Peter Carl

Here, Peter Carl substitutes the term ‘type’ for the typical, and ‘typology’ for typicality. In so doing he frees up the notion of type for contemporary design, liberating it from the strictures of its performance history and precedents that have often veered towards standardisation.

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The word ‘typical’ applies to phenomena ranging from the least to the most important. To describe something as ‘typical’ can mean that it is boringly repetitive, or that it is characteristic, or that it is ultimately typical (either general, like a ‘law’ of physics, or universal, like an ethical principle or a divinity). The word acknowledges that different things may have common elements, aspects, properties, behaviours, meanings, and so on; and it therefore invokes the similitudes that range from logical identity to set theory to varieties of analogy to metaphor to concept and symbol. In this rich and vast thematic field, lying between ambiguity and continuity in difference, the varieties of typicality related to architecture have attracted novelists, artists, film-makers, designers and thinkers. Within architecture since the Enlightenment, however, the somewhat narrower concept of typology has dominated, perhaps because of the importance of theory in this period. In ancient Near Eastern texts, the frequency with which the prefix bit- (house) applies to houses, palaces, temples and such settings as the New Year’s festival house (bit-akitu) suggests the importance of ‘dwelling’ as a metaphor of ordering. Alexandria seems to have discovered the procedure of composing with symbolic ‘types’ (domes, arches, colonnades, halls, exedrae) that permeated Roman imperial architecture and passed thence to Byzantine, Umayyad and Romanesque architecture, and was recovered again in the Italian

cave and hut. there arises a tension between the conceptual field for types and the concrete topographies which we inhabit – a tension which is customarily seen to be resolved through variation of the types. Contemporary theory on typology in architecture seems to recognise four historical phases: 1) the 18th century. his contemporary Cuvier) and codified in the design-procedures of JNL Durand. psychological and social sciences have had in thematising the context(s) in which individual agents or subjects play out their lives. Stereotype and the Market – the Bedroom Planner from IKEA below: Ikea products and. Accordingly. corresponds to the difficulty the economic. closing off the true depth of typicality. it seems that type has been inscribed in the effort to bring reality to a single horizon of representation. largely oriented about Aldo Rossi. for broadcast as a soap opera for prime-time television. VI.4 3) the 1960s and 1970s reaction to this inheritance. politically. a parametric field). socioeconomic category or sheer statistical description of trends and tendencies. 1951). the bed also draws on several themes in Le Corbusier’s iconography: the horizon and the archipelago. particularly with regard to housing. notably parametric control of formal types. For example. in all other fields. In all of these. If the term ‘culture’ only became current with the Enlightenment (making a concept out of what arguably was being lost). in the corner. and so on. From a descriptive point of view. abstract background. dreams. for example. ‘space’ as a field has given way to a type of field comprising entities that obey mathematical or logical (algorithmic) operations. things. industrial production) to poetics (Le Corbusier). culminating in Quatremère de Quincy’s tent. the subject or agent prevails against an equally flat.1). the main topic of interest has been the type and its variation. window. and access to a WC. neighbourhood. settings. whereas the typical situations of sleep. and is part of a vertical sequence in which water is related to oculi. 4) the recent present. side table. psychological or social theory. a series which arranged people. too. 39 . However. the most important aspect of architectural types is their heuristic value. as the architectural type prevails against the white of the theoretical page or against a grid like that of Durand (both versions of ‘space’). illness. but with Serlio. the type ‘bedroom’ tends to solicit a medium-sized room with a bed. the nature of the relationship between types and their aggregation never attracted the interest that did typological variation. open much more profound and rich possibilities of interpretation (evident. This coincides historically with the development of the human ‘subject’ or ‘agent’ in economic. and upon the agent or subject. the ‘universe of our eyes’ (Iconostase A3). in which. in the sleeping terrace beneath the canopy of Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan. the emphasis upon individual rights. all relations are explicit.6 With the recent attunement to information as the basis of continuity. sex. death. construction. but bearing hallmarks of the classifications of