Utopian Traditions: From the Architectural Model to a Possible Alternative



Utopian Traditions: From the Architectural Model to a Possible Alternative

Utopian Traditions: From the Architectural Model to a Possible Alternative

2008.08.14. 22:00

I am convinced that this is the search for a utopia which is simultaneously concerned with the internal critiques of contemporary Hungarian architecture, the Hungarian traditions of practice in the field, and the interpretation of exhibiting (international biennial) institutions.A study by Andor Wesselényi-Garay in the catalogue of Corpora exhibition (Venice Architectural Biennial 2008)

The media architecture installation on display at the Hungarian Pavilion in the Giardini, while not an absolute novelty on the international scene, certainly belongs in the category of rare experiments in a Hungarian context. It is an architectural borderline scenario in the most complex sense, which immediately provokes a barrage of questions. Does Corpora have anything to do with architecture in Hungary – or architecture in general – and if yes, what? Or if not, then why is Hungary representing itself with this installation? And – if this question is even relevant for an international biennial1 – what makes Corpora Hungarian? If Corpora – as a productive digital antithesis – is indeed congruent with traditions in contemporary Hungarian architecture, then what is the alternative, the analogue architectural thesis that now, in 2008, remains in Hungary? The primary objective of this study is to place the media architecture installation showcased in the Hungarian Pavilion in the widest possible context, in order to provide a basis for the above questions. This is a critical undertaking for which it is essential to look at the connections between contemporary architecture, biology, and science in general.  

Since the emergence of architecture and art history as sciences in their own right, they have used different models for organising the immense pool of objects, images and buildings that they have gradually drawn into their scope. Some of these models have been extremely successful, while others have proved to be no more than passing trends, fleeting cultural whims. Certain models are short-lived, while others do not even get far enough to have their legitimacy tested in broader scientific debate. A model – in contrast to a definition – is a method for examining and systematising a phenomenon. It is an order of thought – or to use Thomas S. Kuhn’s term, a   paradigm2 – the aim of which, instead of stabilising dogmas, is to serve as a type of map or navigation device with which to approach individual phenomena.  

In the case of architecture, the system of art historical periods, for example, is a pan-European model of such extreme durability that its framework – despite being loosened by the unclassifiable presence of folk and instinct-led architecture – continues to dominate public discourse on architecture. A parallel model would be semiotics, a “hit from the sixties" which regarded all cultural phenomena, architecture included, as communication. Regionalism3 is a relatively new model – especially successful on the architectural peripheries – which, by virtue of its mere existence, indicates the marginalisation of space-centred analysis4, a previously unassailable method. The strengthening of the tectonic model5, which enriches our knowledge of architecture through a poetic examination of structures and interacting forces, can be seen as a similar process. Furthermore, the view that interprets architectural creations as imprints of everyday life6 can also be regarded as a model – albeit in the final analysis a far too general and intangible one. The rampant mutation of these models is indicated on the one hand by the marginalisation of approaches that interpret architecture exclusively in terms of its social mission, and on the other hand by the widespread view that architecture is in fact the objectified memory of contemporary cosmology, mathematics and physics – especially quantum mechanics and biology7.

The common feature of these models, however ephemeral, is that each one has enriched the interpretational possibilities of architecture by adding a new point of consideration – each one making its own contribution to what we collectively call architectural knowledge. The latter is not something that exists per se: it emerges through models that discuss architecture. Furthermore architecture, by virtue of the slowness of the medium (which will be examined further below), has a tendency to “fill" certain prepackaged superstructures, which may explain the recent spectacular rise of biology.  

Medial slowness
The other aspect of the problem has to do with the history of science. Art history, beginning with the work of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, went to great lengths over a period of nearly two centuries to develop a scientific methodology. Considering the dominance of art theory, one might say that, when it comes to the exploration of border disciplines, architecture has to some extent lagged behind in the self-definition process (through theoretical works); meanwhile its own system of concepts has continuously “pollinated" the fine arts and painting. Image space, image architecture, cubism, tectonics (less frequently), plasticity and, in general, architecture: all these are concepts defined and enthusiastically used by the fine arts, while architecture itself has been slow to expand its own system of concepts.8 What is more, this expansion is not the result of research within the field, but of adaptations of expressions which describe philosophical, literary critical or other superstructures.

