številka / volume 153-154
november / november 2001
letnik / anno XXXI
arhitektura in novi mediji
architecture and new media
vsebina številke
table of contents
Miha Dešman Uvodnik
Editorial
Aleš Vodopivec Drugi obraz arhitekture novih medijev
The Other Face of the Architecture of New Media
Matevž Čelik Otroci krize v pluralizmu vrednot
Črni kubus svetlobe
Andrej Hrausky Od Narodnega doma do Narodne galerije
From Narodni dom to Narodna galerija
Jurij Kobe Dialog
Dialogue
Uroš Lobnik Fast design ali zapelji(v) Mcdonald's
Fast Design or Drive in(to) McDonald's
Andrew Benjamin, Manuela Gatto, Tina Gregorič,
Filippo Innocenti, Maurizio Meossi
Projektni diagrami
Planning Diagrams
Roemer van Toorn Sveži konservativizem
Špela Hudnik Življenjski slog Ortlos
Ortlos Life-Style
Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik Arhitekturna dinamika in nova urbanost
Architectural Dynamics and New Urbanity
abforum
Nana Pernod Uporabnoumetnostna estetika arhitekture
Primož Lampič O arhitekturni fotografiji
uvodnik

Sintagma arhitektura novih medijev ima nejasen in odprt pomen. Nedvomno ni blizu ratiu moje in starejših generacij, ki verjetno nikoli ne bodo znale v celoti izkoristiti možnosti globalnega pluralizma in razvoja tehnologije. To spoznanje je nekam nostalgično in tragično, pa vendar poleg odpovedi nosi v sebi tudi prizadevanje za tisto, kar nam tehnologija in njene implikacije odvzemajo - za avtentičnost in humanizem.

Kaj je arhitektura novih medijev?

Vprašanje, ki si ga ponavadi zastavijo arhitekt, naročnik in kritik, je, kakšna arhitektura ustreza novim medijem in novemu času, ki ga poosebljajo. Vprašanje je zastavljeno napačno. Pravo vprašanje je: Kaj je arhitektura? Kako nanjo vplivajo novi mediji, novi informacijski čas? Novi mediji so bržkone elektronski - internet, mobilna telefonija, video. Njihove forme so CAD, CAP (computer aided production), virtualna realnost, skratka, tisti fenomeni, ki na nek način spremljajo izgubo avre avtorja in originala. Kaj pa prinašajo, poleg večjega udobja na eni strani in nadzora na drugi?

Predvsem prinašajo antropološko spremembo. Tradicionalnemu človekovemu telesu, ki je bilo povezano z naravo, dodajajo novo, elektronsko telo, ki se v svet vključuje skozi mrežo informacij. To dejstvo pa od nas zahteva, da se na novo zastavijo tudi logika, optika in metode, s katerimi arhitektura poskuša zajeti realnost.

Ali je s prevlado novih medijev arhitektura v tradicionalnem smislu postala odvečna, atavistična?

Arhitektura se od nekdaj navdihuje pri drugih praksah, od umetnosti in literature do novih medijev, vendar praviloma izgublja, kadar poskuša posnemati logiko teh praks na račun lastne avtonomne govorice. Po drugi strani pa seveda ni mogoče pritrditi tezi, da mora biti arhitektura nekakšna nepokvarjena oaza sredi džungle navidezne resničnosti, otok avtentičnosti, sanatorij nostalgikov, teritorij nedolžnosti, ki ga ne bi smelo oskruniti nič, kar pripada trdemu, agresivnemu in polaščevalskemu svetu sodobnih družbenih, ideoloških in medijskih slepil.

Arhitektura je del sveta, v katerem živimo, če nam je to všeč ali ne. Navdihuje se pri vseh fenomenih sodobne človekove in družbene realnosti in tudi sama vpliva nanje.

Kako pa vplivajo novi mediji na arhitektovo delo?