Durand. design too often reifies this knowledge.1 Alexandria also seems to have been the source for a theoretical attitude (for example. Alberti treats architecture as a theme among many others pertaining to his culture.2 bearing hallmarks of species identification in zoology (for example. lifestyles in a semiotic system according to market categories.8 Type Versus Typicality Typology is the very embodiment of conceptual thinking: it isolates similarities (categories) from the flux of reality in order to make purified clusters of these similarities suitable for manipulation (insertion back into reality). class. for his types of houses.3 2) early Modernist ‘Functionalism’. closet. they embody considerable experience or knowledge regarding sizes.5 This. The natural home of a type is the taxonomy. left the identity of ‘context’ to a range of concepts such as family. Type. therefore the background to Vitruvius. Although all four historical phases of typology accompanied theories of the city.Outdoor Bed in the Roofscape of Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan (1951) opposite: While acknowledging the custom of outdoor sleeping. use-patterns. even calculable (as in. ideally. striving to be as clear a demonstration as the Euclidean assumptions with which he begins. and the alchemical bed (Iconostase D3). euhemerism. Bob from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. where one finds the designation genera (for example. mechanics) and its attendant perspectivism. for example. writing about architecture becomes properly theoretical. with the advent of digital design techniques.III. ranging from efficiency (ergonomics/Taylorism. Accordingly.7 That is. Renaissance.

accents of sounds. to ‘functions’ or decorum.17 The first operates implicitly. for example.11 Beneath this lie the gestures which customarily or habitually accompany linguistic exchange (bodily orientation. no ‘form’. subjects.12 Against the run of philosophy (and by definition.More fundamentally. freedom depends upon what is common-to-all for its meaning (freedom would otherwise be alienation). it is immediately obvious that types are isolated fragments of a deeper and richer structure of typicalities. to a building or urban block or city or region. conflict and so on. Beneath that lie the situations in which certain kinds of discourse typically happen. to the middle-class apartment or house. planners or theorists rarely grasp typicality in these terms. across the diningroom table/across the boardroom table (often stereotyped in literature. the stratification of typicalities invokes a communication ‘up and down’ the strata. in which the concept of type has played a significant role. if we are to transcend the sort of context in which types are simply reified units/data which can be packed/arranged/ disposed according to formal (explicit) criteria. like metaphor. no mathematics. Language does not occur by itself or in a void. our possibilities in the world). and certainly no capacity to use these analogically (for example. What is common-to-all exerts a claim upon freedom. sequences of exchange. Once the question is put this way. no geometry. It is now dogma within the AI community that there is no way that algorithmic code can create a dialogue from its own resources (that is. to the constant renewal in history of a civic ethos). modifiers. Even this is only the referential surface of the much deeper structure of dependencies. We may be instructed here by the manner in which typicalities operate in language.15 Representations of cities by architects. ignorance or partial understanding. defined as those aspects commonto-all. collectively. as well as the specifically grammatical aspects of verbs. to the primordial conditions of nature. The element of recognition is carried by the typicalities. the ultimate dimension of typicality. Dwelling. as in bartering or arguing a case in law). 40 … without a concrete language. The standard of what is possible remains the Dublin of Joyce’s Ulysses (in particular.10 Mutual understanding depends upon the element of recognition without which we would be compelled to invent language from scratch at each meeting. All of this is susceptible to poetic transformation (creativity) within the limits of recognition. whereas the second operates explicitly like code or axiomatic geometry or logic. disease. to the market. As a framework for understanding.9 The principal difference between typology and typicality is that the former concentrates upon [architectural] objects. it is not obvious how to establish the criteria with regard to a type for dwelling – according to individual ergonomics. for example. recognition implies the universality of the one world of which we are all part.16 may be seen as an effort to convert richness (the depth-structure) into complexity (formal manipulation of types). language disposes these typicalities in strata. Acknowledging the history of abortive efforts since . to culture. phrases. to bed and table. dialogue is customarily