John Outram's ARCHERGON (JOA 2018-), is descended from John Outram's Academe* (JOA 2016-), which is descended from John Outram Associates (JOA 1974-2009).
JOA AS CONSULTING ARCHITECTS.
The last named JOA was a firm that offered its Clients the services of a Professional Architectural Bureau from 1974, when it was founded, through its largest British Project, to its best project, in Houston, USA, until its last project: the heated glass roof over the Orangerie at Wadhurst Park. This was completed in 2009. The firm remains in existence during the "tapering-off" of its professional indemnity insurance. But, since 2009, JOA has offered no advice of a physically practical nature. All of its British projects that remain standing are presently under examination by Historic England for "listing" during the examinations (2016-onwards), of "Post-Modernism".
THE FINAL "PROVING BY BUILDING".
JOHN OUTRAM ASSOCIATES' most important project remains standing (outside my native Britain), in the (1992-1996), Faculty of Computational Engineering at Rice University, Houston, Texas. It was there that our overall project (which was to invent not a "Modern" Architecture but a 'Modernised' Architecture-as-found), was finally, after an effort of forty years, "proven by being built". It was at that point (in 1998), that I knew that I must "theorise" what JOA had just "proved". For the "Modern" Architecture of the "Architecture Autre" project holds that there are as many Architectures as there are Architects. This is an error. There is only one Medium that is Architecture in the sense of the means by which one may "Think the Truth of Being". This was the origin and the subsequent history of the 9,000-years of Architecture "as-found". It depends far more upon the iconic culture of its Inhabitants, citizens and general Users than upon the "genius" of its builders and 'designers'. The erasure of this powerful and ancient Medium was, during the 20C, a deliberately political policy whose purpose was to deny its ontic benefits to the "Third Estate" (of the Commoners). For it was to them, it seemed at the end of the 19C, that it should finally, after thousands of years, now descend.
JOA AS AN ACADEMY.
The second named JOA is an internet course that was first announced for the Academic Year 2017-2018. It is founded on Outram's "44 Lectures". Scripting these took from 1985 until 2015. These seventeen years were half spent in developing the "scripting" technique itself. It was not until April 2004 that the "tabloid" format of "scripting" was perfected. My intended Readership was the new 'Power on the Building Site'. This was, in April 2004, the brush-cut Project Manager for the Duke of Grosvenor's Properties. "Real" Architectural theory is developed in the Real world, communicating with the newly-empowered managerial ignoramuses who have now taken-over from my suicidally incompetent Profession. EFFECTIVE Theory can no longer be invented in the Cloistered Library. Not that it ever was during the 20o0 years of the West's attempts! This enormous theoretical failure is, without any doubt, the main reason for the emergence of 20C 'Modernism'. In the 44 Lectures every idea is mediated by both "logos" (text) and its equivalent in "pragma" (thing), and then finally in "icon" (image)). This on-page, polychromatic contingency is now technically possible with DTP. We are back to the days of hand-carved and coloured wood-block type that can equally well be a wood-block image. Every lifespace-design theory has not only to be mediated by illustrations but actually projected into quotidian space the Architectural graphics I term "surface-scripting".
THE "WINTER", "SPRING" AND "SUMMER" OF A LONG CAMPAIGN.
The thousand pages and three thousand images of the 44 Lectures are a steady and inexorable assault on Modern Architecture. The images establish the reality of a "picture worth a thousand words". Their long captions textualise the picture. The Main Text, in what space is left (and all in colour and diverse typefaces), narrates the argument. One cannot theorise Architecture in a culture from which the subject has been consistently erased, for seven decades, without a great number of graphics. Many writers have attempted this assault. All have failed. This is because all such assaults have accepted Modernism's own self image as the means to a "bright new future". It is not this and never was. It is a ruin, the ruin of the 'West's' understanding of a 9,000-year old medium that was imported into Europe only around 2,500 years ago. This is less than one third of this Medium's lifetime. Marinetti was not content to be a mere "Modernist". Being a Latin he knew that to be "Modern" meant merely to be "up-to-date, "fashionable" or "modish". He styled himself a "Futurist". Italian Fascism looked forward to ruling over the smoking ruins of "The Past". It was "Modernist" to its core. The 44 Lectures accept that Architectural Modernism is the ruin of a great city and that, like all such, is beyond "defeating". One cannot destroy what is already wrecked. But one can build a new city upon the ruins. The 44 Lectures shows exactly how to do this. The 44 Lectures also shows how even these sad, shallow and shoddy ruins can be rescued, by a simple, cheap, and functional renovation.
