‘DETAIL KULTUR – If buildings had DNA: Case Studies of Mutations’ in Arabic, Chinese, English and Russian.
Architectural details are typically communicated through technical drawings. A photograph or model might convey details in context or the ultimate visual effect generated by a detail, but the drawing remains its standard referent and it is from drawings that details are archived, revised and appropriated.
One challenge of Detail Kultur is: How do we come to understand the relevance of details through their drawings? How are drawings handled as more than illustrations for text? Can text serve the drawings and suggest new ways of looking at these drawings?
Another challenge involves opening up details as typological elements with their own histories and cultural associations. A door, for example, is a physical thing and a metaphysical construct – and details get implicated in both directions of door-ness. Is it fair game to recollect all the implications of a door or threshold when also studying their handling by select architects for specific constructions?
Lastly, how can we treat a subject that is not best served by a classical progression of arguments? Multiple case studies, many details, a profusion of drawings are a part of the story and their organization as a cross-referencing index is central to this investigation. In this way it is a compendium, but also a trigger for new work and research.
October 23, 2020