faceto-face). theory) since the Enlightenment.13 If ‘context’ indeed operates like language. The more primordial aspects of a situation are more stable than the choice of words (a dining-table discussion can veer from affection to anger to silence to plate-throwing). the latter upon human situations. there is no formal language – no logic. In other words. we are obliged to acknowledge that any proper understanding of context exhibits the depth-structure of typicalities. It is precisely this depthstructure that is ‘flattened’ to a single horizon of representation when architecture is reduced to form and space and then even further to information. properly understood. These situations are the receptacles of referential structures (claims) both synchronic and diachronic. wit. film or theatre). By ‘language’ is not meant the structuralism of French linguistics – an effort to translate all of language into a grammar of messages (or ‘code’) – but rather language as a framework for understanding (both each other and.14 and of course dialogue is the heart of anything called social or political (public). Most immediate (and ephemeral) are common meanings (employing words. not prescripted). This is a more technical (and negative) description of what Heidegger framed as ‘language is the house of Being’ – a formulation intended to grasp the orienting (ontologically) requirement of ‘dwelling’. idioms. to convert any of it into ‘architecture’). the necessity of crime. but is the most important means by which human freedom is embedded in a deep structure of claims or dependencies (typicalities). Complexity Versus Richness The progressive conversion of architecture to form/space to information. is more profound than the efficient or attractive accommodation of a lifestyle – it comprises orientation in reality.

language as a framework for understanding needs the whole cultural ecology (and its history) in which humans dwell. that type invokes system. Perhaps possible in principle. to convert any of it into ‘architecture’). scale. and certainly no capacity to use these analogically (for example. energy distribution. Similarly. that is. destruction). The example can be generalised: in such a regime. a digital context in which ‘gravity’ appears to affect objects. The shrines are distinguishable from the dwellings only by the presence of the horned stanchions. which is the most common manifestation. we may ask about the nature of the dialogue between concrete richness and formal complexity (that is. between a designer or user and form or code). and archaic cultures characteristically interpret the exchange with human culture in terms of dwelling (house/temple). stochastic) to accommodate the full depth of reality (or dwelling) invokes such vast code as to defeat reasonable analysis or even computation. no ‘form’. collision-detection. Leibniz to ‘translate’ human language into formal language. adding at every collision a sound clip of a wasp bouncing off a window). the capacity for any sort of system of this kind (layered. all shapes have the status of type. normally carried by the ordering type of the ‘geometric system’ (also the underlying continuity of ‘network’). The worry is that this motive has come to dominate architectural design and the making of urban contexts. which develop carefully placed and oriented settings within that of the dwelling. without a concrete language. formal languages positively require analogical conversion/translation in order to qualify as architecture.18 Again. but. etc. not only does concrete language enable analogical treatment of formal languages. as here.21 This context is essentially a Galilean/Newtonian ‘laboratory’. location – before ‘meaning’ can be broached. to render the shape as a bear. Secondly. c 6th Millennium BC Nature is most typical. buchrania. a conceptual space wholly devoted to the physical phenomena of interest (ballistics. traffic). Such topographies are a species of simulation. The last century of ‘housing’ – characteristically a patterned distribution of units/types with access – would seem to indicate that the converse is also the case. most common to all. Russell Smith’s user’s guide to his Open [Source] Dynamic Engine (from 2001) allows one to appreciate the complexity of code required to establish a digital simulation of so-called physics. the phenomenon referred to above as ‘flattening’ arises from any attempt to ‘translate’ the concrete order into a formal order – that is.The structure of typicality at the scale of a room: Reconstruction of a Shrine from Level VI of Catal Hoyuk. a regime dominated by transparency of connectivity and control. the chief virtue of an architectural type – its encapsulation of experience – needs to be carried ‘in the head’ while manipulating the type. analysis) is defeated by the practicalities of extensity. to convert the ‘depth’ of rich intensity into the ‘flatness’ of formal extensity. The first and most fundamental aspect of this reciprocity is that it never happens the other way around. it is the