The appropriative tendencies of architectural thinking and philosophy – in other words the process whereby they make other scientific superstructures their own and load them with content, thus moving together with culture and history – can also be seen as characteristic of many works in contemporary architectural philosophy. Peter Eisenman’s reaction to philosophical works ranging from those of Derrida to Massimo Cacciari is also an example of this appropriation.9 The impact of Paul Virilio’s theory of wartime economies10 on architecture is also unquestionable. A similar relationship exists between soft shapes and pi membranes, as well as changing, malleable societies and the curved contours of the latest works by Vienna’s Coop Himmelb(l)au11. The argument that architecture (as theory) continuously seeks out existing models is further evidenced by the fact that, since 1991, studies have appeared which apply the concept of gender to architecture – positing masculine and feminine architecture12 – even though the art and politics of feminism have much earlier origins. The list of examples is almost endless,13 but the point for us to acknowledge is that in most cases architecture and its theoretical base fill existing superstructures and adapt to them, with an inevitable time-lag14. The biological, evolutionary biological and genetic parallel which forms the basis of the Corpora Project should be seen neither as a maxim nor as a definition, but more as a constructive model – the occupation of a superstructure. Within this superstructure, biology, evolutionary biology and ontogeny occupy a special position. The relationship between architecture and science, however, also touches on the problem of architectural autonomy and heteronomy. Autonomy and heteronomy are poised against one another in the question: “Is Corpora architecture?" This is a question that cannot be answered with a simple “yes" or “no". What is more, the question does not make any sense, since the relationship between architecture and science manifests on a number of levels, and in at least two directions. The definition of Corpora as pure architecture subverts the autonomy of analogue architecture, and vice versa; referring to this otherwise existing autonomy questions the legitimacy of fertile border-discipline areas, such as Corpora, which result from architectural heteronomy. In the absence of legitimacy, however, it is these impulses – without which the generation of architectural knowledge takes place at a much slower pace – which disappear.     

Architecture and science
With reference to the relationship between architecture and science, it is also important to mention models that architecture employs either to engage in scientific activity as a vehicle for self-analysis or to undertake scientific study par excellence. One should also consider those models through which some scientific method can be focused on architecture – with our energetic collaboration, if necessary; in Corpora, we have the latter. Realms of science – that could be interpreted as independent areas – work together to produce the media architecture installation in the Hungarian Pavilion. But if we take a closer look at this interdisciplinary fusion – of which there have been other examples in the twentieth century – in spite of the most encouraging experiments, we find that architecture and the applied discipline each retain their own boundaries. The once popular semiotics and philosophy of architecture have not – and could not – become architectural genres. The shapes flashing on the screens and the data stored on the hard drive become cast in concrete; the anthropological, literary and critical manifestations of postmodernism, deconstruction and structuralism can be interpreted rather as methodological novelties that influenced science at least as much as they did architecture.  

The thesis of my study is as follows: in spite of the mutual and extremely rich system of metaphors, similes and analogies between what are generally thought of as science and architecture, the exaggeration of their relationship in terms of content – the thesis of a holistic-interdisciplinary architecture – is an illustrational technique. This cliché has emerged as a result of the unique slowness of architecture as a pursuit. This slowness results in a tendency for architecture to fill pre-existing superstructures – whether they have their origins in philosophy or informatics – while nevertheless also staying within its own boundaries as a specialism. The most exciting post-narrative achievement of the Corpora Project is the way that in the Hungarian Pavilion it illustrates the analogy connecting architecture and science, while also accepting these existing boundaries, diving into the chasm separating the analogue and the digital, and occupying the biological model – as the graphic representation of illustration. In this sense, the Corpora Project is not architecture, but a representation of a model that generates architectural knowledge as a virtual, digital space-body.

