all expand on the thesis of the book This is Not Architecture, which argues that all forms of architectural representation are partial, limited and biased by the techniques, values and even economies of their own medium. Of the new projects the first, the Archigram Archival Project, is a new type of purely online archive of the spectacular work of the seminal 1960s-70s group Archigram. The project had to operate both as an effective and rigorous academic collection and as a playful resource for the online community of tweeters and bloggers. The second, the Supercrit series, aimed to take the “event” of student presentations to world-class level by inviting some of the world's greatest architects to re-present one of their most famous projects and to give the event an academic status through developing it as a rigorous but playful publication designed by John Morgan Studio. The latest piece of major research has turned to the classic English novels of the 19th and early 20th century, and found some of the most experimental and richest of all forms of representation in those which use no actual pictures at all.
Round table 2
If graphic design has traditionally been considered as contributing to the organizing and structuring of varying fields of knowledge and information, the architecture of information can therefore be seen to be the immaterial “edifice”, organized, thought out and rationalized, in which and through which we acquire an aesthetic experience of discovery and new links between different spheres of knowledge. Today, physical architecture as the concept of space and as a structure is displayed and circulated in a digital environment, this contributing to radical changes in scientific methods and the relationship to knowledge. Design has a major role to play in this context. > Moderator: Annick Lantenois
Anne-Lyse Renon, “Graphic Design” and “Objectivity”, a study about meta-atlases
Knowledge visualisation and visual analytics studies require to discuss what comes under the term of “graphic design”. Can we talk about a simple didactic tool, an illustration or is it an seminal process in the production of knowledge? In contemporary digital humanities, “atlases” , or rather “meta-atlases” are bridges to a theorical framework on graphic practices and visual mediation in contemporary scientific researches. We propose to study this way of thinking with specific analysis of concrete examples of research, such as the semantic atlases and both technical and cultural problems adjoining (technological tools and means around these dimensions). We hope that we will be able to enlighten an epistemic overview on these topics for graphic designers.
Jeroen Barendse (LUST), Can we order the city from A—Z? In search for DataSpace
In the lecture, the classical monographic principle for the ordination of knowledge (modular and linear) is left behind. The question whirls up which spatial shape or representation and which architectural spaces have shown themselves already and can soon be expected as living proof of changes in the way we order knowledge; because on the one side modular thinking and linear ordinance has been replaced by binary ordinances and on the other side the era of the ‘original’ has been replaced by the document without an origin (the haphazard excrescence of reproduction). Does a fundamentally different technology offer new possibilities for the interpretation of content and does it generate a different architectural space? The analogous space is denoted as a city of bits and bytes, an analogous urban, wireless space that communicates via satellites. Generally this space is visualised by means of metaphors. The best known is the Electronic Highway, with a junction to another metaphor, the Digital City, which is situated under a dark DataCloud. But metaphors are not very helpful, they are soon worn out. The smallest knowledge module is the byte. The collection of bytes is digitally collected on hard discs, loose transportable discs or sticks, or in ‘servers’ of big providers. The individual hard discs and servers are hosted in chambers, technical spaces or terminals. The portable computers, the discs and sticks are footloose and are being transported in bags, trouser pockets or hanged on a thread round the neck. We want to introduce the concept of DataSpace, in order to investigate the relation between urban spaces and (temporary) changing processes that are brought about by ‘injections’ of knowledge based virtuality.
Tommaso Venturini, “Designing Sociology”
Science and technology Studies (STS) are one of the rare social theories that have made a significant contribution to the discipline of design. In showing the major role of technical objects in the structuring of collective living (without technology modern societies would be unmanageable due to their size and complexity), the STS aided in dispersing the misunderstanding that design was simply decoration. It is in the ordering or relations between their constituents and users that technical objects thrive and multiply. Far from being a mere surface embellishment, the design and creation of form is the guarantee of modern society’s organization. Today the time has come for design to give back the same and serve sociological sciences and techniques. This collaboration is attempted in the developing framework of methods for the cartography of the controversial. Twenty years ago, Bruno Latour conceived an educational method to explore contemporary socio-technical debates, the cartography of the controversial has progressed today into a veritable research method for sociology and social intervention. However, to succeed in attaining its aim to make the fabric of modern sciences and techniques legible, the cartography of the controversial calls for the support of the design world. Who better than designers, who know the difficulty of reducing complexity while still respecting its fantastic richness?
> Responsables scientifiques : Annick Lantenois, Gilles Rouffineau. > Conception graphique de la communication: Anaïs Alauzen et Arthur Gallez. > Conception et montage de l'exposition : Anaïs Alauzen, Margot Baran, Camille Chatelaine, Vincent Duché, Arthur Gallez, Gautier Scerra, David Vallance. > Traduction : Melanie Kenyon Une ligne de recherche soutenue par le Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication