Design Research Projects (DRPs)
The Network of Grounds (The Groundbreaking Ground)
… The possibility of architecture is bounded up with the forever incomplete project of philosophy. If the philosophical dream of pure translation is a kind of building project, the inevitable incompletion of the building marks the necessity of architecture, understood as a representation that speaks of the structural essence of building, a supplementary layer that represents the ground in its absence. If building is the presentation of the ground, architecture is the representation of that grounding (Mark Wigley).
… but it is not that simple!
Territory was one the main reasons for survival of species. The main task of the species was to find the safest ground and turn it into its own territory: the birth of "land." Many would argue that one of the main purposes of early architecture (witnessing long trials and the legal responsibilities of architect, for example, which is still regular to date) was to take “ground” and turn it into “land.” And this use of land becomes a political/legal issue long before aesthetics. The (re)birth of new economic powers in middle- and far-east, right after IT Bubble, once more made the importance of the physical territory plausible. The dot-com bubble reminded many of the power of “land”, which is best defined by architecture on one hand, and on the other, architecture itself serves the hegemony of that power, by providing the very first manifestation of “good” lifestyle: “beautiful city and delight edifice”. But architecture to revive its (and its encompassed users') individuality within its innately required demanding multidisciplinary with an inevitable politico-legal affair with planning (among many others, happening during C20th of “great ramification” of all time), architecture needs to advance two frontiers: The ontological mêlée and the epistemologically polemical subject within its own. In other words, architecture needs to establish “architectural ground” encountering, challenging or alleviating politico-legal accounts of land, and also to put behind the old-fashion figure-ground dichotomy in favor of achieving a new topography.
Unearthed ground Hyper-Surface; the alternative earth
- A tale of the grounded ground and the unearthed earth:
The concept of “Ground” and “Earth” as a point of reference; a datum, has invariably evolved from mere pure epistemological ground to ontological ground where an anticipated or a factual fact can be based. Ground as ‘mea culpa’ of absolutism, the point of origin against which all measurables are measured or on which all foundations of discussion or materialization of a concept – physical, non-physical and metaphysical – are based, has been a treasured but inevitable hindrance; the bridge to concretization of the abstract, where the psychological intellection of ‘thing’ or ‘non-thing’ further develops to a ‘next’ stage, closer to ‘being’; Dasein. As an absolute as the algebraic ‘Zero’ is, ground as a checkpoint from one thought – of non-solidity – to the other – that is of solidity – or vice versa, has paved many ways to our reductionist understanding of the surface; a barrier from a less ‘concrete’ realm to a ‘closer to reality’ domain. To overcome that technologically inevitable interference, which conveys – not only in a dialectic progress but also in a pragmatic course – a sense of presupposition, the concept of ground itself needs to be grounded where a process of dissolution into what is not in existence but will come to realization only with the design itself is advocated; a Glaserian rereading of the notion of the point of origin, where there is no premise or preposition prior to the point where the design – the state of approximation to being – starts. Inbred earth where the thing (Das Ding) meets the ground deep down under the level ‘Zero’ is not unprecedented but that is just a mere manipulation of the Cartesian coordinate system along the Z-axis. Not only the earth is advocated to be unearthed, but its traditionally bearing is challenged out of its context back to non-existence to the very moment it starts to be reborn as and when the design comes to gestation. The closure to this sovereignty (not ego's ancient sovereignty!) not only frees up the predomination with which ‘the architecture’ is doomed to be born, but it also augments yet another rather traditionally unexplored dimension of exploration to the design voyage; the bon-voyage to yet another curb which the design had been conventionally, comfortably and conveniently confined to, but...
The endeavor of conceiving each concept more clearly tends to be exorbitant in the way that results in the articulated earth and ground. The contiguous notion of geographical earth becomes yielding to the heavenly perception of religious earth demandingly dealt with. The discussion causes the metamorphosis of the concepts, which provokes the metaphysics of two concepts not holding two materialized implications; not supporting the physical manifestations. In fact the transcendental meaning of earth is grounded and the earthly ground becomes transcendent. The structural articulation of the subject in the course action translates and turns into the earth surface, either for the limitation of technological advancement or psychological Jouissance.