نعم. اني اؤمن بالقدر، و اود لو ان اغزله بيدي في احدى هؤلاء القصص. ان اخدشهم سوياً ليولدوا شرارات المعاني و عبر الزمن. و لكني اخاف… اخاف لو ان تسوقني قصة نحو اعماق مظلمة لا اكون قادراً على ان ابرحها ابداً.
ليس لدي سوى عقلي. و لكن عبر عقلي استطيع ان اسخر كل الادوات التي اخترعها الانسان نحو الاتساق و اعماق روحي.
انا الوحيد المتحكم بمصيري. انا الذي بيده العقل الرشيد و الضمير الحاكم و الخطى الثابتة. ها انا اجابه ظلمات الحياة و امواجها، مسيراً قواربي بصمود نحو الشاطئ… دون ان اسب ابنتي، او ان اتخاذل عن حضور عيد ميلادها. “لن تصرعني الامواج”، اهتف متحدياً و انا اثبت الشراع الهائج. “لن تتحكم في مصيري رياح المقادير”، اجدف صامتاً. ان البحر وطني و انا ربان.
مات الكاتب حين ولد ابنه “بطل”. فكتب في وصيته -روايته- الاخيرة: “لقد فقدت الشعور، فقررت ان اجعل من ابني بطلاً يشعر بما اردت لقرائي ان يشعرون.”
My birthday is today. Won’t you send me a message telling me happy birthday? Won’t you write me a poem? Or just drop a brief line. A phone call. OK. I hope you are just thinking of me, at least. I love you. I miss you. I miss your message. I miss your presence. There is no other gift that i want. Only to listen to your voice, see your face, touch your hand, to hug you.
Where are you, my friend? I guess somewhere much more interesting than we are. I guess you are discovering beautiful things. Keep me in your mind. Don’t forget me. It won’t be long until i join you. Then you can tell me all about it. Heaven is where i’ll meet you once again to listen to your stories.
Remember, wherever you are, keep writing, keep making jokes, keep thinking, keep trying, it’s not important if you don’t reach what you are aiming for, what is important is to sleep with a satisfied conscience, a silent soul, and to wake up with fire in your heart and desire in your veins. To be in the world with all your beautiful being, trying to reach that unreachable aim.
I’m proud of you. I hope you are proud of me. I love you. I don’t know how many times i can say it to you. I love you. I can’t forget you. I remember all the things we went through together. I remember the birthdays, the childhood, the lessons, the studies, the force, the tender, the stories, all the stories, and especially the jokes. I love them. They live within me. They are all that remains with me of you in this world.
I wish you could have been here, as long as we are here, they say we can’t, i don’t understand why, but i’ll assume there’s a reason, let it be the suspense that you always kept for the end of your stories. The suspense that fed the longing.
By writing to you, i will consider that i have received your message. I’m happy to have received it. I love you. Ehfaz Allah, and you will find Him so proximal to you. With that said, please accept my best regards. Until we meet again, i love you.
There is a reason why you start a book like your thesis dissertation describing how a book like this should or should not be made. It is because a lot of discussion is being constantly made about how a book is made rather than on what truth it holds. This book is not made in the conventional form that you would probably expect it to be. You might think that it does not rise up to the “academic standards” for which it is being presented. But in reality, this book is now being written after the very same concepts which it claims that its dissertation holds.
Cut everything in the middle.
You know how a cut-section of an architectural project shows much the very same of what this project is? And you know how that when you attempt to start an important work, let’s say the book of your thesis dissertation, you always get stuck on how to begin? The beginning is always the most difficult task in any project. That is because you get lost in the chicken and the egg problem. Which comes first, the thinking or the doing? So, as Aristotle put it, “for the things that we wish to learn, we learn by doing, everything should start in the middle. As such, you would be taking a cut-section in your life and paste it directly in your book. Why did I say “life” rather than “project”, which is the one subject of this book? It is because a thesis you would present in the form of a project cannot be detached from your lived life, and if it was, it would only be doing so to verily manifest a detachment one has with one’s self.
The author of this book cannot accept this to happen to him. He regards knowledge to be, above and before all, a meeting with one’s self. He would prefer to preserve his integrity than to fall victim/criminal of such detachment. Was that not Nietzsche’s condition for a philosopher to reserve our respect, “to preach by example”?
Hence, the middle should be the locus of all beginnings. After all, those beginnings, haven’t they begun earlier? In preceding and ancestral traces?