Arhitekt se danes srečuje z vedno večjo in vedno težje obvladljivo količino informacij. Ker so novi mediji nagnjeni k reduciranju, tudi arhitektura, v želji, da bi bila aktualna, sledi temu trendu. To odpoved kompleksnosti spodbuja tudi sprememba načina arhitektovega dela. Z napredkom tehnologije so se namreč zamenjali tako orodja kot strategije projektiranja. CAD postavlja vprašanja odnosa med medijem in obliko in s tem procesa nastajanja arhitekture na drugačen način, kot tradicionalni način projektiranja, pri katerem so arhitektova imaginacija, znanje in sposobnost razmišljanja določali nastajanje arhitekturnih podob. Iz neskončnega univerzuma možnosti mora designer izluščiti zaključeno podobo. Podoba, ki je bila konstruirana, je po novem destilirana. Proces odločanja se seli na abstraktni nivo softwarea. Le-ta vnaprej določa možnosti izbire. Tako se na eni ravni opcije pomnožijo v nepregledno neskončnost, na drugi ravni pa zaprejo v vnaprej določen okvir medija. Spreminja se celotna logistika. Arhitektura je danes produkt timskega dela in ne predpostavlja avtorja v klasičnem smislu. Avtor izgublja pomen. Na izbiro ima, da se pretvori v blagovno znamko ali v brezimno korporacijo. Namesto avtorja je tu tim, namesto imena logo, namesto arhitekture design itd. Prav tako izgublja pomen produkt. Pretvarja se v proces. Je interaktiven, včasih nujno zlo, drugič tržni objekt. Komercialno in elitno nista več na nasprotnih vrednostnih bregovih.

Ali mora arhitektura brez distance reprezentirati sedanjost?

Ob zaključku starega in začetku novega stoletja je ameriški way of life ideal novih lifestyleov. Uveljavlja se s posredovanjem satelitov, wireless komunikacije, filma in predvsem televizije, te paradigmatske institucije tihotapljenja tržne ekonomije v intimo ljudi. Kultura se manifestira skozi vizualno, ne skozi verbalno izražanje. Ena od značilnosti digitalne dobe je, da novi mediji konkurirajo arhitekturi, tako pri upodabljanju komunikacije, napredka in identitete kot samega prostora.

V tržni ekonomiji se identitete menjajo kot mode, sledeč lifestyle revijam. Kultura je postala stvar razprodaj. Hitrost razvoja digitalnih medijev je za arhitekturo, očitno pa tudi za kulturo v celoti prevelika, saj ji ne zmoreta slediti. Danes se znaki ne nanašajo več na pomene, ampak na druge znake. Metaforična raba vsega, jezika, oblik, resnice, povzroča zmedenost in dezorientacijo. Ko je možno vse, izgubi vsaka stvar svoj posebni smisel. Videz zamenja resničnost.

Tako kot ptiči, ki se zaletavajo v steklo, zmedeni osebki ne delujejo več zato, da bi videli, ampak zato, da bi bili videni. Je pa res še nekaj. Avra, ki obdaja današnje digitalne formalne svetove, bo zbledela, ko bodo postali vsakdanji in vsem dostopni. Postali bodo le še ena design opcija v katalogu možnega. Arhitektura zato potrebuje distanco.

Ali je sodobni arhitekturni projekt PR projekt?

Zdi se, da je po obdobju kritike postmoderne realnosti s strani arhitekturnih kritikov in samih arhitektov prišlo obdobje sprijaznjenosti z njo. To je razumljivo. Arhitektura je ostala osamljena v slonokoščenem stolpu lastne samoizolacije od realnosti. Nekdaj sorodne dejavnosti, design in grafični design, pa tudi lep del umetnosti, so se uvrstile v trend in popularno kulturo.

Arhitektura je v tem procesu delovala nerodno in nespretno. V osemdesetih se je najprej poskušala s posnemanjem historičnega priličiti ljudskemu okusu množic. S tem trikom je hotela ohraniti celost, pomen, potrebnost. Vsi vemo, da je ta projekt, postmoderna arhitektura, doživel fiasko, enako kot njegovi podaljški v devetdeseta, kot sta bila dekonstruktivizem in v zadnjem času t. i. arhitektura topoloških površin. Dialektično razlikovanje med visoko in popularno kulturo je postmoderna še vsebovala in prav to je bilo zanjo usodno. Arhitektura je hotela oboje - biti popularna in banalna ter hkrati avlična in aristokratska. Dialektika med low in high, med popularno in elitno kulturo ni bila in še danes ni razrešena.

Zato pa je, vsaj tako kaže, arhitektura danes v velikem delu popustila in se skesano odpravila v smer zlitja s popularno kulturo. Opustila je odgovornosti, ki izhajajo iz elitizma, prepričanja, avtonomije, skratka, iz modernistične etike.

