Book Review: Diving into Architecture from Every New Angle: Reading Guillevic’s “Geometries”
Why an obscure book of French poetry in a flashy translation goes to the heart of every architectural practice.
By Norman Weinstein
June 3, 2011
There’s something provocative in Tadao Ando’s remark that “architecture is in dialogue with geometry” – an emphatic seconding of his constant interest in maintaining a dialogue with architecture’s past. But while maintaining a dialogue with architecture’s past sounds like a straightforward objective you learned in your professional training by studying architectural history, there’s something rather abstract in “maintaining a dialogue with geometry.” Have you discussed design issues with a right-angle lately while your colleagues chatted about erratic cash flow? This initially sounds like Louis Kahn’s mystical, poetically lyrical way of suggesting that architects dialogue with an arch and the bricks composing it. Meaning: impractical. And in the era of computerized design, isn’t the very notion of directly conversing with geometry quaint if not bizarre?