Architecture’s Excess Possibilities

| June 12, 2014

Here’s a nice article on Architectural deterrents to its own use.

We should perhaps dig past the obvious and proper outrage around these practices to note how architecture generates its own crevices, the attempt to modulate them a sign both of our capacity to exceed plans and the excess that every plan is to itself.

Architecture shapes space to form a dwelling and inadvertently, of necessity, generates another. The formal ingenuity of the body improvises alternate, unsanctioned uses, prompting architecture to amend and elaborate on itself. In this sense it is entirely appropriate that it desires to disguise its intervention as decorative flourishes. Designs. Which will in turn generate its own unforeseen responses…

When I first began documenting the barriers added to the rooflines of New York it was not out of a sense of their prohibition but because of their articulation of a new space that exceeded the roof, but also of the barrier itself. They speak to our human capacity for improvising new spaces. The accumulation of barriers—the superaddition of wire to ironwork, of more and more wire—speaks to our capacity to always climb around whatever the next thing is. They acknowledge our acrobatic potential.