Vse je postalo isto, edini kriterij, ki je ostal, je medijska odmevnost. Zato so mnogi arhitekti posegli po medijskih strategijah. Iz industrije zabave in marketinga prenašajo koncepte v arhitekturo. Tako kot remix pri tehnu zlagajo podobe iz zadnje mode v projekte novih stavb. S tem se je arhitektura osvobodila. Brez napora lahko sugerira identitete, avtentičnost, zeitgeist. Če je minimalizem v šestdesetih prišel iz arta, je v devetdesetih prišel iz mode.

Ali je omejevanje na čisto arhitekturno izkušnjo eskapizem?

Arhitektura je posredovalka in prevajalka med kolektivnim in individualnim, med družbenim, osebnim in intelektualnim, v eri medijev pa tudi med realnim in virtualnim. Določata jo vsakokratno socialno in lokalno okolje. Zadovoljuje najbolj elementarne in vsakdanje potrebe. Te s pojavom elektronskih medijev niso ugasnile. Res pa je, da so se pojavile nove potrebe, ki jih prej ni bilo in jih arhitektura v svojem klasičnem arhetipskem repertoarju ni razvila. Pojavnost arhitekture je najprej stvar čutov, izkušenj in doživljanj. Je ozadje za življenje. Vendar fizičnost očitno ni vse, kar arhitektura je. Čista arhitektura fenomenološke stvarnosti - denimo švicarskih minimalistov - ki jo ustvarjajo gibanje svetlobe, barva, material, otip in površina, zavrača drugi fenomen arhitekture, podobe in znake, ki so prav tako vedno soustvarjali telos arhitekture. S podobami in znaki pa imamo arhitekti danes problem. Grozijo namreč, da bodo s pomočjo novih medijev zavzeli celotni teritorij arhitekture in ji s tem odvzeli raison d'_tre.

Prava arhitektura je tista, ki kompleksnosti ne reducira, ampak kondenzirano interpretira. Je resonančno telo sveta. Spomnim se npr. Ravnikarjeve ureditve grobišča na Rabu in nedavne Curtiseve navdušene in prepričljive interpretacije tega dela. Ali pa doživetja ob obisku grških Prien, Miesovega paviljona v Barceloni, Aaltove vile Mairee, Scarpove vile Ottolenghi nad Gardskim jezerom, Corbusierovega samostana la Tourette ali Zumthorjeve kapele v Sogn Benedegt itd., ob katerih začutiš, da je to tisto pravo - ko arhitektura zaobseže celost sveta. Spomnim pa se tudi razočaranj ob mrtvih plakativnih ikonah, ki so privlačne v revijah, v realnosti lahko celo gledljive in s stališča kritike pravilne, pa vendar otrdele v akademizmu in neživljenjske. Tak občutek sem imel tako pri ogledu nove soseske Koseški bajer kot pri nekaterih novogradnjah v Berlinu, na Dunaju, pa celo pri nekaterih Aaltovih in, bog ne daj, Podreccovih delih. Arhitektura potrebuje izvirne ideje in pristne ideale.

Ali pa se odpirajo nove možnosti v arhitekturi z rezistenco proti kulturni industriji in potrošništvu?

Jasno je, da mora sodobni arhitekt obvladati tudi medijsko delovanje in promocijo, vendar to ni dovolj. Pogosto arhitekti in kritiki, ki znotraj disciplinarnega polja ne morejo uspeti, iščejo lahko pot promocije s pomočjo medijev (tiska, revij, videa, interneta). Pa vendar dobra arhitektura nikoli ni in tudi danes ne nastane zlahka. Če kdo to trdi, blefira. Tudi ni vprašanje stila. Tako blob kot bionična arhitektura, pa tudi minimalistična ali ekspresionistična so legitimne, če dosegajo določeno arhitekturno kvaliteto.

Arhitekturni objekt ni nedolžen. Stoji v preciznem mestu v socialni organizaciji. V izpolnitvi mučnih vezi med arhitekturo in družbo povezuje lastni umetniški kredo, avtonomijo in etiko discipline. Arhitektura kreira identitete kraja, prostora, skupnosti. Te identitete ne smejo biti odprte/usmerjene samo v preteklost, niti v sedanjost, niti v prihodnost. V prvem primeru bi dobili historicizem ali akademizem, tako kot pri nekaterih posnemovalcih stilov (ali samih sebe), od Krierja do Richarda Meierja. Pri zgolj v prihodnost usmerjenih iskanjih smo pri futurizmu, ki skozi science fiction pridiga prihodnost kot šlogarica. Primer so Nizozemci s svojimi bioničnimi kvazi inteligentnimi hišami, ki v realnem delujejo, kot bi prišle iz 20 let starega filma. Gola sedanjost pa je tudi premalo, saj je morda surfanje na valu trendov kot teorija učinkovito, v realni arhitekturi pa je tudi pri Koolhaasu, podobno kot nekoč pri Le Corbusieru, na delu še neka v teoriji zamolčana dimenzija – dimenzija arhitekturnega znanja.

