Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Architecture, Meaning and Observation by ND

By my investigating (wah, mcm iya-iya je kan..) different types of spaces, but what Robert Harbison attempts to understand architectural meaning in his book The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable. Each chapter in Harbisonís book examines a different facet of architecture: gardens, monuments, fortification/ideal cities, ruins, paintings, and unbuildable buildings. Harbison incorporates the full range of architectural expression to more fully explore the meaning and symbolism conveyed by architecture. Moreover, Harbisonís book seeks to find the forms and symbols that a majority of people can understand. btw, i would like to say thanks to CURB@Iwan from Bangsar for those creative picture. Love it so much..

In the first chapter, Harbison posits that the garden is free from a strict function. Whether the garden is designed in a French formal or English picturesque style, the political and social ideas which the garden articulates are central to the experience of the garden. Not limiting himself to the traditional study of French and English gardens, Harbison links them to Japanese gardens by comparing the Eastern garden to the great European maze gardens. The Japanese gardens, although calculated, provide a sense of both cosmic order and chaos. Harbisonís inclusive study leads him to conclude that the garden as an architectural form represents the oneness of man and nature, the highest accord.

Unike gardens, monuments serve a strict function, the one implied by their very name. Harbisonís evaluation of monuments presents some ideas that challenge the traditional language of monumental architecture. Although one is familiar with essentially classical temples, ancient columns, and arches (which, more often than not, lead to nowhere), Harbison questions why monuments built in recent history retain this ìexhausted vocabularyî (Harbison, p.38). A useful question, no doubt, as monuments- which serve as markers of the dead, missing, or forgotten - incorporate dead architectural elements. Furthermore, monuments are not normally of experimental design, thereby relegating their elements to be of a familiar vocabulary. The Vietnam memorial, which Harbison highlights as an anti-monument unlike other memorials, requires active participation to fully experience it. It is in this participation that the true memorialization can take place, as the viewer is forced to confront the history. Harbison asserts that successful monuments require this interaction, otherwise a monument is simply a ìmonstrous exaggeration of the requirement that architecture be permanentî (Harbison, p. 37).
For more info, you can search from :

Harbison, Robert.The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable.
(Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1991).

Curb with his bored.. :( hwa3x

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ayoh! si curb ni pun tetap nak interframe kat blog ko ni ke ND...hahahaha...well, what fren are kan..apa pun ND slmt maju jaya ya...

-Tengku Iskandar