The commonplace that computer and communicational technologies have collapsed space should not be limited to the sense that they have contracted distance, but also that they overwhelm spatial division and compartments. This produces not only spatial dislocation (like the intimate cell-phone conversation held in the supermarket aisle) but also divisional collapse: as when a once-specialized space loses its dedicated purpose and becomes multi-faceted and multi-layered in its functioning. I’m thinking in particular of the tele-distanced, wired up, fully equipped and furnished oxymoronic “home office.” (It is a vestigial Marxist notion that new technologies are on the side of an emergent class.)
The Canadian Centre for Architecture: Phyllis Lambert’s magnum opus: expanding categories, moving boundaries (1989)
As a character in the modern era, the collector is a mostly abused type. Widely dismissed psychologically as anal retentive, in terms of political economy portrayed as a hoarder and perhaps a manipulator of values, and in the circuit of creative production seen as the parasitic terminal figure who swallows all and returns no more than a belch.
It occurs often enough that some notion, enclosed as a figure, brought forth for a specific occasion and bound to a particular moment, is plucked up by others, bent and stretched, accumulates and develops further meanings and applications, and is eventually received so battered and misshapen that we can only wonder what possible use it may have remaining for anyone.
Contemporary architectural debate resembles a battle of the buildings in which architects, armed not only with words but sticks and stones, struggle over the future of the environment we build.
The complex historical interaction between photography and architectural practice is reduced to the still moment of photographic exposure. The fastidious details of photo-historical connoisseurship which accompanied the images provided the signs of scholarship, but it is an exhibition of little thought.