Many a time we miss the core of a project that we, ourselves, are creating. It is through deep discussions we make with those interested that we arrive to the core of the truth we are trying to materialize. I do not wish for my dissertation to turn into a critique of the world of academia, but much of the (so called) dissertations that are being written and presented in this field are in reality devoid of substantial meaning. I do not mean to speak of theses that hold debatable content, but of those that are in a level less than to be designated valid. I, myself, have started writing this dissertation after a discussion I had with fellow laureates about how copy/paste their books were created. Their justification was that they were following literal guidelines that to them seemed sterile, or because they knew their books wouldn’t be read in the first place. If they weren’t going to be read anyway, wouldn’t it be rather more of value if it held within it some personal truth, even if it was not to follow conventional guidelines? Alas, students are accepting being marginalized after this very image that their professors had portrayed to them.
Chicken and egg. Image and reality. Thinking and doing. These are some of the themes that this thesis will try to investigate.
What is a city? A city is an amalgam of people and their constructed environment. Given the fact that a built environment takes generations to be constructed, in all probability, the shape of a city of people has been formed by their predecessors. This gives an idea about how they were, and how we came to be. Something we vaguely refer to as culture. The Crystal Palace, for example, gives an idea about a people living in an age of advancement in science, social and industrial revolutions, where standardization and mechanization have become the norm, and the toil of ornaments done by craftsmen has come to be regarded as unnecessary. Beauty is thus seen in the steel structure of the building, the precision of its joints, and how naturally its load is transmitted to the ground. But… are the people living in the city not affected by its shape? You see a young man raised in a privileged gated compound in New Cairo, growing up to try and secure a job that would enable him to provide for the same standard of living in which he was raised, in a city where 45% of its population lives below poverty line. If this young man grows to become an architect, would he not pursue commissions to build gated compounds with pseudo-classical Greek orders? Has he not been shaped after the shape of his own city?
Hence, in the problem of the city, we are faced with the same paradox that writing this book faces: who shapes who? The city or its people?
Again. To break the toil of this loop, we shall begin from the middle.
I went to this recent event, that didn’t have any content to add. The only content it had was the attempt to gather content from all over, and taint it as their own. It’s OK. Journals are like this. A medium. But then, you can very clearly see that those who are behind the journal/event, are playing the game exactly according to the rules. More than anything, more than critical reflection change or utopia, they are focusing on marketing and garnering contacts. They know how to do it because they studied it very well before they launched themselves. They studied it very well because, probably, this is what they saw, more than anything else.
From the world that is falling apart, from the times that promise a complete break from history, they saw a ladder. No. They pumped their empty sack with air. So much air, enough so as to fly high above.
It is very easy to pump yourself with air. The rules of this game are obvious. They need you to remain there, advertise for yourself, market and make contacts. Choose a title, cool but sophisticated, make a logo, traditional for the Orient and exotic for the Occident, choose the themes that are “trending”, it doesn’t matter if you understand or believe in them enough, after all you will be dancing on the string of what continues to trend, and therefore never associate yourself entirely to a cause, launch, at the same time, yourself on all the social media outlets, with unified (corporate) image and message, until those who are targeted as audience/participants would think that they are missing out of something very important. Then you go there, and you find that you are the one whose presence has been exploited.
But then, if your journal tries to ally itself with this breaking with the past, how is it that you do exactly the fault of this past in your ascension? Wasn’t this the very same reason of the economic crisis in 2008? Too much air pumped in undeserving assets for the benefit of a few? What, again, are we trying to do in this world?
The following is a note that i wrote nearly 2 years ago. It was written in a night where ideas that i had been obsessed with for some time converged. They culminated in this note. After that night, a two year quest of trying to materialize those ideas was conjured. Yesterday, i started working on my thesis, that which stemmed from that night’s inspiration. I went through my old files and documents, and i found this note. At the time, it seemed to me like hallucinations of a smoking session. Today, as i re-post them tainted by the attempt of being a quasi-manifesto on architecture, i have to say, i still think they are hallucinations of a smoking session. Nonetheless, nice hallucinations that have shaped a considerable portion of shaping my architectural ideology.
Life is a sketch put on algebra. The sketch is the chaos that wants to freely be. The algebra is the order that wants to define what it is, through its primitive, basic and rational laws. Chaos becomes, freely, randomly, unbound, while being constantly followed by order, in a box, in a square, in a Point that is speared by a Line. As cunning as the Point can be in trying to escape, you will find the Line appearing somewhere, always on the follow, trying to define it.
The Point is an infinity. The Line is a boundary. A rule. A definition. Infinity does not wish to be bound, while the boundary can not conceive of something that is beyond. Once that thought occurs, it crosses over as well, searching for the end of that beyond… to bound it. How far can they go?
All infinities must be represented as points. Centers are infinities. Corners are infinities. A plane has 9 centers. In which way will you choose to go? Line is the order that makes the centers. It is what connects them together, creating new centers with each connection, going more in depth with each pursuit. As deep as Point can go, Line will follow. Through all the centers. Think of it as a function that tends to infinity. Think of it as trying to define a Mobius loop through Cartesian coordinates. Kant should have met Mobius.
