While the subject of formal analysis has often been studied, rarely has the distinction between form and content, and more importantly, between geometric form and topological form been articulated. The study of the diptych in both painting and architecture, which is essentially a relational (i.e. topological) and thus non-static, may do that.
When making abstract schemata of architecture, the numbers three and nine are traditionally used whether as a tripartite façade or a nine-square plan. Very rarely is a four-square plan or a two-part façade proposed, and when it is, it is as a two part opposition—solid / void, orthogonal gridded / round smooth. Such a binary opposition, which has underpinned thought in most disciplines, seems today to be insufficient or inadequate to deal with the complexities of the built environment in the post-mechanical age. In other disciplines in the humanities, foremost among them linguistics and philosophy, binary oppositions and paired relationships have come under an intense critique. The proposition contained below can be seen as adding another analytic frame to architecture, understood as a moving away from the existing analytic matrices.
Initially, the students will research work from the history of painting and architecture to make a catalogue of potential models. These will be broken down into a typology of three categories: content narrative, geometric structure, and topological structure. The last half of the semester will be spent using these categories to produce analogous architectural examples, until there is a matrix of necessary conditions that will define the diptych today in architecture.
|09 January||1. Diptych – Introduction|
|16 January||No class/Monday classes meet|
|23 January||2. Geometric Analysis of Paintings|
|30 January||3. Geometric Analysis of Paintings|
|06 February||4. Topological Analysis of Paintings|
|13 February||5. Topological Analysis of Paintings|
|20 February||6. Geometric Analysis of Architecture|
|27 February||7. Geometric Analysis of Architecture|
|6 March||8. Topological Analysis of Architecture|
|27 March||9. Topological Analysis of Architecture|
|3 April||10. Development of Elements|
|10 April||11. Development of Topological Relationships|
|17 April||12. Development of Topological Relationships|
|24 April||13. Final Presentation of Analyses and Synthetic Typology|