Zato ne smemo zanemariti razmišljanja o umetniški, etični, socialni in profesionalni odgovornosti arhitekture. Odgovornosti do lastne stroke, do družbe in časa ter do prostora.

Dialektika oz. valovanje idej je veljalo in velja tudi danes. Neizogibno prinaša spremembe in novosti. Ene stvari se porajajo, druge izginjajo. Čisti globalizem gre h koncu, prihajata glokalizem in lokalizem, minimalizem se oddaljuje, evo novi ornament. Vendar arhitekture ne tvorijo -izmi. Ne obstaja arhitektura blobov, dekonstrukcije, postmodernizma niti modernizma. Obstaja samo arhitektura, prostor in njegova materialnost.

Avtonomija poklica se je znašla v krizi. Vendar arhitektura ne more obstajati brez elitistične arhitekturne kulture. Ne smemo zniževati kriterijev, da bi poklic arhitekta naredili dostopen vsem. Ali arhitekturo dostopno vsem. Zavzemam se za okrepitev pogojev, ki so potrebni za doseganje najvišjih dosežkov človeka. Za humanizem in za arhitekturo kot njegov izraz.

Če ji hočemo povrniti njen družbeni status, moramo rekonstruirati slonokoščeni stolp disciplinarne avtonomije arhitekture, v katerem se bomo lahko častili, nagrajevali, pa tudi kritizirali in spopadali. Tako bomo vsaj vedeli, o čem govorimo. Soočali se bomo s pravimi argumenti, metodami in prepričanji. Ne smemo dovoliti, da nam vsesplošna površnost televizije ukine to avtonomijo. Ne smemo sprejeti teze, da je arhitektura v svoji čisti obliki mrtva. Morda pomeni zavedanje akumuliranega znanja discipline, skupaj z radikalno odprtostjo novemu, kot nas uči Mies, tisto smer, ki nam lahko pokaže pot k svetlobi. Seveda izhaja taka pozicija iz elitistične etike modernizma in jo danes mnogi zavračajo kot passe, kot nerealno. Vendar je dialektika neusmiljena, tezi sledi antiteza, in Arhitektura, če naj bo zanimiva, če naj preživi čas, mora izhajati iz sinteze – čeprav provizorične.

In še, ali je mogoče združevati realno in virtualno arhitekturo?

Upam.

editorial

The term architecture of new media has an unclear, open meaning. It is undoubtedly not close to the ratio of mine or older generations, who will probably never know how to truly benefit from the opportunities of global pluralism and technological development. This realisation is somewhat nostalgic and tragic. Besides renouncement, however, it also implies efforts to preserve that which technology and its implications deprive us from: authenticity and humanism.

What is architecture of new media?

One question usually asked by the architect, client and critic is what kind of architecture suits the new media and the new era they represent. The question, however, is mistakenly formulated. The real question should be: What is architecture? How is it influenced by the new media, the new information era? The new media are electronic – the internet, mobile telephones, video. They appear in the form of CAD (computer aided design) or CAP (computer aided production), virtual reality, in short – as the phenomena which in a way accompany the loss of the aura carried by the author and the original. If this is so, what do they bring then, apart from a higher level of comfort on the one hand, and of control on the other?

In the first place, they bring forth an anthropological change. They add to the traditional human body which connected with nature a new electronic body which interacts with the world through the information network. This fact forces us to come up with new definitions of logics, optics and methods with which architecture tries to encompass reality.

Did domination of the new media make architecture in the traditional sense redundant, atavistic?

Architecture has always been inspired by other practices, from fine arts and literature to new media. However, its quality suffers whenever it tries to imitate the logics of these practices on account of its own autonomous language. And yet, one cannot really agree with the thesis that architecture should remain a kind of unspoilt oasis in the middle of the virtual reality jungle, an island of authenticity, a sanatorium for nostalgics, a territory of innosence that nothing should dishonour, nothing from the hard, aggressive and posessive world of contemporary social, ideological or media blindfolds.

