Editors’ Choice ∙ Architecture as Time-Based Art ∙ Rion Willard

Posted in Editors' Choice by Ian Pollard on November 7, 2011

Second in the matzine Editors’ Choice series is Rion Willard’s ‘Architecture as Time Based Art’,  from matzine 07 – The Hourglass Issue (ed. Seán McAlister).

 From ‘cartesian solidity’ to the ‘spatial geometry of dance’, this short essay considers the possibility of  architecture as ‘perpetual performance’, and the ways in which scores for both music and dance could provoke for the architect alternative methods in the representation of space. Furthermore, the sentences employ a dimension often excluded from analysis of architecture – ‘time’.  In referencing Pask’s Conversation Theory, the essay also encourages the reader to consider the nature of the dialogue which must exist to bring about architecture – the’conversation’ which defines and describes our position within our physical and cultural environments, locating us within a particular chronology, whether it is within a grand narrative or the extraordinary quotidian.

What form does this dialogue take, and can it be described graphically, in the form of notation? What other forms of discussion and inquiry might exist, and are drawings capable of hosting this exchange, without the support of text? Is producing a collaborative ‘little magazine’ in architecture one form of this dialogue, and are buildings another? “If architecture is anything at all”, proposed Douglas Darden, “it is a form of inquiry” –  the words and images below illustrate that each can contribute to the dialogue of architecture in equal – and elegant – measure.

Ian Pollard


Architecture as Time-Based Art ∙ Rion Willard

Paskian Feedback Loop Diagram

For me the delights of architectural education have always been the insights that reveal the fluid, dynamic, changing and cyclic nature of architecture. Let us consider architecture as a process and as a unique creative act that happens, not only as a part of the architect’s design methodologies but also as a cognitive act that is fundamental to our perception and subjective experience of space. In this light architecture can be seen as a time based art that exists in space like a continual piece of music or a perpetual performance.

When we start to see architecture not as inert spaces that we occupy but rather spaces created by our occupation, a complex reciprocal relationship between people and space, culture and architecture becomes apparent. Architecture can now be seen as a time based art that is inseparable from the way people perceive and use it. This cyclic relationship between human activity and architecture sees architecture as an event or series of events in time much like a performance complete with characters and protagonists both human and architectural.


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Posted in Announcements by Ian Pollard on December 8, 2010

I give bird songs to those who dwell in cities and have never heard them, make rhythms for those who know only military marches or jazz, and paint colors for those who see none.

Olivier Messiaen

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mat.zine #05

Posted in Announcements by Ian Pollard on October 22, 2010

Attention!Roll up roll up! mat.zine number five is here. Many thanks to those who contributed – it seems that there is plenty of interest to keep this pamphleteering alive and healthy. Apologies too, for a considerable delay on this editor’s part – nothing to blame but the peripatetic ways of late.

Click on the cover above, or on the link to your right to get hold of the goods. You could always post a comment here if you like what you see.

Enjoy this modest publication, print a few out, and give them your friends – and encourage them to submit something for the next edition. mat.zine number six soon brings a new editor, and a fresh call for submssions, so watch this space…

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