Architecture and biology
Nowadays the analogies between architecture and science are most often derived from the latest discoveries and achievements in biology. The reasons for this are partly social and partly form-related. The social reasons are to be found in and around the successes of the Human Genome Project. With the mapping of the human genome, biology has turned from a scientific into a social question – a socio-political argument that has an impact on the most varied aspects of life and on everyday discourse. Contemporary drug research is linked to genetics, just as the drafting of the first Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was triggered by discoveries in the field of biology.15 Alongside nuclear research, biology is currently the only science in which research possibilities are strictly regulated, and which – according to its critics – will one day seek to challenge the Creator by giving life to the first Chimera.   

Thanks to the discoveries of our times, new horizons have opened up to biology whereby it  has become enriched by elements of cultural anthropology, though in the process it has partly surrendered its boundaries of self-definition. It has thus become unavoidable – even in everyday issues – despite the inaccessibility of its scientific apparatus to those of average education. As genetic-based theories have gained ground, susceptibility to addiction or illnesses, certain affinities and forms of behaviour, sexual orientation and emotions such as love, anger, sorrow and depression have all come to be seen as having biological origins. At present genetics appears to be the master-key to the hitherto secret and impassable doors of human behaviour. Genetics has, inevitably, become a factor in the nature-nurture debate surrounding upbringing and behaviour, tipping the scales back in favour of the importance of inherited attributes. Although personality development had been regarded since antiquity as being determined by upbringing, the arrival of eugenics placed biological determinism at its focal point. The horror of Nazi atrocities naturally resulted in the rejection of eugenics, and following World War II external influences were once again seen as the determining factor in the development of human personality. The pragmatic genetic determinism of our day tips the scales back again towards biological inheritance16. Genetics – and with it biology – now stands in the spotlight of public attention, and its influence cannot be escaped by architecture, either. Public debate regarding the significance of genetics has also contributed to evolutionary biology becoming such a promising model for architecture.

Analogies of form should also be mentioned. To use George Kubler’s expression17, the shaping of certain forms – the appearance of sequences illustrating identical problems of form, as well as the supposed or real development and possible degeneration of forms (or even the mere description of the process) – led to biological parallels18. In addition to this is the mimetic element in architecture, which is centred on natural shapes, both as analogy and the ideal of beauty. The Vitruvian tradition of architectural anthropomorphism merely supplements the earlier tradition – that is to say the natural analogy of the archaic orders of columns – which manifests itself through transfers of form. The history of European architecture, in essence, oscillates between classics and extremities of form that draw from direct parallels. The culmination of the latter was the Secession – the last great pan-European style – which offers the supreme natural analogy, as it imported forms taken unaltered from the plant and animal kingdoms into its repertoire of architectural motifs.

Beyond its decorative mission, Hungarian secessionist architecture also aimed to define the origins of a national architecture. The range of forms used by one of the European-level representatives of this style, Ödön Lechner, culminated in ornamentation that was linear in essence and consisted of the adaptation of flower motifs. Aside from this, Lechner’s architecture also arranged forms that together – independently of their true origin – could be defined as Hungarian. Such formal compositions were not based on the sociological study of village life or ethnographic research, but on imagined archetypes. The significance of this approach was that, independent of both history and architectural history’s stock of forms, architecture also articulated the need to define itself in terms of its national standing, and to identify certain speculative configurations of form as “folk" and “ancestral". Thus the question of a national architecture had by this time already separated itself from that of vernacular architecture, as the latter was based on the collection and cataloguing of forms, while the search for a national architecture was grounded in the creation of form. In this respect there is an interesting correlation with the pavilion in the Giardini designed by Géza Maróti, which, with its geometrical contour, is also an example of secessionist architecture. Hungarian organic architecture, which emerged in the early 1970s and has made an impact on the European scene, also builds on the formal practice of the Secession and the ideological practice which grew out of it and which questioned its own national identity. In relation to Hungary’s Venice pavilions over the years, the secessionist-organic parallel has yielded fruitful correspondences on more than one occasion. The 1991 exhibition was dedicated to presenting organic architecture in Hungary19, and in 2000 a “meta-exhibition" resulted when, in addition to the representatives of organic architecture, a model of “Atlantis" by Géza Maróti (the architect of the pavilion), was also featured as part of the installation. 20

