The Architectural Roman Nose May 25, 2012Posted by jennibarrett in Uncategorized.
Tags: architecture, evolution, ideas, meme
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The next few blog posts will be snippets of a study I did a few years ago looking at the evolution of ideas……
1 The Architectural Roman Nose………
The use of Darwin’s theory to describe apparent patterns of replication, variation and selection is a perennial theme in design, especially in the fields of architecture and the applied arts. The analogy has been applied to the evolution of artefacts and more specifically to traditional craftsmanship where generations of learning has inevitably incurred some random variation by nature of accidental misrepresentation or the trial and error involved in replicating a technique employed for long periods of time without the requirement for inventiveness.
However, in modern societies which adopt a more self-concious design process, a process of ‘heredity with copying’ is at work as new buildings and solutions are copied from preceding ones (see Philip Steadman’s book – The Evolution of Designs). This process is recorded not only in the more purposeful development of craft-based artefacts, as shown in this labour of love documenting the historical evolution of helmet designs……..
……but also in engineering solutions such as the motor car (c/o Le Corbusier).
We can look at building form in the same way. A particularly fecund idea (“I know, let’s stick it on pilottis!!”) breeds a whole family of buildings which transcend architectural ‘isms’ but fundamentally retain the genetically powerful characteristics. Hence, the pilotti becomes the architectural Roman nose.