by Marco Frascari

Anthropology is ill many respects one of archltecture's universols. ' Preston Blier

The speculation embodied in this short essay begins in the observation of one of the early metaphysical canvases painted by Giorgio De Chirico, An analysis of the figures composing this painting can bring us immediately to the kernel of the theoretical question I intend to raise through this short paper on the practice of architecture. Entitled The Seer, the composition of the painting presents the traditional elements of De Chirico's metaphysical creations. (Figure 2) The composition is set on a perspectival wooden stage whose background presents an assembly of light-washed fragments-shattered elements of Classical architecture. The foreground is dominated by an anthropomorphic figure, a Cyclopean mannequin, made of shattered pieces collected in a tailor's workshop. This monocled figure, which is also bereft of arms, directs our gaze to an easel holding a blackboard on which a perspective is traced in white chalk. Two shadows mark the wooden stage. One is generated by the easel itself: a long dark line divides the stage in two with all the easel's legs resting directly on it. The other shadow is cast by a figure outside of the painting's visual field. This later shadow is a clue which allows us to understand what is represented in the perspective on the blackboard. In fact, the perspective is not a perspective-Rather, it is an elevation of the oblique architecture to be built on the right side of the stage. This drawing raises the question concerning the aporia of arcpitectural drawings and their nature as an enigma which must be solved in construction.



A series of drawings and an aphorism by Massimo Scolari, an architect who paints, can help us to further discuss the aporia

of the architectural enigma solved in the construction. This sequence of drawings was done for the construction of one of twenty facades designed by fashionable architects, constituting the acme of the architectural section of the 1980 Venice Biennale, which sanctioned the official presence of Post-Modernity in architecture. The drawing that generated the facade is entitled A Door for a Sea Town, and, if truth be told, it is little more than a drawing-It is technically an oil painting. (Figure 3) It portrays a gate inserted in a rock-barrier which separates the sea from a lagoon. The gate is represented as a masonry construction with impossible cantilevers. The painting is based on a multiple-stationed perspective and the gate is rendered through the use of an inverted central perspective with the front of the figure represented smaller than its back: a technique of perspective generally ossockrted with oriental visual culture.

Two sets of orthogonal drawings--one rendered and one measured-translate the gate into the reality of the site. (Figure 4) The translation from drawing to building, however, does not


r '




tIl '


follow the construction rules of an inverted perspective. (Figure 5) Instead, it surveys the painting as if it were a congruent orthogonal representation of the gate. The outcome is a new imagining of the gate-the result of a negotiation-and therefore a solution to the problem stated by Scolari in one of his aphorisms:

The imagining is always more perfect than construction since the latter imitates the former there is no tmitotion without some omissions.'


While Scolari's use of perspective is quite different from Brunelleschi's use of perspective tablets for the design of the baptistry in front of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, it is a mirror of Palladio and Scamozzi's combined operation within the Teatro Olimpico, where the past present. and future of the city of Vicenza are projected on the stage. Scomozzl's drawings of the oblique architecture of the street elevations are the source of De Chirico's conception ot the perspectival stage and of the drawing traced on the blackboard.

Painted during the first year of WWI, De Chirico's painting is a great metaphor for the present status of the relationship between architects and the means of architectural production. Architects are men with a shattered visual world searching for a way to reassemble its meaning. They are like the Russian soldier who had his brain damaged by a bullet and who became the subject of a romantic search into the nature of memory and imagination, the favorite topic of the great Russian psychologist Aleksandr R. Lurie." The story told by Luria describes the life of a man who lived in a shattered world and of his tremendous effort to recover his past that by so doing he might gair). some foothold on the future. This mon. because

of the damage to the visual areas of his brain, was practically unable to read. However he did manage to write three thousand pages of text over a period of twenty years, arrange them in order, and make a meaningful whole from the fragments. Fragmentation affected dll aspects of his life and he suffered from constant Visual chaos: an optical agnosia (i.e

