Unbearable lightness of dematerialization

Kolakowski, Marcin Mateusz (2015) Unbearable lightness of dematerialization. Autoportret, 48 (1). pp. 74-81. ISSN 1730-3673

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Unbearable Lightness of Dematerialization
This article serves as an overview of arguments in architectural theories which present an ideological tension: dematerialisation and lightness versus materialisation and heaviness
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Abstract

This article serves as an overview of arguments in architectural theories which present an ideological tension: dematerialisation and lightness versus materialisation and heaviness.

Daedalus - the designer of Icarus’ wings is considered to be the first mythical architect. What would happen if he and his son did not end up with the epic disaster of Icarus drowning in the Ionic Sea? What would happen if Icarus and Daedalus survived until today? What would happen if they were exposed to modern architectural education? This article takes the form of a Socratic Dialog and adds new pages to this Greek myth. Today – in the article – Daedalus, who was always more attached to earth, promotes heavy earth architecture. His sustainable architecture is made out of simple natural materials, it creates no waste, it is easy to build but unfortunately it lacks the lightness which is so much expected by critics rooted in modern architectural world.

“Can Eco-architecture be beautiful at all?” – asks Icarus who has always been an enthusiast of lightness. Today Icarus has become a fashionable light-tech architect who likes to deconstruct and dematerialise architecture and believes that it is a key to new aesthetics. Icarus claims that the whole history of architecture is a story of making buildings lighter, and he sees the introduction of glass in modernism as a highlight of architectural genius. “Lightness determines progress.” Just like Buckminster Fuller, he claims that the new style could be distinguished from the old by ‘weight’.

Daedalus is fascinated with Zygmunt Bauman’s ideas and the dangers of liquid modernity. He sees the idea of dematerialisation as a fashionable, dangerous and fundamentally flawed concept which detached people from their roots. He is afraid that this idea could backfire in the long run and produce people who are so desperate to reconnect with their own culture that they could even turn to terrorism.

This exchange of arguments, which is full of intellectual twists, gives an overview of the battle between different architectural ideas: dematerialisation and lightness versus materialisation and heaviness.

Keywords:Architecture, Sustainable architecture, Sustainable design and construction, modernism, philosophy, Sociology of identity, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
J Technologies > J990 Technologies not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:17913
Deposited On:20 Jul 2015 12:15

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