complexity which inhibits deploying a parametric layering exhaustive enough to generate a relatively straightforward topography such as that of the insulae at Pompeii (whose main constituent is the type or genera of the Roman house).20 The promise of simulation (end-to-end control. in which (formal) variation of type is the principal vehicle of meaning. Turkey. a concrete language is not intrinsic to speakers or writers. from nature to cities (the conditions for freedom).22 The more the context for type is a system. the less possible is dwelling. Everything needed for this purpose must be added to ‘form’ – materials (and their properties). no geometry. Neither dwelling nor cities are systems. All other relations to ‘reality’ are contingent (one is free to endow a shape with the ballistic and collision properties of a golf ball. when imported into a game or animation. 41 . no mathematics. such as a bouncing ball. the type is embedded in a system. or systems of systems (acknowledging the importance of those aspects which work best as systems – plumbing. and therefore the lack of need to worry about this problem at a primary level. use. there is no formal language – no logic.19 Finally.

rooms. ‘islands’ in the sea).28 De Chirico had inverted the pompous self-assurance of fin de siècle European cities29 firstly through simply repeating the technique by which these comprehensive programmes of didactic goodness were produced – a field of moral types obeying the laws of perspective (culture as picture).23 Whether striving to recover the civic qualities of medieval European towns or to invent new topographies capable of resisting the sheer accumulation characteristic of the giant cities of global capitalism. but rather to juxtapose the explicitly abstract/atemporal types with a sign for temporality/history. Type Versus History The affiliation of type with concept has allowed it to flourish as part of grander type-like concepts such as epochs. and with Nietzsche in his ear. thereby making it difficult to reconcile with the segments of his Architettura della città27 which argued for 4 42 urban continuity. His programme of salvation is characteristic of the genre of arranging people in space so that the spatial order might magically stand for. elevations. transitional light (of history). the paving and edging of the Fondamenta and the mooring poles make up a hierarchical medley of typical situations (all.31 and a fundamental discontinuity between both and the concrete. de Chirico exposed the motives behind the stultifying project of earnest goodness as the response to anxiety. That is. these houses are ‘little monuments’. nervous wit or melancholia. equally at home in architectural treatises from Scamozzi to Durand as well as in the mimetic art of painting. concepts. Venice Although progressively becoming a nostalgic museum-city. The use of dramatic shadows in Rossi’s drawings was not for the purpose of articulating profiles. and made figural the shadows created by the low. civic or ontological order (the so-called Ideal City. It remains to be demonstrated how such a hierarchical topography of interiors can be developed vertically. or even promote. as it were. typology would seek to recover the meaning of civic life through the formal variation of types. Exemplifying the correlation of type/field with subject/space. altered the customary relations of scale. By means such as these. styles and Zeitgeist. It was in perspective representation that we discovered ‘things as such’. situational topography of actual cities. in the impossibility of making history an object of science (hoping to replace symbolic interpretation with immanent demonstration) or of planning. however. perspectives. Secondly. . the buildings. more accurately. Here. He created images composed entirely of haunted monuments/concepts (la cittá analoga). Everything including the Church of the Gesuati. whereby all phenomena became ‘things’. which populate Ledoux’s didactic text as a relentless taxonomy of plans. Venice is among the examples of a topography developed according to sequences of interiors marked by public involvement. river manager and so on) embodied in the ‘houses’ which populate the surrounding English Garden – or. doors. he superimposed the conceptual field of types upon the pictorial field inherited from late Romantic perspectivism.30 In other words. This attachment to the monument shows the tendency for types to adhere to the conceptual clarity necessary for the gnostic-utopian purpose of trying to control history. he distressed the perspective towards an indeterminate projective space.25 Obeying Ledoux’s quixotic effort to reconcile caractère with formal variation (architecture parlante). historical periods.24 Attempting to derive a context from types inevitably finds itself in the stark schematism of Ledoux’s utopia of Chaux. emphasised the emptiness between framing elements and (limp) monuments.The structure of typicality at the scale of a town: Fondamenta Bonini. His drawings and sketches