To Architect Now
This is the mandate: now you have to architect!
This said, the “performance anxiety” is the first and foremost symptom that is identifiable: YOU have to do something while YOU will be tested. Because there is someone else (spectator(s), inspector(s), judge(s)….) who is asking you to architect now.
NOW has a duration that is different from TODAY. “Present” and “contemporary” are words that express a duration according to a before and an after. There are no certainties about time; and NOW has been a time during which we have been given the chance to express and to demonstrate no certainties at all. For someone who is tested about doing something, the absence of certainties does not help: do whatever you want but do something because you have to!
The YOU asks: how much time do I have? The answer is: The time you have available to architect something, is something you have to decide about. So the YOU is free to decide.
There are interesting cases of persons who, while being expected to do something, take their time fooling around (The Thousands and One Night, 8 and ½ ……). And there are cases of persons who, being given no fixed time for doing something, takes a time with a very long duration. How about if I choose a today that will last forever?
The other interesting aspect of the mandate is the imposition: to HAVE TO. I might rebel against this imposition. Would the rebellion against it, be an acceptable fulfilment of the mandate?
The kernel is the liaison (trait d’union) between HAVE TO and TO ARCHITECT.
TO ARCHITECT means to know the principles (archè) upon which a certain kind of technique is based. This technique is the art of building. It is very positive that today we are gaining a vast context to situate what is the meaning of the term architecture and what an architect is meant to be doing. From metaphysical speculations, political activism, virtual imagination, global fiction, stage set design, rendering to real estate management and construction specification , the context is vast because the meaning of the word architecture is ALL-INCLUSIVE. It was originally formulated to mean basically everything; everything we can know in term of human technical dedication. And since the human exists only in term of technical dedication, architecture is the reasoning on the way we exists: the principles (archè) of our technics. To think that this technique is basically tectonic is certainly a good attempt to frame and limit the vastness of the context. But I believe that an architect should make the effort to refer to the mandate that the name implies. I believe so because this mandate is very important.
So, this is a more extensive formulation of the mandate: in a lapse of time that it is your task to define you must fulfil the task of knowing the principles upon which the art of building is based.
I rely on the possibility to define the symptomatology of the anxiety of the performance due to the cruelty of those in charge of the testing.
To let the anxiety being fully absorbed into the duration of the now the architect must practice a passage in time (hole) that is the stenosis of an hourglass.
The stenosis of an hourglass.