Analogue and digital organisms
Organic architecture is a rebellion against the doctrines of modernism, and thus a postmodern critique – just as it is a social critique and a critique of the political system. The latter, however, has not been expressed by phrases and slogans, but the need for a national architecture (built on the traditions of the Secession) to recreate. Organic architect Imre Makovecz’s motifs draw simultaneously on the forms of folk architecture, on a mythic interpretation of the nation as concept, and on a messianic form of political resistance. Thus, in its philosophy, its world of forms and in its scientific attitude, Hungarian organic architecture is dramatically different from the path represented by Frank Lloyd Wright on the side of tradition and by Marcos Novak and Mae-Wan Ho in the realm of science21. In spite of the fact that, at the level of tradition, Frank Lloyd Wright played only a minor role in the Hungarian organic tradition, his work  – alongside Rudolf Steiner’s – is a constant point of reference. Its range of motifs place Hungarian organic art in the more general stylistic category of floral or biomorphic architecture. Morphism – or the use of plant-like shapes according to formal or semantic traditions – is a unique characteristic of Hungarian organic art, yet in a syntactic, structural sense it is not the development, research and generation of these forms that is emphasised, but the ideological expression of the social role of architecture. With the fall of Communism, however, this ideological-political role has inevitably acquired an undertone of anti-globalisation which finds it difficult to define its own identity in a nascent democracy. More concisely put, it is impossible to ignore the ideological redundancy – indeed the anachronism – of organic architecture, especially in the context of a unifying Europe. Ákos Moravánszky, professor at ETH in Zürich, pointed to the danger of this as early as 1989, when he identified freedom from ideology as a possible future course for architecture. He wrote:

If we accept that Central European architecture is characterised by the absence of ideology, by emotionally motivated gestures that permeate the environment, and by the willingness to accept contradiction and the problematic, then we must strip the experiments and aborted strivings of the past from the ideologies that were attached to them and which prevent further thought ... We must commit ourselves to a Central European climate that looks not for ideologies, but for inner validity, and to the ability for unbiased vision that does not seek in art the illustration of theories.22

One of the counterparts of this absence of ideology in architecture is regionalism, which is free of national narratives, and which places the non-illustrative site-form at the centre of the architectural design process. Thus, as a condition of the lack of ideology, organic architecture is joined by regionalism.

If, however, we exchange a geographical (horizontal) conception of space for a cultural-technological (dynamic) conception of space, and ideology is replaced by scientific research, organic interpretation will yield new surfaces to which experiments similar to Corpora can also connect. In this context, the Corpora Project is simply an undertaking which replaces ideology with science and research, and which is a digital extension of analogue, organic architecture. And herein lies the answer to the question, posed at the beginning of this study, “What makes Corpora a Hungarian project?" If we take political ideology and social mission out of organic architecture, and fill the resulting vacuum with scientific analogies as well as contemporary technologies and research initiatives, we will get the other side of the Hungarian organic “coin". The Corpora Project is the imagined continuation of an existing Hungarian tradition. It is a digital antithesis, a utopian, perspective answer to the unasked question: “What developmental possibilities would there be for nonmorphic-based organic architecture?"

The relationship between Corpora and organic architecture at the level of intention is, of course, incidental. It was not at all the aim of Corpora to become involved in any debate surrounding organic architecture in Hungary. The intellectual piquancy of this situation is precisely that the oeuvre of any architect working with a biological model similar to Corpora – Anton Markus Pasing, Marcos Novak, Greg Lynn – would also belong to the “anti-universe" of organic architecture.

Because of its chosen technologies – and its modus operandi in general – the question Corpora raises, in the organic context, is a utopia that is grounded in tradition. It is the possible continuation of a living tradition with its mirror image broken into bits, which becomes utopian precisely because it has absolutely nothing to do with not only Hungarian organic architecture, but with Hungarian architecture in general, as practice.   

