Architecture Curvilinearity: The Folded, the Pliant, and the Supple/Greg LynnIntroduction
Greg Lynn, in 1993, guest edited
emerging movement in architecture: folding.
Greg Lynn background of philosophy and his attraction to computer-aided design was idealperson to publicize, in effect, define the fold in architecture as the intense interest during theremainder decade.-
Greg Lynn ties together Gilles Deleuze (French philosopher 1925-1995), Rene Thom (FrenchMathematician 1923-2002), cooking theory, geology.-
He states that since 1960’s architecture has been guided by the notion of contradiction, whetherthrough attempts to formally embody heterogeneity or vice versa. For instance, postmodernism and deconstructivism are standing in two sides of the same coin.-
His interest is neither for reactionary call for unity nor does the avant-garde dismantling of itthrough the identification of internal contradictions seem adequate for both contemporaryarchitecture and urbanism. Rather he offers
a smooth architecture (visual and mathematicsense) composed of combined yet discrete elements that are shaped by forces outside thearchitectural discipline, and it’s relative to the discerning chef.
This architecture exploits connections between elements within a design instead of emphasizing contradictions
or attempting to erase them all together. It is inextricably orintricate with culture and context, including a reliance on topological geometry and digitalsoftware and technologies, but the resulting works tend to be curvilinear in form and inflectedwith the particulars of the project and its environment.-
In Lynn’s essay, Folding in Architecture, included Deleuze, Jeffrey Kipnis, and John Rajchman,and representative projects by Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Philip Johnson. It is a way of intimating that the phenomenon of the fold was already entrenched in architectural design.-
If folding in architecture cemented
the shift in architectural thought by identifying andhighlighting this new architecture of smoothness.
Helen Castle, “Preface”, in Folding Architecture, ed. Greg Lynn (London:Wiley-Academy, 2004),7. See Greg Lynn, “Introduction”, inFolding in Architecture,8-13; and Maria Carpo, “Ten Years of Folding”, in Folding in Architecture. See also Branko Koleravic, ed., Architecture inthe Digital Age:Design and Manufacturing(New York: Spoon Press,2003),3-10
Begin with the example of Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Colin Roweand Fred Koetter’s Collage City and Mark Wigley and Philip Johnson’s Deconstructivist Architecture.These practices have been questioned and concerned with the production of heterogeneous,fragmented, and conflicting formal systems. Both Venturi and WIgley argue for the deployment of discontinuous, fragmented, heterogeneous, and diagonal form strategies based on incongruities, juxtapositions and oppositions within specific sites and programmes. Through contradiction,architecture represents difference in violent formal conflicts. Contradiction has also provoked areactionary response to formal conflict. Unity can be observed with a continuous architectural languagethrough historical analyses (Neo-Classicism or Neo-Modernism) or by identifying local consistenciesresulting from indigenous climates, materials, traditions or technologies (regionalism). Neither the