Consider that the Line is the mind, and the Point is the soul. The mind is what tries to define, to understand, to grasp within its limits, and the soul that defies definition, escapes categories and insists on remaining ethereal.
Architecture, in order to reveal that duality of life, is an operation on the Point and the Line. On all levels. When the Point becomes the 0, the Line becomes the 1. When the Point becomes the space, the Line becomes the wall. When Line is solid, Point is void. The use of geometry itself, thus, expresses this absolute chase through its parallels, through a simple perspective where Lines are running after a vantage Point, where the light is followed by a dubious shade. Using optical illusions to emphasize this duality has been a recurrent theme in Classicism, to capture it, to paint it in black and white. The image then shows the threshold that separates what is up from what is below, with clear rising glass from a deep hole in the ground, pushed below the surface. Reflecting the sky in its own water (concave and convex).
Think of the threshold as being the horizon that separates soil from sky. Think of it as the Cartesian locus where the Mobius loop is inverted becoming infinite.
As we descend beyond the threshold to dissolve in the soil, like ants, we pray to that order in shade and in light. In Point (distorted square and classical lines) and in Line (our vision, through the symmetry, tending to the source.)
But what about modernism? Memory? Time? Movement? Points and Lines.
In this way, we, the sons of chaos, are making sex to the Grid that is life. A diagonal through every square, a line that tends to the source. And we would be tending to the source, because for us: this is a Point.
Life is a mesh on which we put all ideals, and fuck them with order.
Mirrors, reflections, sex, love, soul, body, shadows and endless depth.
Poetry, sleep, wake, religious texts, god, literature, math. That which exists in everything and escapes being bound. As much lines as you can have (rationale/technique), you can become better at following Points to more depth. But to reach it, is a matter of wisdom. Parallel intelligence. Wisdom is a pass-over between the Point and the Line. Wisdom is a cut-section in the parallel truth. Consider a square centered within a square. Don’t they both have the same center, tend to the same Point? One is bigger, farther, and the other is closer, more in depth. A parallel truth. Through those pass-overs, richness is obtained. The pass-over: is the reciprocal of the threshold.
The pass-over is mediation… to be medium. While the Threshold is absolute… to be extreme.
So mediation becomes a Line?
Threshold becomes a Point?
The membrane of continuous vibration.
Does it work to define which is which?
Does the Line, at a point, become a Point?
But the mediation can be a space, related to a point. The threshold can easily be a line. Where is the right and where is the wrong? What is the reference? The reference is the line. The line that needs to bound the infinite-ness of the equation of opposites. Try, always, to reference, but never think that your reference bounds that which is ether. You reference, you construct an algebraic model, you make a frame, but then again, even this frame has a center. But which dimension are you speaking of? The greeks when they were making Architecture, they were creating this algebraic model that would go in depth to seek the source. That was wisdom. The follower, who thought that this was Architecture, were creating a replica. Those who defined Architecture by the apparent rules of the Greeks, they made frames. Those who understood what the Greek Architecture was about, they practiced wisdom, and so gained depth. Those who would transcend the Algebraic model of the Greeks, creating more depth, they require enormous wisdom and intellect. Again comes the question: what is the neo/contemporary-classicism? You wound not redo classicism with ancient tools. Classicists were progressive.
By time, education, and the advances in science, humans become more intelligent, only because they become more knowledgeable. But knowledge is the frame of all frames. Those who can bridge this knowledge with a sense of wisdom, shall go more in depth. But as time, the ultimate line, passes, it is the general rule that depth, on the collective scheme, is gained, tending to the source, to infinity. Time, is the line that sows all “lives” together, from 0 to 1, from conception to infinity.]. If there was a start, it can be imagined that there’s also a finish. A finish that is a start.
Thus, if the universe does shrink, we can return to the source in a moment that is a life-time (before and while life promulgates once again in another cycle). A moment that is an intersection of a threshold and pass-over. (A vertical and a horizontal, where the horizontal does not represent a Line, but a Point.) Death is a point of intersection with birth where a lifetime also occurs. The end of the world and the beginning of a new one. Death, the point at the end of life, represents an invert of birth? But what is birth? This conception of a sex made between the Point and the Line. The body and the soul. This divine infinity.
We are the inverted thresholds of sex. Thresholds in ourselves. Hence, our wisdom. Our ability to bridge through the parallels and tend to the source. We tend to the source through all other duals. Duals don’t tend to the source. They are either Point or Line. Chaos or Order. Or a construct of both. Grey. But never within them you will find the paradox, because if so, they would come alive. The thresholds are alive. I am alive. You are alive. God, is alive. God, is the source of a-live-ment.
