For contemporary starchitects, writing a book is analogous to making a building.

Just as architects deliberately select and organize columns, walls and doors, starchitects carefully select and organize images and texts to disseminate their polemics. Throughout the books “Function of Form” and “Function of Ornament”, Farshid Moussavi uses building substances of the book in a very specific way; shallow texts and dry illustrations. The carefully chosen list of words, which represents the function of ornament and form, was superficial enough so that it enabled readers not to engage their preconception of certain words with the forms and ornaments that the book illustrates. The repetitive black and white illustrations and a textbooklike format accomplish a certain level of monotony and flatness. Title pages utilize over-magnified images of a building facade to achieve the non-objectivity and dematerialization of the actual objects. Through a series of these oversimplifying operations, the eventual goal is complete; the neutrality of value; even platform of the supramateriality, which is a perfect playground for a pure formalist. Under the umbrella of supramateriality, there is nothing but signifiers; everything is susceptible to the reduction of material classification, even invisible forces. The neutral ground created by over-simplification has no hierarchy. On her playground, she does create formal complexities simply by choosing a favorable operation. It is now all about the technique of the operation. With a set of techniques, she generates a considerable amount of formal complexity instantly, which is ideal for this rapid paced society. She doesn’t need to be deeply engaged in the meaning of her forms. All she needs to do is to explore forms following certain self-referential rules in the realm of the supramateriality.

As a reader of her book and as a user of her architecture, we are invited to her world of formal complexities. It is our assigned duty to play an authoritative role of experiencing the space and creating a meaning among pure signifiers she created. The valued moment when we connect our own signified to her signifier through our own agenda, she becomes emancipated from all the historical, cultural, political, religious clothes of the form and thus a pure formalist.

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