the inability to recognize the meaning of visual stimuli)." It was impossible for him to see or even image the right side of his body; he was constantly subjected to uncertainties about his own body: sometimes he thought parts of it had changed. that his head had become inordinately large, his torso small, his legs displaced. , . sometimes he thought his right leg was above his shoulder, or possibly above his head. He even forgot how the ports of his body functioned-when he needed to defecate. he could not even remember the operation of his own anus. Writing was this man's turning point At the beginning of his rehabilitation, writing was as difficult as reading. Then, since for adults writing is an automatic skill, Luria asked him to write a series of unpremeditated movements which Luria called "kinetic melodies." From that moment. tile recovery of his

post began giving him a vision of a future. Writing was the

My perception 01 this aporia began with the reading 01

Boudon." He made the statement that "uW edifice is the represenlation ot the.QI~ which P1~ed it. »16 ~lulcrum ot, . .L_~

Botkion's argument is Viollet-Le-duc's bold statement that !

"execution is the stamp 01 ... conception."? In other words. a drawing is a pre-post-erous piece 01 architecture. My perception of this aporia was also strengthened by reading a short

piere by. Antonio. cprClIllSCl ..... ~'. the .• Quademi dol. parcele. In. ~.'

~. the It~ . . er sugg~ the CDt"Ott-

the ·c:ucbiteet is In the project. 'fa ~ ~, just as the '

real art of the __ IS m tile ~ not IJl the pdnted

booII.18 'l'bIa IS a MQOgDI_ that botb a:rcbitactural and Ji_~ <BY wri.tb'lI are ~atlOns. .A power1ul cornpknnt by AgkJ.oos indk;gtJ.Ly.rhot hap~when thegtgwings producsd by archit~ are not demonstrcmons of c:jonstruction:

The art of architecl:ul"e has been degraded by the architect into a graphic art. The greatest number Of jobS doe$. not go to the person who is the bui.ldel. but to

him whoSe wor~ cuts the best figure on paper. And these two are opposites .

Bu. t; it IS' th. e dashing'. ~. • • . htsman Who.ll1le6.". today. It is.~. .lon.gel the ! .

q~'S tools thQl5 ·e the tonns ~b pencil. On". ~ of a .. j

bui!~s profile and'~e mcmneIlan observer can dqe whetheI the j architect uses a n r one lead or a number five lead. . .'. hatching with th$ draughtinq pen has produced the epidemic 01 the grid. No window frame. no marble sk;Jb remains without mark. at the scale at. I: 100. and brtcklayen and masons have to scratch out and retouch this graphic nonsense with their own painstaki:ng efforts.19

~must~,,, de~rn Ol~ture ~,

h~~ t~ be pro-spe!rus tools for tM btUkier. not d prescription bUt a manifestation 01. the nature of construction. These graphic demonstrations are "monsters» within the labyIinth 01 the build-ing trade.20 They are the documents from which the builders ...

tbrg man. t. ement. an9$Jl.·.· the other Y~.'."' . relate to ull. ".~

, " buil' din' . . I

m gOl , i ; :

'lbe dfawtnI. pea is, then, a knife witb wh1ch architects cut tbrougIl buIldIDp-tbat is, the tool wttb wblch tMy write the .. star 01 theJr buI1dJngL Architecr::ral writing is architectural ~lg. The ho~ between~ ~writing is streSsed by Galen~ in his mytho1ogicx:Il description of the origins of cmatomy. He places the origin of medicine in anatomy itself:

It ~ then supertluowi4to write a treatise~ this one. becduse since their I

clJ:ttctllOOd. from. theirpPJents the pupithQd1aamed dissectiftgas they did et .. ·' reaclng and writing. 1he ancients practibed adequately anatomy. not only

the physicians. but also the phi.losopheIs. There was no need to worry that the prc:x::edutes cd dissection could be forgotten since they WeIe learned during childhood as the art 01 writing.21

VI Thai. knife sections the body cmdE· organizes fP. e knowledge I

v.rtti:his then ~in treatiseS ·the pen. ~pen is a knttEf._.

or stiletto-that is the stylus (grap eion}-which con pierce bOth b body and a treatise.

