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Developing the Theme of Architectural Synthesis

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Developing the Theme of Architectural Synthesis

Alessandra Bufano

Project

The theoretical path aims to develop the theme of architectural synthesis. For synthesis in general it is meant a composition consisting of essential and salient elements, by which summarize an entire project, or begin a new one. Starting from the analysis of mental’s foreshadowing stages of a form, it wants to prove how the theme is articulated in various moments of the architectural design. It has been chosen to face the subject through a theme,”the matter”, priority of the architectural design and foundation of the poetry of Professor Franco Purini, who has been interviewed on personal request. The matter is considered in three different ways depending on whether you talk of synthesis as “the beginning”, as a synthesis “in between” or as an “end”: matter as a design principle, living matter and matter as a synthetic expression. The three concepts are identified as three different steps, which define the thought of some great architects about their poetic relationship with matter. The research was aimed to define through concrete examples, even extra-disciplinary, what is meant by the concept of synthesis and specifically define as it becomes essential in the architectural design’s paradigm.

Interview

Who influences you graphically?

I started using the collage as a means to communicate architectural projects I did in college. They were not exactly paper collage, but rather I was using digital programs to compose views through the render, or by means of plastic photographs. I have never liked the render as a representation, although this has always been the most clear and direct one. With my designs I try to give a suggestion, an interpretation of the project through a point of view and a taste. As I devoted myself little by little to this activity collages were depicting always different worlds, far from what was the simple copy of reality. So, trying to implement this activity, I looked for some texts in the university library, and one was very inspiring: Cutting edges of Klanten, R., Hellige, H. and Gallagher, J. [(2011), Berlin: gestalten]. This book brings together a large part of contemporary artists who use the collage as an expressive medium. this moved me, I was fascinated. for sure, it has been decisive the meeting with the professor Franco Purini. I remember his drawings, his obsession for the square, the grille and the white color, elements that often encountered themselves in my designs. Lastly, the decision to try to represent the theme through the paper collages came after an exhibition of Superstudio, held at PAC in Milan. It was precisely their visionary collage that inspire me.

How does synthesis and the process of selecting and archiving to then compose of the collage go hand in hand?

Initially, you should choose a common theme that links the collage so that they are parts of a single composition. In this case, the theme is that of synthesis. The second step is to choose the subject that has to be represented, but not only the subject itself, but the concept for which the subject becomes protagonist. Then, for each collage, you must select those elements of the concept that you want to represent that are salient and synthetic, so that the viewer does not remain lost, but rather intrigued and impressed, and you can get through reasoning and interpretation to the real meaning of the work in question. Unlike all previous works, these collages are made physically, with paper materials and others: handmade cards, photo clippings, plastics, glass, soil, tempera, iron etc … The design of paper collage requires time and greater dedication than the digital one inasmuch it comes into play the dimensional relationships, problems related to the versatility of materials or the final output, because once the gesture is made you can hardly go back. All this makes the representation more interesting and complicated.

How could the thesis be represented through a different format?

The thesis represents the synthesis process through matter, viewed as material. To explain this concept, in addition to a personal interview with Professor Franco Purini, I’ve also produced a theoretical support, in which it has been explained the topic through concrete examples of luminaries architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Franco Purini; and using the quote from the book “Madre Materia” by Fernando Espuelas. I think it would be useful, in order to complete the analysis, to produce an architectural project that would represent my personal material synthesis, that comes from the theoretical analysis made earlier and the cultural baggage improved in three years of university.

To what extent do you agree with the notion, The medium is the message?

McLuhan says: “The medium is the message. Any interpretation of the social and cultural transformation is impossible without a knowledge of the way the media works as environments.” I agree with that statement, because if you don’t understand the nature of the collage, you can not understand the represented concepts. The collage selects synthetic and fundamental elements, de-contextualizes them from their original location, and re-contextualize them in a new scenario, apparently disconnected, with the one determines a relationship. You can not read the summary, if first you don’t fully understand this concept.

What dictated the way you chose the material to be collaged?

The materials were chosen according to the theme , and while they were composing , the ideas developed, and with them also the characterization of the materials.  Each material refers to a concept , a thought .

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About

Alessandra Bufano is a student of Environmental Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, Piacenza campus. These collages were done to develop the theory of the thesis elaborated on the theme of synthesis. The theoretical course aims to develop the theme of architectural synthesis. For synthesis in general it is meant a composition consisting of essential and salient elements, by which summarize an entire project, or begin one. Then starting from the analysis of mental foreshadowing stages of a form, you want to check how the theme is articulated in various moments of the architectural design. You have chosen to approach the subject through a theme, matter, priority of architectural design and foundation of the poetry of Professor Franco Pure, who was interviewed on personal request. The matter was heard in three different ways depending on whether you talk of synthesis as the beginning, as a synthesis between synthesis or as an end: matter as a design principle, living matter and matter as a synthetic expression. The three concepts are distinguished as three different steps, which define the thought of some great architects about their poetic relationship with matter. The research was aimed to define through concrete examples, even extra-disciplinary, what is meant by the concept of synthesis and specifically defined as it becomes of paramount importance in architectural design paradigm.

 

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