The differences between Organic and Corpora:     The relationship between the Organic, the Regional and initiatives similar to Corpora:

Regional Architecture

Organic Architecture

Corpora Project































































The tradition of utopia
The above diagram lists utopianism as one of the characteristic features of Corpora. This is not out of keeping with Hungary’s past pavilions in Venice, either as an architectural tradition, or as an exhibition technique. The fact that, in addition to the aforementioned organic tradition, the conflicts inherent in utopias also have a history at the Biennale speaks louder than words about Hungarian architecture’s family affairs. In 2006 the pavilion was dedicated to Chinese second-class products23, and in 2004, the representative selection of instinct-led architecture and surreal mass architecture that was presented allowed visitors not even a distant glimpse of the Hungarian canons. 2008 is the sixth year that visitors can find no trace of Hungarian analogue architecture. This prompts the question: “Why?" Is this an act of turning away, or a quest for utopia? Or is it perhaps both?

I am convinced that this is the search for a utopia which is simultaneously concerned with the internal critiques of contemporary Hungarian architecture, the Hungarian traditions of practice in the field, and the interpretation of exhibiting (international biennial) institutions. Being a small country, the extent to which Hungarian architecture and public culture should choose its own path or integrate into European discourse has been debated for over a century. The answer to this exists not only at the level of artistic forms and styles: it is also a function of the degree to which their representative professionals participate in the education of European architects, and the extent to which it is their objective to use architecture in international discourse. In this respect, Hungarian architecture can look back on a relatively hermetic and autonomous tradition, with professional skills passed on from master to student – in effect a “closed-circuit" flow of formal constructs. Hungarian architecture is characterised by a strong tendency to follow internal norms, which is compounded by the fact that all architects now over forty graduated from the same institution:  the Faculty of Architectural Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME). Prominent representatives of this generation – regardless of style – are characterised by a distancing from narratives, trends, architectural fads and journals, and especially from the system of celebrity architecture. Emphasis is placed on sensing the genius loci – an exercise with a preference for creative adaptation (as described by Freud and Adorno24), rather than analysis. This exercise – in other words the search for a concrete site-form – has, in the last fifteen years, stressed the role of natural materials and the traditional formation of contact points, and also led (through the somewhat one-sided reception of Kenneth Frampton’s ideas) to the beginnings of a kind of regionalism. This instinct-led regionalism, has however – precisely because of its distance from narratives –not reached a level of development where we could speak of Hungarian contemporary architecture as a Central European regionalist alternative. This is not to say that there are no detectable formal currents that could be regarded as trends, though they are muted. But because a conscious (institutionalised) discussion of these has never taken place, they have never quite entered international discourse. It is the aforementioned internal dissatisfaction that brings to the fore such conflicts as well as fruitful and creative utopias in Venice; it is as if to say that if there is no such thing as an internationally compatible analogue architecture, let us make way for immaterial (but productive and creative) utopias that do, indeed, regard elsewhere as a u-topos: a non-existent place (or to be more exact, a place that exists only on the computer’s hard drive).       

Critical act
A relevant question – though one that cannot be answered here – is whether participation at international events similar to this one in Venice might be the very thing to aid the emergence of Hungarian analogue architecture and its introduction into the discourse. This question leads us – in addition to internal critiques of Hungarian architecture and the traditions of architectural practice – to the final point of consideration that helps place Corpora in a contextual framework: the evaluation of the exhibition as an institution. An exhibition – especially for a small country – resembles a shop-window with the glass reflecting inwards. The displayed objects are not only intended for those walking by, but also for the exhibitors themselves. It is precisely by virtue of their distance and their being elsewhere that they relate back to the exhibiting community. This feedback can be anything from self-justification through critique to an outcry – in recent years there have been instances of all of these related to Hungarian participation at the Venice Biennale. The Corpora Project presented here is a critical act many times over25. While, with its biological metaphors and programs, it is a critique of morphic-based organic architecture – and, as a utopia, it is also necessarily a critique of topos – in its analytical operation, it is just as much a critique of Hungarian architectural practice, and thus analogue reality. 