Heaven and Hell are duals. Can we return to duals? Maybe to dwell in duals? Or maybe the Line will live in one of two states of duality, while the point will return to the source, after a safe and faraway journey made within One’s self. Body becomes cosmic matter, soul returns to where it came from.
As time and history are being accelerated, we tend exponentially faster to the source. To the beginning and the end. To the null and the infinite. Time is merely an engine. Time, is the technique by which the mastermind put a condition for unfolding to happen according to an all-processing plan. Those who do origami understand that fate and free will in reality intersect at a point in the end of time. If there was no time, and humans happened in a space of time-void, their tending will not be to a source, but to the threshold of the deterministic source: the infinite of free will. The random chaos, the un-ordered expansion, in stillness. A state of non-being.
Now i really need to start being wise.
Each time you make a definition, it is a frame with relatively equal Points and Lines. Wisdom is there all the time, no matter how knowledge advances. Advancing in knowledge: is it going more in depth? It is going more in depth within the boundaries of Lines. Life is more in depth, but man is just as wise and unwise.
Time. What none-the-like being are you? What essence, what engine of being? What is it to construct a temple for Time? Time is the effect from which we have light and darkness. The effect of aging. Aging is a more mature state, a state more closer to the end, that is the other start, that is the threshold of each single life. And hence when we all reach the threshold together. Will there be a reflection of time. Why we all together? Because simply we are all units of the same conception. We are the only wise conceptions. Animals are not wise. They have a similar spirit, that make them alive, but they do not have wisdom. We are many, we follow each other, and we are the nuclei that follow the progression of time after it’s own time has been finished. All souls, after death, shall wait for the ultimate end in the same plane. The plane that is the backside of time. Every death in this world is a pat on the backside of time. Maybe it is what gives it the force to continue. A Pendulum-like movement. The pendulum is at full swing at the point of threshold. It tangents gravity and is unstopped by it. But the pendulum stops above (put a mirror beside a pendulum to create a nice scene of this world). The amount of births in a life is always more than deaths. Actually is the amount of births are 6 billion more than deaths!
Time is the effect of being in one place and later being in another… and hence, the affect of memory.
Algebra is classical? Yes. But it is the basic that our mind can conceive. Through this basic model is endless complexity. Basic, naive, boring are all cool ideals.
Fractals, Patterns, Patterns, Patterns.
0 and 1 are the black and white of all colors. Hence, colors of number combinations MUST exist, where intensities are more vibrant. A red intensity. RGB intensities represent the triangle of information creating the basic intensities of the world. A deterministic intensification. The lines of the spiral that are jumping dimensions, tending to the source. They are that material that time harnesses into seeking its own beginning and end, its own source. Concepts, for example? Love is red? What are the concepts that are intensities of color? And how to program them in numbers, in solids and voids, in walls and spaces, in Point and Line? How can you represent a concept like Love? Watch a movie, and if you found a certain intensity obvious within it, then someone has programmed well. Their program is made of duals. The count of those duals, their code, is the secret key to creating intensities. Intensities are ideal quarters. Cartesian quarters. Sterile, but necessary. Ideal quarters are a better representative of the black and the white. For example love is red. Red is important. But cyan is the opposite of red. It seems less important, but without it red would not be red. Hate is as important as love, but love has more yellow in it! What is the yellow that love has that makes it so formidable than hate? Why is it always the up-side, while hate is the downside? This utility, that when you hate, someone is bothered. It is that moral code, that understanding of hate as something bad is what makes it on the down side, beneath the soil. But what about those which are not bad nor wrong, left nor right? Well, OK. Left is devil and right is angel, we will need another example. Man and woman? No. Exhausted to death. Order and Chaos? This is good. Which is up and which is down? Order is up. Definitely. While to formulate all those different intensities together is to create a life, to create a pass-over between the black and the white, is not framing, but it is the real tending to the source.
Consider Husserl’s essence or Leibniz’s monad as the Cartesian color intensity.
My Architecture is for me. My Architecture is my own experiments into creation. Just as writing offers the same opportunity, but through different tools. They are all my own methods of meeting one’s self. Clients, readers, customers, they are all out of the process. Watch from outside, as i try to put into my schemes, or the way that i present them, words and items that you might find suitable for your own understanding. But it is this meeting with one’s self that will give your product an energy that is very difficult to obtain. And that is, along with my gratitude, what i actually offer in return for your money - to sustain my ability to experiment.
OK. So now, a manifesto is left unfinished, and from past wisdom, we learn that that which remains unfinished, is never restarted. Thus, on this very trivial note of me being slightly asleep, feeling in an endless coil, feeling maybe that i’m wasting my time, very casually - i end this session of what is probably the most persistent process of definition that i have ever made. Very casually, i have to end this very significant event. Because this is always how it happens. ending what is significant casually, is wisdom. A pass-over. Sleep is a threshold. On to the other side.