The Deconstructive Theory in Architecture


Embed from Getty Images

The very essence of the deconstructive architecture is to constantly reinvent the design of the architectural elements, rather than establish a common design.


In an interview with Eva Meyer titled Architecture where desire can live in, the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida pinpoints that architects should explore the elements of the architectural space, which are often perceived as secondary or deemed as unimportant.

“Each architectural place, each habitation has one precondition: that the building should be located on a path, at a crossroads at which arrival and departure are both possible. There is no building without streets leading towards it or away from it; nor there is one without paths inside, without corridors, staircases, passages, doors.” [Jacques Derrida on page 68 of Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture]

Jacques Derrida has outlined the need for architects to adopt the deconstructive thinking in dealing with issues that although might be intended for temporary or secondary use, their presence and function is an equally important feature to the user, as any other element.

The inhabited spaces are acknowledged since they accommodate activities that enable us to function but also they always are accompanied by a journey that leads you to those spaces.

The proper way to highlight the methodology that Deconstructive Movement is actually an attempt to construct the deconstructed (not fully constructed) structure is the interpretation of the “street” and “place” by Michel de Certeau.

“The street geometrically defined by urban planning is transformed into a space by walkers” [Michel de Certeau on page 117 of The Practice of Everyday Life]

In the past, it has been a general assumption that the role of an architect has been to create spaces.

But according to de Certeau, a place is something fixed and determined and therefore is planed, but when movements are introduced to a place, the latter becomes a space alongside its variations in their behaviour.

Architectural creativity has in the past relied upon the technological aspects of a building, whereby the human factor has been paid little attention by the architects.

Marc Auge has also outlined by remains in the dynamics of the location since a place with activity concludes into space.

Auge draws the attention to the dynamics of a space as its primary element and not the architectural elements, concluding that a place without an activity is not space.

“A space exists when one takes into consideration vectors of direction, velocities, and time variables. Thus space is composed of intersections of mobile elements. It is in a sense articulated by the ensemble of movements deployed within it. Space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflicting programs or contractual proximities… In contradistinction to the place, it has thus none of the univocity or stability of a proper. In short, space is a practiced place.” [Marc Auge page 81 of Non-Places]

The writing by the Australian philosopher, Andrew Benjamin draws a clearer perspective of deconstructive thinking in architecture, and in particular, Peter Eisenman’s theoretical backing and perceptions of his designs.

Benjamin acknowledges the existence of tradition and its achievements but he also claims the past has also produced vacuums in related subjects for which there has to be a way to review them thoroughly and establish new notions of understanding them.

“The origin has to become redescribed. The foundations are renewed with repetition such that they are then repeated for the first time. The consequence of this means that if there is to be a refusal to take over and carry on that which tradition hands down then there has to be another way in which this task can be understood. It is precisely in these terms that it will be necessary to rethink the force of the claim that “architecture houses”.
[Andrew Benjamin on page 291 in Rethinking Architecture]

In “Eisenman and the housing tradition”, Benjamin continues to illustrate further the concept of work behind deconstructive philosophy in which he explicitly states that traditional views are there and we do not challenge them in that there has already been established but yet that should not stop the process to enrich the traditional philosophy by dealing with issues that have been under-explored in the past.

Benjamin implies that in its repetition or rather in its revisit, the deconstructive mind enters with exploratory vision searching for meanings in things that were previously considered as trivial, emphasising that philosophy has been confined within its borders in defining the subject of its interest.

Under the deconstructive vision adding related issues that have
been not so visible is expanding these borders.

“The tradition within which philosophy is enacted – and hence which it enacts – has decreed what is going to count as philosophical and therefore what will fall beyond the borders it constructs. The repetition of philosophy within, by and as tradition reduces it to the repetition of an ideal essence. It must not be assumed of course, that the essence need be at hand. Indeed it is possible to present a conception of philosophy were its and its nature are in some sense hidden, and thus what becomes fundamental to, if not descriptive of, the philosophical task is the revelation of that which is not at hand. Here repetition is the repetition of that which is not essential though concealed.” [Andrew Benjamin on page 291 of Rethinking Architecture]

Benjamin concludes by outlining that Eisenman is different from other architects because the American architect is constantly establishing new forms of interpretations of a certain typology applied in his design.

Therefore, the very essence of the deconstructive architecture is to constantly reinvent the design of the architectural elements, rather than establish a common design.



About the author

Nolan Jazimreg

Nolan Jazimreg is the author of “The Inconvenient Truth”, a highly contentious dystopian novel, which portrays the life of Isa Iri, an orphan tasked with the daunting mission of uniting the humankind through unconventional insights on happiness, freedom, democracy, religion, and ways in which heaven or hell manifest throughout our lives.

Having undergone a unique and rare life experience, Nolan Jazimreg developed a bipolar condition and setbacks that transcended him into the parallel spiritual realm, which due the “veil” bestowed upon them, most adults can’t experience.

Jazimreg was born to an award-winning TV journalist mother, whereas his father worked as Professor of Psychology at the local University.

Jazimreg spent his childhood in a communist system, then his teenage years in socialist one and his adult life in the capitalism.

Before turning 18, Jazimreg met a wonderful person who fulfilled him, but because of religious differences, he was deprived of his first love.

Jazimreg belonged to an ethnic minority and just like others who spoke the same language as did, were discriminated by his state or other individuals that were an ethnic majority.

Gradually, the ethnic tension erupted into a civil war that forced Jazimreg to flee his home and became a refugee in London.

Hoping that it might aspire younger generations to create a better, just and a peaceful world, unlike the painful one that he journeyed through, Jazimreg began inscribing his first novel that reveals unique experiences and a vision about a different civilization that could be accomplished in the future.

Coinciding with his novels, this blog reveals profound insights into how hatred infiltrates us and oppresses our adeptness to live a contented life that will instigate a comprehensive appraisal of preconceived assumptions about happiness, freedom, democracy, religion, but also heaven and hell, the neglected realms that we experience during our lifetimes, but are unaware of it.

“Being a literature major and an occasional writer myself, I am only too aware of how writers are often very shy to the point of being secretive. It is therefore amazing how Nolan Jazimreg, in his second novel, lifts the "veil" (reminiscent of Shelley's) of the "parallel spiritual realm" whereby he was "transcended" by his condition and its ensuing "setbacks". His aim, in his first novel, is truly admirable--it is to "inspire younger generations to create a better, just and peaceful world, unlike the painful one that he journeyed through". Writing these novels were acts of courage, motivated by a selfless desire to spare the generations that are to come after him, from the wrenching pain of growing up from childhood to adulthood, in 3 political systems that are worlds apart, esp. the first and the third. May we laud him for not allowing the loss of his first love and the discrimination he underwent, to embitter and disillusion him. Most people are afraid of what lies behind the "veil", esp. if, by lifting it, the truth will be revealed in all its brilliance. It takes a writer, a courageous one at that, to dare, and to look at the truth. Instead, he has taken the positive step of writing and publishing these experiences, an example some of us would do well to follow. “
Ethel David

Add comment

Your sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.