ARTICLE:  Journal of Poetics Research 09/2015  From Literary Device to Architectural Procedure



Arch and Po Eff paper thumbnailArchitecture and Poetic Efficacy Part 1: Architectural Poetics

In Architecture and Philosophy: new views on the work of Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Rodopi, 2010.

This paper examines the notion “architectural poetics” as it applies to the work of Arakawa and Gins. It seeks a critical grounding for the term in the artists’ concept of a “built discourse” and in an understanding of spatial meaning as the semiotic field supplying that discourse. It explores the literary and poetic background of A+G’s Reversible Destiny project, tracing the different phases of their development as a path towards an amplified presentation and a heightened efficacy, powered by an architectural poetics.


The concept

Architectural poetics explores the interdisciplinary potential of approaching the spaces of our built environment from perspectives of language, poetry and poetics, whether it’s at the level of the room and the house, the city or the global region as possible poetic genres. Not to mention the interdisciplinary potentials of applying architectural thinking to the conception, construction and analysis of verbal texts.

Poetry can be thought as architectural, and architecture as poetic, in many ways, describing just as many zones of hybridity in which the term “architectural poetics” may be of different uses. To class projects under this loose and recent designation, we must think poetics as an organizing principle or motivation perhaps originating in poetry, but also clearly able to operate independently of language in the strict sense.

Architectural Poetics – samples from an unassembled genre:

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See my course on Architectural Poetics here, and my course BodyBuilding: Procedural Architecture and Embodiment here.