Meanwhile I was ptJblicly commenting on the books 01 the ancient physicians.

I WC$ proposed to ~nt on ErasitrcItuf book. The Movetnent at. the Blood. I F~ the tradition;the stylus [~ was nailed.m.;tha scroll and '",._ ..

mar~ed that part whicf1 advises on phleJ:?otomy.n I i




Manfredo Tafuri applies the same critical procedure in describing a method consoncmt with the aims of the "historical project"

in drrchitecture: i i

i" --1 "[ ...

; l

Operating on its own constructions. hlstory makes an incision with a scalpel in a body whose scars do not disappear; but at the same time. unhealed scars already mar the compactness of hi$torioal constructions. rendering them problematic and preventing them from presenting themselves as the "truth. "23

n;~n is the..tc$k.ot knowledQe..s:ince, as F~t says, -Jmbwledge is not Imade for un~rstanding; it isimade for cutting".24 The process 01. cutting is at the basis 01. our understandIng 01. representation CIS em ancdom1cal c:1emon8tration. This concept will become clear through a comparison of two drawing!; of the 12th OEfltury, one is en anatomical E 01 the ,

~lan Library.rOxford and.·Other is a . tation"otj

the Monastery of Canterbury. The Medieval ' mical draw-

ing (Figure 6) shows a hwnan body in frog-like position, a configuration which corpses assume during the process of dissecpon. The cirCUfatory system Of the veins is traced within it. ;n ~ency. ~awing OU~.MonasteIY.,tQmterbury "+ (FiQure 7) presenta the same visubl notions: ti1t9!buildings are : laid out frog-like and the water system is traced in transparency' as in the anatomical drawing.


3: and.;fthe' n are tools tfJ9d,' by Aristo~," in", wn,,·ting, ,a I

taxon -entitled Dt:T1prtibus Arumc:r.trum (The Pcnispt'

). A' rsed. knowledQe generated t#y the empiri.ccrl methods of various trades (tecllnJtai; such as fishing and hunting) is unified into a common science by Aristotle. During the 16th oentury, the hUInGJnist I'mncescoMaria ~do wrote a ~}{_~titled ~us Aedi~ Parts~) gnqMiL

reJ:tesented on th+ frontispiece l$lding a We-l:IDd a pen. '

(Figure 8) This 000k is a taxonomy of the constructed world achieved through the taking apart of many Classic(Xl Literary texts. A prodigious development in anatomical research took

plape during the ::' ce,. ntury CII}d VesaIi,US'S DIf Humani ;

VIII ~ f'abriccr, archi~ the h~) is the '~'-

epitome. For vesd:tius, anatoriUd:u investigatiorlt unveils the ..

harmony between the use and function of the diverse parts. 25 Furthermore, according to Vasalius, the duty of the anatomist is to demonstrate of number, location, figure, property, end ~n of ~_parts.26 ~my is not E$:.COnsideregJ . to ~ the process qt taking a co ' apart, but cpso a way of ! reconstituting it as a body in the anatomical theatre.

Anatomy, as a reconstitution of the body of architecture, was at the-core of Renaisfmce design:E' e drawings q>f the anato~ wete~valent~"the tacquini- , ' •.. vo (~-notebOoks)-t··-

prcliuced. by humbnist archit in surveying the architecturdJ.

ruins of Rome, the theatre of memory of architecture. These architects ffiled.their noteboOks with drawings of fragments of Classical buildings. Their graphic annotations were not merely Iect>r.9s of hist0r!c:4!.Peces and~erns, but !~r, carefully. 1_. ~ anatOmicclI~dies of portslot building5.--~autopsies of i


tool which transtormed the poor Russian soldier into a seer. To be a seer is to have the capacity of turning documents into monuments.

