A nest and a spider web are two works of architecture whose functional perfection is extremely advanced. A nest is splendidly integrated in the surrounding environment since the same materials are used and the same workforce involved, it is absolutely ergonomic and completely recyclable, other than being biodegradable; a spider web is a highly technological structure, made of a specially created material whose shape is derived from the aim of the structure itself by means of indisputable physical and mathematical laws. A nest preserves life; a spider web gives it an end.
Today it is quite clear that part of contemporary architecture has mortgaged some of its fundamental motivations in the name – when not for less – of mere appearances and that it has built itself enemies against whom it only seems able to make up barricades on often weak positions. Abysses have been created, which seem unbridgeable, between architecture and urbanism, architecture and engineering, theory and practices, ethics and aesthetics: it’s just an aporetical wandering between the innate tension towards the formal research and that new, spreading sense of guilt of the western man for its own tendency to the colonization of space.
With this blog, in which I hope to be able to include contributes from the most different sources, I’ll try an approach to the tangles of contemporary architecture with the special intention to trace for it an acceptable future with art having life as its aim again, with art being life again. Primarily subject of the research will be whether the sacrifice of immutability and eternity shall be an answer, or not; all around this subject we’ll weave dense plots of architecture, as long as it is difficult as only an elderly, drunken, and so ironical Alvar Aalto could sum up in all he said in its conference in Paris: «L’architecture… c’est difficile… très difficile!» and also as Nicola Emery philosophically depicts it in his recent, homonymous essay (L’architettura difficile – “Difficult architecture”).
The nest and the spider web was born in 2008 from a rib of I caratteri del disturbo cronico [“The features of the chronic disease”], personal blog which I’ve been writing about arts, cultures, current affairs since 2005 with the nickname of Maat.
Upper image: spiderweb
Lower image: Frei Otto – experimental tensile structure
Images from: Paolo Portoghesi, Natura e architettura, Skira, Milano, 1999.