Architecture is part of the world we live in, whether we like it or not. It gets its inspiration from all the phenomena of contemporary human and social reality, and influences them in its turn.

How do the new media influence the architect’s work?

Today the architect faces an ever increasing quantity of information, which is more and more hard to process. Because the new media are prone to reduction, architecture, too, in its wish to be up-to-date, follows this trend. The renouncement of complexity is spurred also by the changed methods of an architect’s work. Technological development has introduced both new tools and new strategies of planning. CAD places questions on the relationship between media and form, and thus on the process of architectural creation, in a different light than the traditional method of planning where an architect’s imagination and capability of reasoning defined the creation of architectural images. The image that has been constructed is now distilled. The decision-making process is transferred to the abstract level of software, which defines the possibilities of choice in advance. Thus, on one level, the options are multiplied into an illegible infinity, while on the other, they are closed into the pre-set framework of the medium. The whole of logistics is changing. Architecture today is a team-work product and does not imply the author in the classical sense. The author is losing his importance. He can therefore either become a trade-mark, or an anonymous corporation. Instead of the author, we have a team; instead of a name, a logo; instead of architecture, design, etc. The product is losing its meaning, too. It is changing into a process. It is interactive, sometimes a necessary evil; other times, an item for sale. Commercialism and elitism are no longer on opposite, evaluative sides.

Does architecture have to represent the present without any distance?

In the transition between the old and the new century, the American way of life has become an ideal of new lifestyles. It is communicated through satellites, wireless communication, film and above all television, this paradigmatic institution of consumerism sneaking into the intimate lives of people.

Culture manifests itself through visual, not verbal expression. One of the characteristics of the digital era is that the new media has become competitive with architecture, both in application of communication, progress and identity, and in the application of the space itself.

In consumer economy, identities change like fashion styles, following lifestyle magazines. Culture has become an object to sell. The speed of development of digital media is simply too high for architecture, and obviously also for culture, since they are not capable of following it. Today signs no longer refer to meanings, but to other signs. The metaphorical use of everything – language, forms, truth – creates confusion and disorientation. When everything is possible, each thing loses its special meaning. The image comes before reality. Just like birds banging their heads against window panes, confused subjects no longer act in order to see, but to be seen. And there is something else. The aura around today’s digital formal worlds will fade away when they become common and widely accessible. They will become yet another design option in the catalogue of the possible. Architecture therefore needs a distance.

Is a contemporary architectural project a PR project?

It seems that after the period when architectural critics and architectural professionals criticised post-modern reality, we are now in the period when it is generally accepted. This is understandable. Architecture remained lonely in the ebony tower of its own self-isolation from reality. Activities that used to be related to architecture – design and graphic design, but also a great deal of art – are now taking part in trends and pop-culture.

In this process architecture acted awkwardly. In the 1980’s it tried to fit the taste of the masses by imitating historical elements. With this trick it tried to preserve the wholeness, the meaning, the necessity. We all know that this project, post-modern architecture, was a fiasco, just like its continuations in the 1990’s as in, for instance, deconstructivism and lately the so-called architecture of topographic surfaces. Postmodernism still contained the dialectical differentiation between high and popular culture – which is exactly what turned out to be fatal. Architecture tried to be both popular and banal, and at the same time hall-like and aristocratic. The dialectics between low and high, between popular and elite culture has never been (and still is not) resolved. That is why (at least this is what it seems) architecture has today largely given up, repentantly trotting in the direction of blending with popular culture. It abandoned responsibilities, derived from elitism, conviction, autonomy, in short – from the modernist ethics.

Everything has become the same; the only criterion left is the response in the media. Thus many architects took to media strategies, transplanting show-biz and marketing concepts onto architecture. Just like a techno-remix, they put together images from the latest fashion trends and inserted them into projects for new buildings. Thus architecture has become free. It can suggest, without much effort, identities, authenticity, zeitgeist. If minimalism of the 1960’s came from art, then in the 1990’s it came from fashion.

Is being limited on the pure architectural experience - escapism?