Architects are seers who, through architectural writing, tum documents-construction documents-into mcnuments." Their task is to rearrange a shattered world into a meaningful whole by the use 01 architectural writing. The question is then: what is architectural writing? The childish answer in the current architectural debate is that architectural theory derives from literary theory (the 'preeminent theory") and therefore that the writing ot literary text should be the model for the writing of architectural text. I think this explanation is too easy. I would preter to tollow a course that may lead to the sqrne conclusion but will acknowledge a ditterent reality for architectural representation. I propose a speculative path that takes into account the demonstrative nature 01 the architectural project, an art which shows the way in which it becomes. This oblique path will perhaps bring us to an understanding of the first two requirements listeq by Vitruvius in his definition of the architect's field of knowledge: He should be a man ot letters [literatus], a skilful draughtsman [peJitus graphidos] . . . .7


Both the literatus and the peritus graphidos are writers and are usiI1g the same t<?9.l~ "the grapheion (stylus), for dernonstrcrtinq their knowledge end producing their writings.


This re1lection on the demonstrative nature of architectural production is important since the present use of computers in architecture is becoming extremely common. For the most pent, the people- ~iting comput~ progtams or,. transferring to the screen traditiohal ways of architectural writing, but in an' a-critical manner. Consequently, the products coming out of their ploHers ore presentations of architecture rather than representations. "What is representation in terms ot architecture?": a question asked py Tadao Andd. a Japanese crchitect who knows how to cOSt shadows inhi$'buildings.


What then does representation mean in terms of architecture? For me [it] is architecture's physical or carnal quality, or to put in another way the labyrinthine quality of the body. I am reminded 01 the etchings of the imaginary prisons by Piranesi entitled Corceri. Their, overwhelming power and extraordinary sense of space hqve long remained vivid in my memory. The oneiric and fictional prison of Piranesi: so like the meW pictures of EsCher: are precisely what I imagine the maze 01 the body to be.a


In answering the question Ando points to the corporeal reality of architectural representation where the body has a certain privileged image. The body is then, for a privileged Leibnizian monod. a mirror of the universe which rules our understanding. As !talo Calvino has pointed out in Six Memos for the Next Millennium, the human figure is the basis of imagination even when we are imagining non-human space such as the inside of a stone column:


1 urn nonc'U'!E~les~~, convinced that OtE llnaglnatloll connot tx-:.: anything btlt Trns iF the reason lor rny orithropornorpluc treCltrnent o: Cf 1I10n hos never existed -:


The nature of architectural representation as an onthropomorphic demonstration of construction is embodied in Vitruvius' definition of 'arrangement": . arrangement is the fit assemhlage of parts and arising irom this assemblage, the elegant construction of the 'Nark orio its ornament olong with 0 certain quohty .


Three kinds of arrangement are listed by Vitruvius. who also points out that the Grseks call them ideai (ideas), that is, orchi tectural drawings. The first Idea is ichnography, which depends on a competent use of compass and ruler; The second is orthography which is the vertical presentation of a future building: The third, scenography, is the presentation 01 a front and sicl0.· with an lines resting in the center of a circle. The three kinds of ideai are born from the consideration (cogitatio) of all the parts rrnd are implemented Cinventio reperta) through teclme-that is, through anatomical procedure. Thus, the mokmg of architectural drawing is l:x:Ised on cogrutive representations of known objectivity. A circular procedure is involved here the understanding of a port is achieved by considerino the whole and the whole throuqh a consideration of its parts. This is analogous to the physician who gains an understcmding of the whole human body through 0 study of its parts.

