Mode of the Axonometric: a Techné.

Speaking with a group of theatre people we became aware of a propensity of the axonometric: that it looks at things from the outside — it constructs this box — very much like a theatre building, where the perceiver is placed outside the stage or the world. It allows the architect to mediate the world-machine and its components and parts without participating in it.

This modelling or illusion of placing, we realised, is not unlike CAD and computer simulations. The axonometric momentarily allows us to think from the outside and one could play with a sense of alienation such that an architect could understand, at once, possibilities of inserting into the immanence amongst affairs of people, their institutions and the shells constructed to accommodate them. In this relation a projection such as the axonometric sets the stage — the aspect of the city — and it is the apparatus by which one constructs Strong Visibilities or Buildings, it is like a panopticon configured in the eye of the Sun.

Foucault defines the Greek word techne as 'a practical rationality governed by a conscious aim'. Foucault generally prefers the word 'technology', which he uses to encompass the broader meanings of techne. Foucault often uses the words techniques and technologies interchangeably, although sometimes techniques tend to be specific and localized and technologies more general collections of specific techniques. [Definition © Clare O'Farrell 2007]

Image by John Hejduk, Mask of Medusa: Works 1947-1983.