Andor Wesselényi-Garay

1 Eric Owen Moss, with his project for the expansion of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (which was shown in Venice in 2002), found himself confronted with similar questions. According to the catalogue, the Russian architectural community was far from able to agree on how far his project could be regarded as Russian. Next. 8th International Architecture Exhibition 2002. Catalog. Marsilio, Rizzoli New York. 118.
  2 Kuhn Thomas S.: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Third Edition, enlarged; International Encyclopedia of United Science, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970).
  3 On Critical Regionalism: Frampton, Kenneth: Modern Architecture: A Critical History (Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, 1980; 3rd edition, 1992).
  4 The basic source document for this: Giedion, Sigfried: Space, Time and Architecture (London, 1941). The book – as apparent from its title – is an architectural reflection on Sir Arthur Eddington’s Space, Time and Gravitation: An Outline of the General Relativity Theory (Cambridge Science Classics, 1935), in which Giedion seeks to demonstrate Einstein’s theory of relativity and space-time continuum in the spaces of modern architecture. Although the book was received with scepticism, the most precise criticism is offered on pages 285-293 of Peter Collins’ Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, 1750-1950 (Faber and Faber Ltd and McGill University Press, 1965; Second Edition: McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal & Kingston, London, Ithaca, 1998).
  5 Frampton, Kenneth: Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture (Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago, Illinois, The MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, London, 1995).
  6 Heinrich Wölfflin believed classic art history and architecture to be the memorial of a period or societal system of thought, at least according to his influential dissertation entitled Prolegomena zu einer Psychologie der Architektur (“Introduction to the Psychology of Architecture"), published in 1886.
  7 Jencks, Charles: The New Paradigm in Architecture: The Language of Postmodernism. (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2002). Jencks sees this new paradigm in the gradual withdrawal from the ideal of modernism and a turn towards contemporary cosmology.
  8 These new concepts, at the same time, heralded revolutionary changes in architecture. In 1932, Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock’s architectural exhibition “The International Style" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) led to the enthusiastic acceptance in America of such European masters as Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier – in other words, the Modern Movement – and then to its worldwide acknowledgement as Modernism.  Further examples of the expansion of the system of concepts include: Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), which became a manifesto of Postmodernism; the exhibition “Deconstructivist Architecture" at MoMA in 1988, which signalled the launch of the eponymous movement; Folding in Architecture - Architectural Design Profile 102 (1993); Digital Blobs: From Body to Blob - ANYbody Conference; Built Blob - digital real, blobmeister - Deutsches Architekturmuseum (2001).
  9 Eisenman’s early work drew on semiology as much as on Jean Baudrillard’s simulacrum theory: Baudrillard, Jean: The Order of Simulacra in Simulations (Semiotext(e) Inc., New York City 1983); Eisenman, Peter: The End of Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End  in Perspecta 21 (1984). Midway through his career, Eisenman turned towards post-structuralist linguistics, primarily the writings of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, with architectural deconstructivism coming into its own in a 1988 exhibition at MoMA in New York. By the beginning of the 1990s, having broken with Derrida, he had discovered in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari the concept of folding, drawn from Leibniz and referring to the “fold" introduced to determine the smallest surface unit (Deleuze, Gilles: Le Pli – Leibniz et le Baroque, Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris 1988). He could thus declare at his collected works exhibition at MAK in Vienna that an architect should not be a philosopher (Eisenman, Peter: Barefoot on White-hot Walls, edited by Peter Noever, Hatje Kantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit, MAK, 2004).
10 Virilio, Paul & Lotringer, Silvère: Pure War (Semiotext(e) Inc, New York City 1988). As a new element of modern urbanism, Virilio identifies the provisions made for cities with logistics developed in wartime economies, thereby lending new and special significance to war. With this notion he in effect applies Lewis Mumford’s theory of war genesis to present times. For more on this: Mumford, Lewis: The City in History (1961).
