Campus Units

Architecture

Document Type

Presentation

Conference

The Intensity of Brick,” at Chongqing Jianzhu University, Peoples’ Republic of China;

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

5-11-1994

First Page

35

Last Page

43

Conference Title

The Intensity of Brick,” at Chongqing Jianzhu University, Peoples’ Republic of China;

Conference Date

May 11, 1994

City

Republic of China

Abstract

This paper considers brick -- (extra)ordinary brick -- and its metaphysics. How can a brick, a material object, have a metaphysics? The singular 'brick' is arguably the most ubiquitous of construction materials, modest in its earth and fire roots, fitted to the hand, a utilitarian artifact habitually assembled into a myriad of constructions. Yet embedded, presupposed, potentially, within each brick are: a technological society with labor organization; conceptions of fabricating structure, skin, and illusion; temporality; and the creation of place, transparency, and motion. Louis I. Kahn, when discussing architectural materials, specifically brick and arches, speaks in Platonic terms of material construction giving presence to the pre-existent forms of brick assemblies and arches. He says this is "the order of brick." This paper, though it shares the poetic notion of brick, postulates an Aristotelian model. It is through the human practices of making and construction, the relational aspects of brick bonded to brick, and the purposeful intents of those assemblies that there arises a metaphysics of brick. To build in brick is not to create inert objects, but to build existential presences. An analogy to the elemental letters of alphabets and their use in language representation and a brick-built garden wall are used to examine the metaphysical nature of brick.

Comments

This is a proceedings from The Intensity of Brick,” at Chongqing Jianzhu University, Peoples’ Republic of China; 11 May 1994. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

G. Palermo.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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Article Location

 
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