Of the three kinds of drawings listed by Vitruvius. the third one, scenoqraphy, is the most difficult to explain because of another homophonous term which refers to stago design. As

a result. scenography has mostly been interpreted as 'perspective" However, in his commentary on Vitruvius text Daniele Barbaro. the most intellectually powerful of Pcllodios patrons, colled this third kind of orronqemem profilo (profile), C1 cut feoi1ue demonstrating the construction of buildinqs


tLj.rd ick?<:f cCJUed SCt;n()grapl~)' fs-::ioglalicJ], 1iOft; v)r}l;("'L 9)(:;>(:11 utllHy i:;;

cj£-7rivc'd, becau~~E-_; through ciE'::;·::::nrAion 01 tr« r·rc,hle 'TV'}':;' und.('l'stanci

of every elern~?'nt [n::cIJJL110] and In fnjc;

Oil lnt(~'no~ GTY~;


Th('3 profile is a dernonstrouon of the stereotomy of building

parts an anatornical representotion of architecture. As Konnetn Frampton has pointed out, stereotomy is the iJeginnmc::r ot the idea: "project." The orchitecturol project 1S l:x:Ised upon

transformation tokinr, ploce in the trcmskrtion of a buildino into 0: drowing, and vice V('?ISCX The traditional interpretation of this translation is that architectural drawings are the graphic representation of an existing or future building: ThE current understanding of the actors in this translation is thai buildings are representations of the drawings which preceded them. In other words, in the past architectural projects WElT(: always pre-posterns where as nowadays projects are intentionally pro-sperus,



1vl :~tN'~ftt~/~~ f;.~-::::r~";:~~:::~t;;

_.r_ .. ,~p~_""'IJ.ff '7" .. __,.."dllaI."" .. '" ,!",':4 fflP,,u,,,<ht_J-", ... ,,..,,.JJJt.jp,toIjiJ,j/,,,J.·..,,..ekik(.,,,.



l. I 5 It 0





classical edifices, they were a direct visual exploration. as the word autopsy indicated in its original Greek meaning. These graphic logs were the basis for writing the story of 1uture architecture. The literory humanists used the same technique: They collected in their notebooks fragments of Classical text; they jotted down single words, phrases, maxims. and sentences for reconstituting a Classical language.

As Gleen Harcourt points out. the notion of representation lies at the heart of Veschus's Fabiica, which illustrates that the central role of representation is the constitution of knowledqe." (Figure 9) Representation is also at the core of the Dieci Libri

eli Architectura, a work by Giovanni Maria Rusconi, a now-

x forgotten architect of the 16th century, who mode a beautiful set of illustrations for the Vitruvian text. 28 Rusconi completed his graphiC work in 1553, a decade after the publishing of Vesohus's Fabrica.29 The illustrations were then printed posthumously in 1590.

Rusconi's drawing$ present the same representational nature

as Vesclius's anatomical illustrations. The Vesalius anatomical figures are not inert corpses-they move in a beautiful landscape displaying a great dignity. They stroll at the feet of the EUg'enial hills, located between Padua and Venice." Following ClIl estobltshed tra4Ution, the anatomical figures 'are shown

XI through successive stages, and, as they become stripped of their musculature, the landscape shows a Mother Nature

which is laid bare as the seasons pass from spring to winter."

In Rusconi's drawings we witness the same representional procedure: the bodies of buildings are exposed through successiv~ stages of ~tion as they become striPfJetl of their ploster1 skins to show the structural skeleton. (Figure 10) The same sequential dissection is used by Rusconi in his demonstration of the triglyph. (Figures 11-13)

Dedlinq with abci9minal viscera ~Book V of th.eFabrica, Vesj:iHlis did not' fr¥ike his anatorpical demonsrrption within real corpses. Instead, they were represented within the remains of famous antique sculptures. (Figure 14) Rusconi followed the same technique: he showed the 'viscera' of buildings within the XII fragmented ruins Of antique edifices. (Figure 15) These drawing$were trying tq elevate the r~e of construction documents intd monuments of architectural science.P just cts Vesalius was trying to "elevate anatomical science above the word of objectified individual violation. "33 The Fabrica was a visual attempt by Vesalius to present the opera manus, the work of the hand (LllJiia's "kinetic mEtlodies·) as the pristine ontolopcal ground for human knowled.g+. The same a{fempt was carried on by Rusconi who endeavored to establish the opera manus of construction as an ontological grollild for architecture through his anatomical representation of artifacts.