took advantage of the enigma of familiarity central to pittura metafisica (notably de Chirico and Morandi). there is a fundamental similarity between the conceptual field and the perspectival disposition of didactic monuments. Chaux proposes a reciprocity between the neo-Masonic theatre-factory of the central circle and types of people (woodcutter. types.26 The motif of the little monument was central to Rossi’s early architecture. sections. dating from Vitruvius: city reduced to perfected type). we discern the highest aspiration and dilemma of typological thinking. of trying to make a project of meaning or culture. windows. and thereby exposed the ghost in the prevailing machinery of goodness through drawings and buildings whose austerity ironically passed for modesty of intentions and recovery of meaning. Rossi embraced both the procedure and its negation (perhaps inspired by Adorno’s negative dialectic).

Out of urban praxis – actions and reflections – grows everything that constitutes ‘culture’ or ‘city’. and therefore resists incorporation in a system. customs. Accordingly we may be more critical regarding the standard generalisations of city – form/morphology. Throughout the Enlightenment. can be inscribed in a system). for making a project of meaning (references. and certainly anything related to ethics or morals (neither of which. but whose own status as a fragile hypothesis could be saved by a frame. a type is far less determined by any intrinsic properties than by the mode of isolation that is the context for its use (a background for the ‘shading’ which makes things ‘real’). processes or relationships. the type remains open to the deep context on which it depends for meaning (that is.34 So much more is the case with habits. assigning it to concrete settings in actual cities (to such an extent that a properly situational topography is now mostly restricted to the historical cores of vast urban regions). monetary value).35 It is a mark of human finitude that we have only representation to mediate between historical situations and universal conditions. or of form). striving to conflate formal coherence and moral perfection. more creative interpretation responding to the depth-structure of typicalities. along with politics. Topography of Praxis The alternative to a field of types (or agents/subjects) is the structure of involvements with people and things that comprises urban praxis (situations). If a city is our most concrete receptacle of these universal conditions. network. than it is of the urban praxis/culture in which we are always already involved. the heuristic value of types succumbs to their use as instruments of salvation (from everything which does not participate in the perfection of the concept. health. and we may speak of the city as a topography of praxis. and if we are not to find ourselves in the conflict between conceptual fields and the urban topography of praxis. abstract machine. the depth of whose contexts manifest themselves as architectural and topographic horizons. people and culture attached to it. processes or relationships. beauty. Seeking to fulfil the happy ending always promised by theory. it migrates towards the structure of typicalities).32 The procedure inevitably supports the impression that history is not the basis for continuity (therefore ethics). Typology is a leading concept within an architectural procedure comprising the orchestration of concepts.36 In this manner. In this we follow Alva Noë in acknowledging that ‘consciousness’ is far less a property of brain. The apparatus of codes and techniques in which types such as high-rise offices or housing are embalmed further inhibits a more nuanced. but rather for the familiar choice between death/decay and revolution/newness. it would seem best to treat the knowledge or experience embodied in a wellformulated type somewhat like the Rhetorical topos – a commonplace that operates like a question. from the encyclopaedia and museum to fragment/field to the grey of the CAD screen. space. On this basis.Typicalities are never abstract forms. or ‘mind’ (of agents/subjects). language and so on. this background – prior to any concept – has retained its essential characteristic as the theatre-laboratory for design.33 Typicalities are never abstract forms. but are rather embedded within constituencies – even the isosceles triangle has a specific history. efficiency. credible only when ‘placed’ within a milieu with the consistency of geometry. zones. We have seen that such structures are deeply resistant to modelling or simulation – it is even doubtful that one could properly model the processes and situations involving only food. The centre of gravity of what is typical is praxis. 1 43 . Architectural design has too often become the securing and constant reaffirmation of this field. but are rather embedded within constituencies – even the isosceles triangle has a specific history. people and culture attached to it. for analysis. soliciting debate and commitment to a theme or topic.