11 Wesselényi-Garay, Andor: „A virtualitás Bábel tornya – Interjú Wolf D. Prixszel, a Coop HIMMELB(L)AU egyik alapítójával" (The Virtual Tower of Babel – Interview with Wolf D. Prix, a founder of Coop HIMMELB(L)AU), in Atrium, 2003/3, June-July pp 4-11.
12 Cf. Colomina, Beatriz: The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism in Sexuality and Space, Ed.: Beatriz Colomina (Princeton Architectural Press, 1992).
13 Ex: Oackman, Joan: Toward a Theory of Normative Architecture, pp. 122-152 in Architecture of the Everyday, Steven Harris, Deborah Berke eds (New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 1997). Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari Kafka: Pour une littérature mineure (Paris, Minuit, 1975). In their book, using Kafka’s non-German mother tongue, they write about the deterioration of language and the possibility of minor language as well as minor or major literature. Oackman takes this terminology to introduce the concepts of minor and major architecture. Ignasi de Solà-Morales bases his concept of weak architecture on Gianni Vattimo’s Weak Thought and Weak Ontology. De Solà-Morales, Ignasi: Weak Architecture, in Differences: Topographies of Contemporary Architecture, Sarah Whiting (ed) (Cambridge Mass., London, 1996).
 14 An anthology which offers a critique of this tendency for appropriation in the theory of architecture: Saunders, William S (ed.): The New Architectural Pragmatism, A Harvard Design Magazine Reader (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, London, 2007).
15 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/05/print/20080521-7.html
16 For more detail on this: Fukuyama, Francis: Our Posthuman Future – Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2002).
17 Kubler, George: The Shape of Time (Yale University Press, 1962). Kubler’s extremely appealing theory takes as its starting point the notion that, regardless of style, the history of architecture is characterised by alternations of certain problems of form.
18 An example of the elaboration of the development of form as a conscious biological analogy: Phylogenesis foa’s ark. Catalogue, Actar, Barcelona, 2004, Exhibition by Foreign Office Architects entitled “Breeding Architecture", ICA, London, 29 November 2003 - 29 February 2004.  
19 Hungarian Organic Architecture. 5th International Architecture Biennial, Venice, 1991. Catalog. Artifex Műcsarnok, Budapest, 1991.
20 Towards a New Atlantis, 7th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice,  June 17 – October 20 2000.
21 For a scientific approach on organisms see Mae-Wan Ho’s The New Age of the Organism, pp 116-123 in Architecture and Science (ed. Giuseppa di Cristina ,  AD, Whiley-Academy, Great Britain, 2001).
22 Moravánszky, Ákos: „Tűzfalak. Közép-Európa intenzitása." (tr.: Firewalls. The Intensity of Central Europe) in: Magyar Építőművészet, April 1989. This essay has since become a basic reference work for numerous studies on organic and regional architectural identity.
23 Re: Orient. Migrating architectures. 10th International Architecture Biennale, Venice, 10 September to 19 November 2006.
24 Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund: Aesthetic Theory (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, Boston, Melbourne and Henley, 1984).
 25 As regards its critical attitude, however, the Hungarian case is far from unique. The utopian designs of ARCHIGRAM, Future Systems and Buckminster Fuller feed on the dissatisfaction of the 1960s – the critical tension that simultaneously affected both architecture and society. This critical dissatisfaction led to the rise of architectural critique – as if to say, “it is not worth designing and building, but it is perhaps still worth writing about them".   


Wesselényi-Garay, Andor (H)
received his prize-winning architectural diploma from the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Budapest in 1994. In 1996 he established his own architectural studio, "FACTORY", working on architectural, interior design and urban design tasks. The name of the studio was a tribute to Andy Warhol and to his own FACTORY. He received his postgraduate diploma in Urban Design in 2000. By 2001, his interest slowly turned towards architectural theory, and so he has studied art history and aesthetics for two years. As an independent correspondent, he writes for the Hungarian architectural journal, Alaprajz, and is senior editor of Atrium. In 2007 he started his own architectural blog: www.wergida.blogspot.com, that soon became an alternative centre for architectural theory. The posts on the blog have re-evaluated and re-contextualised the role of architectural theory in Hungary.


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