Pier Vittorio Aureli – After the Diagram

Lecture date: 2005-10-25

‘Trying to visualise today’s practice of architecture and urbanism without the use of diagrams is an almost impossible exercise. Diagrams have incredible power to simultaneously construct, design, and expose an idea while at the same time, simplifying and idealising the complexity of the work into one simple sign. The diagram is “potential” but also “problematic” because it is constantly updating the representation of the work, and thus reducing it to an always-changing figure. The diagram, therefore, tends to be a very accessible consumption of events and things, a consumption of our experience of the world. My argument is that diagrams are not just a camouflage of reality or, as Witttgenstein would argue, a social constructed reality, but also (and especially) a form of nihilism.’

Pier Vittorio Aureli is currently working on a study on the representation of the city through architectural form, from Bramante to Koolhaas. Aureli coordinates the second year research program at the Berlage and teaches a Diploma HTS course at the AA entitled ‘Towards the Archipelago’, which considers a radical cognitive alternative to the present way of thinking the urban world.

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