Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wes Jones on Technology and Architecture

Wes Jones
"December 2010." unit A [obu]. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.
The end of the millennium synonymously celebrated the conclusion of modernism. Undeniable technological expertise made known by the “new” form, which was coming  into fashion, was directed largely towards the indiscriminate production of difference. However, the importance and relevance of this form to architecture remains unclear. The idea that architecture would refer to technology is not a new phenomenon, but technology is now addressed in a thematic sense, and this new use has translated technology into a metaphor. If the theme is critical then the architecture is sharp and pointy and becomes wordy and “difficult”. If the theme is more affirmational, the architecture may become chrome-plated and party-coloured, or more recently virtual and amorphous. In both examples technology is treated as something to be exposed, as one would expose an unpleasant secret, or something liberated or revealed. In an opposing approach, one can understand architecture as technological at heart, inspiring the possibility of a more straight forward expression of architecture. 

The difference between using technology as a symbol, and accepting architecture as technology itself, as an expression arising from within technology, rather than one that rather borrows mere technological form to illustrate some non-technological difference, is the difference between Jones, Partners: Architecture and others who might be considered technologically oriented. Technology however admits only an origin in nature, therefore an architect who wishes to be original must assert themselves as somehow non- or anti-technological. In doing so, an architect seeks to serve their own interests rather than the program’s. This adjustment will assert the architect’s control, and solidifies their authorship. 

These issues were clearly and directly expressed by Jones, Partners: Architecture in four of their residential projects. The architectural programs are at the root houses-for-something, or similarly, machines-for-something. 

Jones, Wes. "Jones, Partners : Architecture." archilab . (accessed December 4, 2012).

Brill.2 Residence San Clemente, USA, 1998

Arias Tsang Residence Brisbane, USA, 2000

Brill.1 Residence silverlake, USA, 1998-99

Stieglitz Residence Hollywood, USA, 1998

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