Vibhuti Sachdev and Mark Warner asked me to speak about The Third Eye at the Sushant School of Architecture, so I tried, and then Mark told me to speak about drawings and computers, and how we are always reproducing the construction process—albeit in a computational space, or, the space of A City Machine—and some cognitive aspects of it that we used to work on at TVB School of Habitat Studies.
I had a couple ways of starting with the lecture, but when I thought to ﬁrst reconcile the idea of drawing with architecture because when architects you ask practicing architects about drawing, they immediately think of pencils and paper, and sometimes CAD. But they think of it as drawing that has something to do with architectural design
I think they start thinking about design, which comes from designare in Latin, which means only to designate that is to plan and specify—I know architects have worked like this at least since the Renaissance, and increasingly so after Architecture was organized as a profession in the 19th Century, so I decided to go quite another way, and try and construct an explanation that includes that idea of design, and at the same time, as they say, brings it ‘up to date’.
In the ﬁrst section, I spoke about the law in India, and what it affords architect—not practicing architects—, what is the kind of work they can perform. In the next section, I misdirected the audience a little, so I said ‘you can draw with ﬁre,’ to play with the two etymologies of the word, and then spoke about how ‘plans’ of a temple were carved into the rock, that is, you needed to draw lines in the ﬁrst sense of the word, but you needed to draw along the vein of the rock, in the second step the element was drawn from the ground using heat. In the third section I wanted to reconcile the two operations so I played with the idea a bit and spoke about the old ‘eye of the sun’ and men’s eyes, how the two come together, and how there are always—if you buy into that system—two things at work, an eye immersed in the system, but then, an ‘eye’ outside of it, it does not matter as to where that eye is, it can be found in a pagan-mythologic space, an ecclesiastical space, in a rational-cartographic space, in a computational space. In the fourth section I spoke a little about conventions, and how they persist—there is no real record, for example, that says Le Corbusier knew about Ucello’s Chalis, and the two observer positions yet we can perfectly well explain the Open Hand—and I repeated the same notion, persistence four times; how the idea of the Polis no longer sufﬁced yet it persists, how we have exhausted the conventions I discussed in the previous section, and how, we are dealing with entirely new modes of production and destruction. As a consequence, ﬁnally in section e I spoke a little about what we do at ABA-NET and Architexturez Imprints: how the professional is a network for example, or a ‘succession of individuals,’ how we use anagraphs and forget all about what we see with buildings and drawings, or the sociology and philosophies, how we try and concentrate instead on deeper structures and paradigms that intersect in architecture. I don’t have slides for the last part because I just have to connect the screen to my servers.
That is what I spoke about, what I was saying is, that a manner of speech is afforded to architects in India, the ﬁrst section; yet, we must not forget about the archaic, the second section; however, if we look at things with a eye that at once observes, legislates and witnesses—the eye of the architect and planner—or the cartographer…, the third section, and compare what changes through an architectural, almost-at-a-standstill, time, the fourth section, then we can distill problems for ourselves today, which is how we do in my ofﬁce.
For myself, I wanted to see if I can explain things using a Sanskrit-style logic? So I added the second and fourth parts, both are exegetical, and tend to negate the three main parts: they speak about the archaic.
Finally, I added picture from Le Corbusier’s Open Hand again, but this time, it is Le Corbusier the Modulor Palmist, the Modulor dimension does not really work when you stare at the palm of your hand and compare it with the drawing you will see. I added that picture to remind myself, more, about how things can go out of whack when you play the acrobat ‘a little bit much’ as they say around the Jura.
Then my time was up, and I have attached the presentation below.