',,"" '-·.i ~:£; »";,.,i.' ::;'~':""

In the current state of anatomical investigation, the physician

has developed. a new kind 01 knUe and a new ~em 01 rru2te~ntation-a b.loocUess knU&.tllich can wniilPe stortesQt\ .. the li1uman bodYJn the electror¢ screen. Meaccu imaging . makes visible that which is invisible. Physicians probe painlessly through the human body in vivo; They see using sonography, angiography, tomography, etc., the newelec-

troIfc grapheion:f. hIch allow -tvasive",.~eOOD. dissec- :

tionj-and display -anatomic es. IU • are also"'!

ustng electronic reens but this is poiso by a most I

dangerous practice of the profession: the practice oftmttating the past-an tmttation which does not model the processes

but only mtmlcs the products. IUchitects have torgoHen that

~~ of_q~~e ~~ .... are a repr~~on of a

nuy which isli\vlstble. i I


In their drawings, architects must make viSible that which is Invisible In the concetVlng and constructing of architecture.

Thr~ugh drawin~ the archit:J.: .. o~ve is E. definition of ' ....

czuctxrtities and ft1nf=tional den . in order' termine ~ .

qudlities and conriotcmons of~, present, an future bulld- . ings. Architectural drawings are tools which mCIke tangible what is intangible. In any edifice, the substance and the form of the contents and physical expressions are not two separate dUlje.~ons, but ~_~mbodied ~~e in the b~!__9bject. ~j Uii(Jerstanding oTJPedical imagiIjting-a way olfIiOking visible: the invisible-can foster a better understanding of the role of architectural demonstrations since this is the way by which the architect, as an actor, makes visible what is 'invisible in the

C01'ftructed. WOrl=d ... Ar chi .•.•. 'tecture.. ..f. .. lI1.' •.... the ..'.': wor:ald .. f the visib. lble, !

'lbI$Means.that ofat'fhitectures . ... • our ~;

Thcit arcbltecture the huma:tl body are In front of I

the other and, between the two, there is "not a frontier, but a contact surface". 34 this should be a new jOldway of writing arChitecture, anlmagfnlng which can help to rearrange In a m~ whole: the shattered jrrorld In whicJl, we Uve.

·-t···· --r-- ···r~ j"~

Marco Ptascari, Ph.D., is CUITentIy the Assistant Director ot the Ph.D. Program in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School ot Fine Arts. Born in Mantua, Dr. Frascari studied at the Accademia eli Belle Arti, the tstituto

Univ,ersitario di Architettura di Venezia, umbia University, New York ,

UniV.ersity, the Univezslty of Cincinnati, d the University qt Pennsylvania. ~

a"l1C1Jpon to his nt.mtm"~'J')ublished exhibitions, ~i'fi(ln§ctures given'- t

throlllghout the United States and Europe, ,he bas held teaching positions at thil Istituto Universitario di Architetturo di Venezia, the University of Cincinnati, the Open Atelier ot Design, the Architectural Association, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Frascari is also a practicing architect. His penetrating insight is amplified by an encyclopedic knowledge of architecture and his protounp humanity.

U' _ ""J-'~J.1 fc ~f4'2lPIG' bPA~qCIU2 bops bcnr-

WSpflliJaIJ poqA ~ ~p6 2CJ.G6U· TATf~!"Y.' 'IT fUJaCiIUa

16~eaeIJfClP.Ou-a Rlcx:xnGaa JCIm6 cau

pcm Q6ASJObeq a UG.M.