Architecture is an intermediary and translator between the collective and individual, between social, personal and intellectual, and in the era of the media, also between real and virtual. It is defined by its unrepeatable social and local environment. It satisfies the most elementary and everyday needs, which did not disappear with the appearance of electronic media. But the truth is that new needs appeared, which had not existed before, and which architecture, in its classical archetypal repertoire, did not develop. The materiality of architecture is first a matter of senses, experiences and sensations. It is the background for life. But physical character is obviously not everything architecture is. Pure architecture of phenomenological reality of, for instance, Swiss minimalists, created by the movement of light, colour, material, touch and surface, denies the other phenomenon of architecture, i.e. images and signs which have always been co-creating the telos of architecture. Images and signs, however, cause problems for today’s architects. They threaten to occupy the whole territory of architecture by means of the new media, thus depriving architecture of its raison d’_tre.

Real architecture is the one that does not reduce complexity, but condenses and interprets it. It is the resonant body of the world. I remember, for instance, Professor Ravnikar’s lay-out for the mass-grave on the island of Rab, and the recent enthusiastic and convincing reinterpretation of this work by Curtis. Or the experience when visiting Priene in Greece, Mies’ pavilion in Barcelona, Aalto’s villa Mairea, Scarpa’s villa Ottolenghi above Lago di Garda, Le Corbusier’s La Tourette or Zumthor’s chapel in Sogn Benedegt, etc., which all make you feel that this is the real thing – when architecture encompasses the wholeness of the world. And I also remember the disappointment when facing dead, poster-like icons which look appealing in magazines, can even be bearable in reality and correct for the critics, and yet are petrified in their academism, and completely unalive. I had this feeling when I visited the new residential area by Koseški bajer, or some new architectural pieces in Berlin and Vienna, yes, even at some works by Aalto and (God forbid!), Podrecca. Architecture needs original ideas and genuine ideals.

Or do new opportunities in architecture open through resistance against cultural industry and consumerism?

It is obvious that a contemporary architect needs to master function and promotion through the media. This, however, is not enough. Architects and critics which cannot succeed within their disciplinary field often search for the easy way of promotion through the media (press, magazines, video, the internet). And yet, quality architecture has never been, and is not, an easy task. Claiming the opposite is pure bluff. It is also not a question of style. Blob or bionic architecture, minimalist or expressionist, are legitimate only when they reach a certain architectural quality.

An architectural object is not innocent. It stands on a precise location, in a social organisation. By realising the painful links between architecture and society, it combines its own artistic belief, autonomy, and professional ethics. Architecture creates identities of places, spaces and communities. These identities should not be open/directed only toward the past, or present, or future. In the first case we get historicism or academism, just like in the case of some imitators of styles (or of themselves), from Krier to Richard Meier. If we only look into the future, we get futurism, predicting the future through science fiction, like a clairvoyant. An example: the Dutch with their bionic quasi-intelligent houses, which in reality act as if they came from a 20 year-old film. Pure present is not enough either, since surfing on the wave of trends is efficient as a theory, while in real architecture, even in the case of Koolhaas (just like before with Le Corbusier), there is another, hidden dimension working – that of architectural knowledge. That is why we cannot neglect discussions on artistic, ethical, social and professional responsibility of architecture. Responsibility towards its own profession, toward society and time and – space. Dialectics or fluctuation of ideas has always counted, and still counts today. It inevitably brings changes and novelties. Some things are being generated, others are disappearing. Pure globalism is coming to an end, glocalism and localism are coming closer, minimalism is withdrawing – but here we go with the new ornamentalism. Architecture, however, is not built by –isms. There is no architecture of blobs, deconstruction, post-modernism or modernism. There is only architecture, space and its materiality.

The autonomy of our profession has come into crisis. However, architecture cannot exist without the elitist architectural culture. We should not drop our criteria in order to make the architectural profession available for everyone. Or architecture available for everyone. I do defend strengthening of conditions, needed to reach the highest achievement of man. I defend Humanism, and architecture as its expression. If we want to give it back its social status, we need to reconstruct the ebony tower of disciplinary autonomy, within which we will be able to praise, give awards, but also criticise and dispute. At least we will know what we are talking about. We will face real arguments, methods and beliefs. We must not allow general superficiality of television to cancel this autonomy. We must not accept the thesis that architecture in its purest form is dead. Perhaps being aware of the accumulated knowledge of this profession, together with the radical openness for the new, as Mies taught us, is the very direction which may show us the path towards light. Of course this position is derived from the elitist ethics of modernism and is considered by many as something passé, as unreal. And yet, dialectics merciless, thesis is followed by anti-thesis, while Architecture, if we want it to be interesting, if we want it to survive, needs to stem from the synthesis – even if only provisional.

And can genuine and virtual architecture be combined?

I hope so.