Dec 062016
 

Design is form-making in order
Form emerges out of a system of construction
Growth is a construction – In order is creative force
In design is the means – where with what when with how much

The nature of space reflects what it wants to be
Is the auditorium a Stradivarius
or an ear
Is the auditorium a creative instrument
keyed to Bach or Bartók
played by the conductor
or is it a conventional hall

In the nature of space is the spirit and the will to exist in a certain way
Design must follow closely that will
Therefore a stripe-painted horse is not a zebra
Before a railroad station is a building
it wants to be a street
it grows out of the needs of the street
out of the order of movement
A meeting of contours englazed.

Through the nature – why
Through the order – what
Through the design – how

A form emerges from the structural elements inherent in the form.
A dome is not conceived when questions arise how to build it.
Nervi grows an arch
Fuller grows a dome

Mozart’s compositions are designs
They are exercises of order – intuitive
Design encourages more designs
Designs derive their imagery from order
Imagery is the memory – the form
Style is an adopted order

The same order created the elephant and created man
They are different designs
Begun from different aspirations
Shaped from different circumstances

Order does not imply Beauty
The same order created the dwarf and Adonis

Design is not making beauty
Beauty emerges from selection
affinities
integration
love

Art is a form-making life in order – psychic

Order is intangible
It is a level of creative consciousness
forever becoming higher in level
The higher the order the more diversity in design

Order supports integration
From what the space wants to be the unfamiliar way may be revealed to the architect.
From order he will derive creative force and power of self-criticism to give form to this unfamiliar.
Beauty will evolve.

 Comments Off on Louis I. Kahn: “Order Is” (1960)
Nov 102016
 

One of the caliphs of Egypt, al-‘Az?z ibn al-Mu‘izz al-‘Ubayd?, used to race doves.
One day he competed against one of his servants, and the servant’s bird flew faster than his own.
So the caliph summoned his minister, Ibn Kalas al-Yah?d?, to inquire about this.
The minister was too embarrassed to say that the caliph’s bird had been beaten, so he wrote a poem instead:

You, to whom obedience is rewarded with security
And for whom the love of his subjects is a necessity:
Your bird was the victor, however
He arrived with his chamberlain preceding him.

 Comments Off on Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri: from “The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition.”
Oct 212016
 

Winter brings on cold weather; and we must shiver. Summer returns, with its heat; and we must sweat. Unseasonable weather upsets the health; and we must fall ill. In certain places we may meet with wild beasts, or with men who are more destructive than any beasts. Floods, or fires, will cause us loss. And we cannot change this order of things; but what we can do is to acquire stout hearts, worthy of good men, thereby courageously enduring chance and placing ourselves in harmony with Nature. And Nature moderates this world-kingdom which you see, by her changing seasons: clear weather follows cloudy; after a calm, comes the storm; the winds blow by turns; day succeeds night; some of the heavenly bodies rise, and some set. Eternity consists of opposites. It is to this law that our souls must adjust themselves, this they should follow, this they should obey. Whatever happens, assume that it was bound to happen, and do not be willing to rail at Nature. That which you cannot reform, it is best to endure, and to attend uncomplainingly upon the God under whose guidance everything progresses, for it is a bad soldier who grumbles when following his commander. For this reason we should welcome our orders with energy and vigor, nor should we cease to follow the natural course of this most beautiful universe, into which all our future sufferings are woven.

– Letter CVII

 Comments Off on Seneca: On Obedience to the Universal Will
Sep 012016
 

Yugen: Gives a name to a mood in which one feels that the universe as a whole possesses a mysterious, elusive, but real, beauty. Moonlight, snow on distant mountains, birds flying very high in the evening sky, and watching the sun rise over the ocean all feed this sensibility.

-from The School of Life

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