Things, objects or architecture?

October 3, 2014

Pixelarchitecture

Respond 02 – The thing.

It becomes more and more common to today see architecture through technological means instead of experience it in real life, maybe because in many cases the architecture only exists in the virtual world, and not yet in the physical. It becomes a way to experience the project in the virtual, and maby evaluate it before it acually is built.

Elisabeth Grosz writes that ”the thing is what we made of the world rather than simply about what we find in the world, the way we are able to manage and regulate it according to our needs and purposes”. In that meaning one could think that 3D-models and renderings are one way of regulate the built environment to suit our needs, even if it twists and deforms the reality a bit. Grosz also compares the differences between Kant and Darwin’s philosophy about things and objects. According to Kant objects are not in relations to life and the living, whereas Darwin means that all things have life. Then again, todays technological development has made it possible to decompose the reality and rearrange it to something else, something rendered. Maybe Darwin would have another opinion about the classical architectural visualizations.

We (I) more and more live trough our (mine) technological devices, both in the everyday life and professionally. Life is always in change, development and movement, it is never static like a picture. And I experience that architecture is very much a part of life, and that it therefore also is depended and affected by those changes and movements. Does that mean that seeing architecture through the rendered lens separates the architecture from the real world and life? Grosz wrote that a thing is active and that a object is passive. Maybe we are transforming the living things into static objects when we are digitizing them, and maybe that changes the way we perceive the world.

Sofi Simon Grell

One Response to “Things, objects or architecture?”


  1. Dear Sofi, I see you are beginning to draw out a distinction between things and objects that you borrow from Elizabeth Grosz via her distinction between Kantian objects (abstract, even inaccessible if not related directly to us as subjects) and Darwinian things (suffused with life). Bringing this discussion into the question of electronic or digital communications is a strong move. Your image is also very powerful, as a shift in scale shows us how what had appeared as an architectural object dissolves into sequence of pixels or ‘bytes’ of data. You could comment further on how the image works in relation to your argument. Great work. H Frichot


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