cad, building - [a b, -a] Letter to the Students of sem - V, School of Architecture, CEPT. 1998-99.

As the computer that you would use is still a conservative (it isolates its object from the surrounding world prior to analysis) and Cartesian tool, South Asian solutions could become quite troublesome in its usage. At the first, they are only much amplified tools carrying out the project of the Axonometric. This will not be an architecture for the human eye. This will not be an architecture you see!

Raja Bhoja does not really exclude the possibilities of this thinking. To the Indian system, (if you omit the divine and transcendental functions) the building is a yantra which is a producer of the Rhizomic (translate, roughly, as tantra), or the habitus; and mantra (the quasi-magical, governing) Brahmanic procedures. And thus, a Sanskritic logic in architecture is machinic. It has to be, as it generally patterns itself after syntax, that is to say, to the primary representation-machine in the deva-lipi.

As regards the building, it emerges out of such and suchlike interior conditions. And its surface(s), internal and external, are only the edge conditions of such generative mechanisms. The interiorities not experienced in physical space.

For the resulting building types, the term in contemporary sense would be Aupnidhic, or rather, Aup (delineatory) {+} nidhi (archive) {+} k (of). The chhanda relation between aup and lopa is significant, sharing the root p’ which has to do with air and grounding, just as stha and kha. Au, taken in isolation will have to do with delineation.

D E L I N E A T I O N.

Delineation, the act by its very definition points at how the intellect could enter into these systems. The systems would become discursive (aupcharic) and not really ideological. If you are fixated on the issues of water, air, soil, i.e. the management of terrain, you can play with the etymology of the word aupcharic: it can mean formal, or curative. It definitely means conventional. Just as typology is conventional. In a sense, the Machinic Heterogenesis as proposed here is all about this: Territorial Distribution of Forms. And through that, one hopes, Justice.

Another teaser, le Corbusier thinks surfaces are made of two kinds of lies: generating and accusing’. (Towards a [new] Architecture; Three Reminders to the Architect, II: Surface). Etchelles his translator being an Englishman, could understand the term generating, but suppresses the term accusing. Incidentally, the original French for his term contour (terrestrial issues!) is Modènature[1] (Architecture, Pure creation of the Spirit). There is no exact English translation for the word. But there is one in Sanskrit, and Gujarati: it is Aup.

I have outlined the theory’ of delineation used by ab, -a in the attached document. Most of our On Typology/Mapping Heterologies researches as well as Coding projects use this.

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Prof. B. V. Doshi recently contributed this remarkable insight, if code has a binary structure, and it can be worked upon in matrices; or as fields then it takes on certain characteristics of chhaya, the shadow. Which is in keeping with the logic of the Axonometric once again. For the axonometric could be considered a method extracted from the principle of the shadow. From the art of placing objects in the eye of the sun”, in the rays of light.

Or as Lacan[2] has it, an object surrounding us. I am being photographed by light”: architecture as a lens for light — an object constructed in order to enter the field of the gaze . . . an object one does not see: it sees one. Anamorphic . . . constructed by the Line and Light.

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A student of mine once wrote this playful piece on the use of computers in the design process. The one observation that strikes me is that there seems to be very little scope for self-deception in using computers. If so, then good bye old fashioned architecture!


as regards the Basis of Delineation, there is a compelling case in favour of architecture and its limits, see Bernard Cache’s Plea for Euclid.

for a basic explanation of the Axonometric, and the evolution of this form of representation in architecture, see Massimo Scolari, in his Notes on a History of Axonometric. [in Architectural Design special issue: The School of Venice, circa 1980].

See Precisions. . . very useful in this regard.

See especially the second part, OF THE GAZE AS Objet Petit a, in The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Norton Paperback 1981.

this text utilises material drawn from On Typology/Mapping heterologies series, as well as elements of the Form’ of Theory courses, both archived within [01] ab, -a Conceptualizing section.