Deﬁnition 01: By Typological Instituteds I mean things: the inscriptions, marks of the state, the ‘internal’ regulatory principles, i.e., the ‘things’ indicating the hieroglyph that persists at the core of architecture.
Deﬁnition 02: Codes of ‘inner’ coherence, marks of uniqueness or identity that must be distinguished from the regulative just as the law is from the police.
— See: Dynamics of Meaning in Arhitectural Form and On Typology/Mapping Heterologies.
This contention holds everything together: that a contemporary theory of the architectural should live as water in water through a theory of state; as in it’s zeal to describe and transform norms (or, limits), the state can hold ‘reality’, that is, what holds our categories maintanant. The state undertakes the project of construction, mobilising desire; and simultaneously, at times willfully inscribing its projects with specters of despair – an architectural project becomes ‘real’ through this antagonism.
The business of encoding space - representation - seems to display this inherent contiguity: TYPOLOGYFUNCTIONING as STATETHEORY = Typological Instituteds.
“Yet nothing of what we know of writing, or of its role in evolution, can be said to justify this conception. One of the most creative phases in human history took place with the onset of the neolithic era: agriculture and the domestication of animals are only two of the developments which may be traced to this period. It must have had behind it thousands of years during which small societies of human beings were noting, experimenting, and passing on to one another the fruits of their knowledge. The very success of this immense enterprise bears witness to the rigour and the continuity of its preparation, at a time when writing was quite unknown. If writing ﬁrst made its appearance between the fourth and third millennium before our era, we must see it not, in any degree, as a conditioning factor in the neolithic revolution, but rather as an already-distant and doubtless indirect result of that revolution. With what great innovation can it be linked? Where technique is concerned, architecture alone can be called into question. Yet the architecture of the Egyptians or the Sumerians was no better than the work of certain American Indians who, at the time America was discovered, were ignorant of writing. Conversely, between the invention of writing and the birth of modern science, the western world has lived through some ﬁve thousand years, during which time the sum of its knowledge has rather gone up and down than known a steady increase. It has often been remarked that there was no great difference between the life of a Greek or Roman citizen and that of a member of the well-to-do European classes in the eighteenth century. In the neolithic age, humanity made immense strides forward without any help from writing; and writing did not save the civilizations of the western world from long periods of stagnation. Doubtless the scientiﬁc expansion of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries could hardly have occurred, had writing not existed. But this condition, however necessary, cannot in itself explain that expansion.
If we want to correlate the appearance of writing with certain other characteristics of civilization, we must look elsewhere. The one phenomenon which has invariably accompanied it is the formation of cities and empires: the integration into a political system, that is to say, of a considerable number of individuals, and the distribution of those individuals into a hierarchy of castes and classes. Such is, at any rate, the type of development which we ﬁnd, from Egypt right across to China, at the moment when writing makes its debut; it seems to favour rather the exploitation than the enlightenment of mankind. This exploitation made it possible to assemble workpeople by the thousand and set them tasks that taxed them to the limits of their strength: to this, surely, we must attribute the beginnings of architecture as we know it. If my hypothesis is correct, the primary function of writing, as a means of communication, is to facilitate the enslavement of other human beings. The use of writing for disinterested ends, and with a view to satisfactions of the mind in the ﬁelds either of science or the arts, is a secondary result of its invention and may even be no more than a way of reinforcing, justifying, or dissimulating its primary function.”
Text excerpt from “A Writing Lesson,” Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes tropiques. New York: Criterion, 1961; pp. 290-93. (Translated by John Russell, with some modiﬁcations)
Read for example Náà (the) in Yorùbá. Although Yorùbá has no grammatical gender, t has a distinction between human and non-human nouns. Salience marking in Yorùbá Náà performs three functions – the uniqueness function, the additive function and the identity function. Ref: Ọládiípọ̀ Ajíbóyè, The Syntax and Semantics of Yoruba Nominal Expressions. Oxford: African Books Collective, 2016.
These texts stubbornly assume the ‘core’ inscription of any architecture to be hieroglyphic marks of the ‘I’. Or, constructions “erected like dikes”.