De l’architecture égyptienne: considérée dans son origine. in the region of 10 to 12 storeys. According to J McKenzie. Exemplary in this respect is P Bourdieu’s diagram of the ‘social positions’ of Paris of the 1970s (Pierre Bourdieu. the shift from treating matter and energy to information and energy (Wheeler’s ‘it from bit’) was prompted by Claude Shannon’s famous paper ‘A Mathematical Theory of Communication’. MIT Press (Cambridge. Yale University Press (New Haven. La Phenomenologie de la perception. though ‘in no way necessary for [his] present theory’ (p 11). ‘The Third Typology’ was more suggestive of the possibilities than were the actual design proposals of the period. MA). the highly referential language of the former contrasts with the highly specific terminology and formulations of the latter.Typology as System: Kowloon. therefore. Summer 1983. 1803. This distinction was first drawn by D Vesley 30 years ago. Technocracy. 1948. 9. MA). It is important to distinguish universality from generality. On the poetics of his apartment. whose connection with logos has been obscured since Descartes’ mathematisation of geometry. which. see P Carl. Journal of Architecture. 5. 1949. 13. 7. ‘The Godless Temple – Organon of the Infinite’. 1992. La Distinction. the moments of commonalitywithin-difference (continuity). pp 2–28. one often heard of a ‘grammar of types’. Critique sociale de jugement. ZONE 1/2: The Contemporary City. capital volume on the y-axis. 10. CT). 1980. the urban topography of Kowloon seems robust enough to absorb the new densities. 12–14. Gallimard (Paris). 1986). Quatremère de Quincy and the Invention of a Modern Language of Architecture. Quatremère de Quincy. Hong Kong The lower level of buildings. 8. 1802–5. p 95. S Lavin argues that the 18th-century reformulation of hieroglyphs is the principal vehicle by which Quatremère registers ‘type’ as a constituent of his concept of architecture as a [social] language: ‘Type and its meaning were impressed on the book of architecture in a language “of form and line”’. fig 5). the difficulty/ reward of understanding Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939) differs from that of understanding highly technical language as richness differs from complexity. In physics. JNL Durand. this sort of topography did not guide the expansion of Hong Kong. 6. With respect to what is said below. and Social Change’. 4. Anthony Vidler’s brief introduction to Oppositions 6 (1976). pp 132–46. Paris. see M McLeod. 2005. This ambiguity dates from Aristotle’s double use of katholou in the Metaphysics (where it refers to 44 . with hollow centres. Zone Books (New York). showed that information exhibited entropy. Précis des leçons d’architecture données à l’École polytechnique. While losing the subtle differentiation of activities as seen at mid-century. However. Taylorism. Nor. No amount of formal variation could save the subsequent industrial multiplication of apartment types into towers often only one apartment deep. On Taylorism. was the average building height in Kowloon prior to the explosion in the housing market. Vol 10. the urban blocks as worked out for the Internationales Bau Ausstellung (IBA) proposals in Berlin were little more than horizontal buildings of this kind. See S Lavin. gives rise to geometry in its Platonic–Pythagorean form. The Art and Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt 300 BC – AD 700. Paris. 1979. 2007. 12. p 239. ses principes et son goût. and particularly the role of what he terms ‘paradigmatic situation’. 11. The third phase of architectural typology was strongly influenced by the debates surrounding structuralism and linguistics – at the time. 3. 2. The arythmos of the logos is treated by H-G Gadamer in Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermeneutical Studies on Plato. MIT Press (Cambridge. Paris. Le Corbusier embodied both approaches. It comprises a Cartesian plot with the ratio of cultural and economic capital on the x-axis. and types of Parisians distributed across the resulting field (‘space’). chapters 9. chapters 2 and 8. ‘”Architecture or Revolution”. Notes 1. is meant the ‘language of architecture’ as any sort of formal system. Yale University Press (New Haven. Art Journal. et comparée sous les mêmes rapports à l’architecture grecque. Still the best account of the structure of embodiment is that of M Merleau-Ponty. S Kwinter’s article of 1986 anticipated the introduction into architecture of this form of field – calculable. This structure. See now his Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation: The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production. If the aggregation of apartment types in the Unite d’Habitation allowed speculations on a vertical city that was in fact a building. according to a formula like that of Boltzmann. CT). which favoured the usual parameters for systematic distribution in ‘space’ of 40-storey walls of apartment types. rather than spatial (‘La Cittá Nuova: Modernity and Continuity’. 2004.