1. Tadao Ando. 'Representation and Abstraction," Japan .4rchitecture (April 1988); 118

2. Massimo Scolari. "Considerczioru e oforismi sul diseqno.' Rassegna 9 (1982) 85.

3. Oliver Sacks. "Foreword to the 1987 Edition." ill AR, Luria. the Man with a Shattered World (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1987). xxviii.

4. AJeksandr R, Luria. The Man with a Shattered World (Cambridge; Harvard University Pr~. 1972). p. 29,

5. !bid,. p. 71-5,

6. I am not using the locution "construction documents" in its present trademeaning, I believe that every document produced in the profession of architecture is a construction document since the final aim of any architectural project is a construction of knowledge. not necessarily a building,

7, Marcus Pollione Vitruvius. De ArchitectuIa (lst century B,C.). trans, F.

Granger (London: Loeb Library. 1930). p. L i. 3--4,

8. Ando. p, 8,

9. Italo Calvina. Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Cambridge: Harvard

University Press. 1988). p. 90,

10, Vitruvtus. p. I. ii, 2,

11. For the Greeks. the;term ideai was synonymous with our word drawings. 12, in present architectural usage, a "protile" is a sectional elevation of a

building, •

13, Marcus Pollione Vitruvius. I Died Libri dell' Architetturo di M. Vitruvio, tradutti e commentatida Monsig, Daniele Barbcrro (Venice: Marcolini. 1584). p, 30 ..

14. ' Kenneth. Fl'. ampto. ~. ~e.'Antfuopology .. of. Construction.I .. t . Casabella251-1 . '

,··C~lUary 1986)",,,. torny is a ~.gra;phic de~. devisedtQ

~oid the labor gefJ.erated by the several presentings of stone required fOY' cutting it to tit properly.

15, Philippe Boudon. "Structure and Signs: AD, Profiles: Viollet-Le-Due (February 1980): 90-4,

16. Ibid., p. 91. 17.ll::/lQ., p. 92.






18. Antonio Gramsct, "The New Architecture: in Selection hom Cultural Writing. ed. D. Forgoes and G. Nowell-Smith (Cambridge: M,I.T. Press. 1935),p.131.

19. Adolf Loqs, "Architecture 1910" The Architecture of Adolf 1005. Catalogue, Arts:COtindl Exhibition, 1985, p. 105-6.

20, The architectural 'zhol)Ster" is Frasccn:fs term for the enil;Jmatic signs by ;


the margin of human consciousness between the known and the

unknown, the perceived and the unperceived, calling into question the adequacy of our ways in organizing the world into familiar parts and details. Monstrous as an adjective has no descriptive value. its common purpose is to single: out a loaded (caqcatured) artifact, whereas monster os noun suggests artif(Icts that are eithe~ beyond or between categories. . Nevertheless thE! r~-bf monster is ~as a genetiC' trOpe: a trope whic1ij deals with human Creativity demonsiratmg the nature of human artifacts!. ' Through their transformations, architectural "monsters' . , , give guidance [in) demonstrating the way dwelling should follow .. , in a decorous way:

From Marco Frascari, "Frank LLoyd Wright and the Johnson Wax Buildings, Creating a Corporate Cathedral: Art Papers Vol. 12 #5 (September/ October, 1988), p, 46-47. Also see Mqrco Frascari, "So~ Mostri Sacri of

.... ~~ Architec:tu.ret~ Files (l4,!~t:>: p, 42-47. -€<:i..; ...

21, <Salenus, De anatotnicis adIninistratictoous, n 1, K n 28Q-f. cited by Mario Vegetti. n Coltello e 10 Stilo (Milano: n'Saggiatore. 1979), p. 41.