Paris. Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. Harper & Row (New York). in Building Time. There are at least three levels of institution in this sense: the formal institution (for example. pp 353–78. 1966. For example. 24. what they might ‘discuss’. p 39 © Used with the permission of Inter IKEA Systems BV 45 . 2003. if wealth enables emancipation from the regime of ‘housing’. Manuel De Landa’s advocacy of reality as a version of Foucault’s ‘abstract machine’ (A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History. 23. of course. The experience which types carry. 1750–1830’. Poetry. 20. Dwelling. Tschumi emphasised the conceptual field. 1970. 15. in A Hofstadter. the informal institution (modes of association in pubs. This civic praxis is one version of interpretation according to the depth-structure of typicalities. housing has never escaped its preoccupation with provision for great numbers – a phenomenon of mass culture. However. Chicago University Press (Chicago. L’Architecture considérée sous le rapport de l’art. this is a positive desideratum. the possibilities of salvation at the end of time. 30. University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis. distinguishes the instrumental hut of Laugier from the symbolic Temple of Solomon (see Oppositions 8. for example.the ultimate conditions of Being. 27. Wiley/Blackwell (Oxford). as are the routines/ algorithms by which they are made to interact (for example. The Turing Test. Thinking’. argues for the role of memory in Rossi’s concept of type. IL). more rooms. ‘Strategies for Networked Cities’. 31. 29. however. richness is like the human brain or language. how all of this reconciles civic conflict with the Christian year. since it touches on the moment when recognition in language or understanding is balanced between creative interpretation and the movement from persuasion to propaganda to coercion. to all triangles. www. factories). See E Husserl. by animals. 22. better materials. the English Garden may also be read as a didactic text of this kind. IL). for example). in L Albrechts and S Mandelbaum. Marsilio (Padua). the ‘primitives’ that come with every CAD package are types of this kind. universal) and in the Organon (where it refers. What has happened in practice is more likely to be the case – the adaptability on the part of humans to the binary milieu of computing as it is currently configured (nothing in between it works/it doesn’t) is eased/ blurred by the referential/analogical richness of what is displayed on screens. 41-4 © courtesy of Peter Carl. trans DW Stott. seems to be more interested in the systematic mathematics which lead to emergence than with the quite different properties of what has emerged (when one arrives at the level of ant colonies. GL Legendre’s paean to ‘surface’ as against ‘depth’ in the opening remarks of his ijp: the book of surfaces. medieval Italian towns were not the product of theory. to the Platonic idea. Routledge (Oxford). combining the right angle with legal rights). Still harbouring the early Modernist aspiration to be the means of empowerment of ‘the people’. 36. This has its origins in the Romantic struggle with the notion of the philosophical system. 32. 1996). is there explicit or implicit continuity between language and an ecology understood genetically?). from his early treatment of the ‘standard’ to the pun on droiture (‘rectitude’. materials. 1999. Images: pp 38. 2005. ‘spontaneous’. Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain. see E Voegelin. D Leatherbarrow. FWJ Schelling. See. iconography. The Philosophy of Art. Architectural Association Publications (London). Rossi’s typological thought is not intrinsically different from the intentionally empty formal variation of types in Tschumi’s Park de la Villette (1987) scheme. Zone Books (New York).ode. op cit. IL). Chicago University Press (Chicago. Wonderfully characterised in his Hebdomeros. 34. pp 95–115). though note the useful correctives to digital ‘transcendence’ at the beginning of S Graham. The preoccupation with type has never successfully been able to redeem its formalism through the occasional appeal to biblical hermeneutics. towards the end of his career. On this. A Noë. which is later flattened to the theoretical concept of type. Le Corbusier never gave up trying to reconcile morality. Politics and Gnosticism. in which the supposed counterform of nature and the arts – poesie – was swiftly absorbed into the conceptual framework of aesthetics and the fine arts: see. 2009. ‘The Origins of Geometry’. Anthony Vidler’s ‘The Idea of Type: The Transformation of the Academic Ideal.’ 18. 26. post offices). The Network Society: A New Context for Planning?. ‘Building. the cycles of season. They are not forms set within ‘knowledge’ as such. and LR Kass. 2008. With respect to commemorative monuments and familiarity. for example. unusual forms). Even if the imagery and motives seem to lie at opposite sides of the architectural debate of the period. 1977. for example.html. Issues ignored here include what might be the identity of entities discoursing in these terms. which. ‘Buildings Remember’. The leading examples often used to justify a typological ‘approach’. The obviously silly mumblings about ‘fascism’ with respect to Rossi’s projects were interesting only for having this element of familiarity in common. political and symbolic cycles. CN Ledoux. obscures the depth of reality needed for anything like language as used by humans (and. Rossi emphasised the pictorial field. but are part of a more elaborate civic praxis involving guilds and their social. ‘organic’. Peter Owen Ltd (New York). parliaments. 1997) follows M Castell’s ‘network society’ (M Castells. 21. 35. The Construction of Memory in Interwar France. M Heidegger. I usually refer to the order of typicalities as ‘institutional order’. and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness. by placing the whole burden upon the human half (basically. Text © 2011 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Appendix VI of The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Science. see DL Sherman. 1989. proportions and standardised manufacturing. 1968. 17. The contrary is claimed by the theory of ‘emergence’. 16. Thought. The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Human Nature. Of course. 33. I am grateful to him for a copy of his unpublished chapter. pp 95 ff. for example. des moeurs et de la législation. I would suggest. Both only acknowledged what is already present in Durand. See C Steel. 1999. 1804. Chatto & Windus (London). Hill & Wang (New York). and the most fundamental stratum of language (customs and so on). 1992): ‘Complexity is like the molecular structure of the Himalayas. To its adherents. sweeps). For which reason. This is a sensitive point. 1992. 28. The Rise of the Network Society. 25. to the Idealist idea. IL). La phenomenologie de la perception. Booleans. the general). by reducing the human to a Cartesian sceptic). Language. how the modes of fabrication and decorum promote certain sizes. and so forth.According to the neurophysiologist Colin Blakemore (interview on Radio 4. is transmitted differently under such conditions. Chicago University Press (Chicago. Northwestern University Press (Evanston. 19. to Jungian archetypes. rather theory seeks to account for what is apparently ‘natural’. A Rossi. it is curious that the results are usually restricted to variations of the type of middle-class dwelling (more space. Architettura della città. the basis of their heuristic value. drawing on Rossi’s Scientific Autobiography (1981). Le Corbusier’s Objets à réaction poétique are examples of this form of interpretation. a work which augments with the latest research the more philosophically profound M Merleau-Ponty. forthcoming. MN). 1971. 14.

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