22. Galenus, De Libris, p. 1-2, cited by Vegetti. p. 42.

23. Manfredo Tafuri, "The Histoncol Project: The Sphere and The Labyrinth:

Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s (Cambridge: The

MIT Press, 1987), pl 12. "

24. Michel FoUCCIUlf -¥etzsche. Genealogy~History: in rabguage, Counter- t Memory. Practice, 00, Donald Bouchard (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), p. 140 cited by Tafuri, p.4.





25. Andrea Vesalius, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, Libri Septem Basileae, 1543, p. Pref. 3 VI.

26,~id., p. 658rt.

27. ¢;loon Harcourt, "Ahdreos Vesalius and the Anatomy Representations 1i(Winter 1987), p. 28-61.

28. Tofuri. p. 131-2.

29, Anna Becton, "Il Vitruvio di Giovanni Antonio Rusconi,' Ricerche di Stoiia dell'arte (June 1983), p. 85,

39.~1Jlard Schultz~.Mg;nd AnatomY.iDtR~naissance Itgly(['gm Arbor:

Vniversity of Michi.g'an Press, 1985), Pi 25.

31. Ibid.

32. The etymology of the word science can help us to further understand the ontology of cutting. Science derives from the Latin verb scire, which means to cut.

33. fiarcourt, p. 59. ; , ,

34. f..icrurice Mer~:Ib;ty, The visibl~ ~d the Invisibl;'~ton:

Northwestern University Press, 1968), p. 271. '


Blumenberg, Hans. Work on Myth (Cambridge: M.l.T. Press, 1985). F~1~~;.' ~~. ·I2,.~ttare con il ~~~~Domus626 (~~l:ler 1986):

! \ " ;

Makkuni, Ranjit. "Representing the Process of Composing Chinese Temples," Design Computing 1 (1986): 216-35.

Rusconi, Francesco Maria. Vitruvio (Venice: Giolitti, 1590).

Scolari, Massimo. "Considerazioni e aforismi sui disegno: Rassegna 9 (1982):

p. 79-85.' ' ;




frontispiece: Miller, after Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Drawing Instruments tor the Architect, 1782. From Anthony Vidler, The Writing at the Walls (Princeton:

Princeton Architectural Press, 1987), dust jacket.

1. ~~:~~~~~=:s~~~~~y~~.~~=:.

2, Giorgio De Chirico,iThe Seer, oil, pnvnte collection, 1915.

3, Massimo Scolari, A Door tor a Sea Town, oil, 1980 Venice Biennale.

4. Massimo Scokn.. A Door tor a Sea Town, plan, section and elevation derived from the oil painting, 1980 Venice Biennale.

5, Massimo Scolari, A Door tor a Sea To~, the constructed facade, 1980

Venice Biermcde, • "5" '

6, bteian Library in' Oxford, anatOrnidn drawings showfug the blood circulation and the skeleton, 12th century,

7, Monastery of Canterbury, plan, 12th century,

8, Francesco Maria Grapaldo, Frontispiece of De Partibus Aedium (The Parts of ~difices) showing 9r'apaldo holding q pen and a knife,

9, Vesalius Andrea,~Humani Corpori'Fabnca, Libri ~em, Sixth Book, a

hanging corpse, Basileae, 1543,' '

10, Francesco Maria Rusconi, Vitruvio, section of the skins of plaster to be applied to a wall to make a stucco lucido finishing, inserted in a ruin of a classical room, Venice 1590,

11-13, Rusconi, Francesco Maria, Vitruvi~, sequence of the cutting of a triglyph in a succession of qagmented builcllrgs, Venice 1590,

;,- --~"""',~".,, ~",~,"~,}"",,-,

14, Vesalius Andrea, De Humani Cozpo$ Paixica. Libri Septern. Fifth Book, viscera represented inside fragmented pieces of sculpture, Basileae, 1543

15. Francesco Maria Rusconi, Vitruvio, proportional section inserted in a fragment of column, Venice 1590.