The Course has not, as yet attracted enough Students to be fully launched. It remains in being at a level of interested conversations between Mr. Outram and his few Students. The Archergon, will, for a suitable Fee, work with any Architectural Academy to place its curriculum upon a solid foundation of both metaphysical and physical theory and practice. But I am too old and infirm to teach without the commitment to a radical restructuring of the Site of Instruction. Viewing youthful spirits being poured, without the slightest hope of germination,into the Deserta Theoria of the present day, is, at my age, beyond my capacity to tolerate.
JOA AS AN "ARCHERGON".
The first named JOA, the "Archergon" descends from both of its predecessors. It has been newly created to advise our Clients how to win "The War of the Arts of Peace" and recover from the economic and military disasters of recent years. Yet there is no space, however miserably deformed, that cannot be put to work to win this "War". The Archergon will show its Clients how the marvellous inventions of 20C composition, hitherto either abused or ignored by 20C Architecture, can power even the smallest victories. The focus of the Archergon is exclusively upon the metaphysical geometry of Lifespace Engneering. I have chosen its name because during the seventy years since WWII the Architectural profession has destroyed itself, and, what is far worse, destroyed the "paradigmatic medium of civilisation" - namely Architecture itself. A clear marker of this suicide is that in 2015 Britain's HSA (Health and Safety Executive) demoted "Architect" to the new legal status of "Principal Designer". Today anyone calling themselves a "Principal Designer" can design our lifespace in just the way an Architect used to. And why not, now that there is so little difference in their banal and physiocratic culture? The title of Architect remains legally protected, but not the function. It can easily be by-passed and, if one consults the internet, is easily seen to be.
The 2018 CPD seminars organised by the RIBA for their mandatory programme of "Continuing Professional Development", proposes that "Architects are embracing the role of "Principal Designer". A "Royal Institution of Principal Designers" would be the R.I.P.D., aka. "Rest in the Peace of Death"! These seventy years have seen the role of the Architect reduced from the Creator of "Brave New Worlds" to the limply 'Artistic' handmaiden of the "Lead Consultant" Surveyors of the Project Management Profession whose peer group status (I kid you not), is measured in the amount of pain a new building causes to the Public. To the beery cheers of the Surveying Profession (far older, in Britain, than that of a mere Architect), an ugly building is a profitable building built by a Hard Man. This would not be a problem if, at some time during these past seventy years my Profession had had the wit to create a coherent theory of the metaphysical in Architecture. Because this precise and clear "naming of the metaphysical parts" would feed into BIM and be not only operationally clear but legally precise not only for the brilliant and cultured Architect but for EVERYONE IN THE TEAM.
(click on the Chapter numbers to go to the Chapter).
ETYMOLOGY OF THE "ARCHERGON".
Archergon is pronounced: "ARKHH-AIRRHGON". The word should be slightly split into two. The first half is aspirated at the end. The second part has a glottal 'French' "HRRH" in its middle. As with the term "Architecture", which is its founding Medium, "Archergon's" name is invented out of Ancient Greek. "Arche", means both "original" and "governing". "Erga' means working and the "Ergon" is "the Works". The Archergon is both the Governor of the Works as well as the Governing Work itself. I like to think of it as the "Wellspring of the Workings...of that which truly "Works". A dictionary gave its meaning as "foreman". The Nordic Generality, trained to 'service', think of "work" as essentially physical. They are unfamiliar with the amount of 'work' required to empower a metaphysically-scripted lifespace so as to hold its ontic splendour in the mind while fulfilling the 'telos' of the quotidian world.
NOTHING MUCH TO DO WITH BRITAIN.
Architecture is a thoroughly foreign immigrant in the sense of an artificial landscape scripted to, as Heidegger proposed, "Think the Truth of Being". Perhaps this why JOA's best building is in Texas - a State within a State all made out of (the legal term of English colonists), a "terra nullius". These superimposed New States were an inscription branded into the "Virgin continent" entirely by the will, violence and passion of immigrants. Texas is somewhat younger than my 200-year old "Dog-Latin" London house. I will hear nothing said against Texans. They were amongst JOA's best Clients, scrupulously honest and genial to boot. My only problem with Houston is that expressed by Horkheimer and Adorno when they were WWII refugees in Los Angeles. There are no streets remaining after the "blizzard of the 'burbs". One's legs are reduced to mere levers connected to the stop and go pedal. I count myself fortunate to have spent most of my life (entirely by accident), surrounded by the largest tract of Classically-disciplined Greco-Roman-Mesopotamian-Egyptian-Batty Langley buildings on Planet Earth. Yet when I exercise my octogenarian limbs by walkiing around this UNESCO-quality world, I know I perambulate a ghost - a lifespace that exists only because our useless ('Modern'), Architectural Culture can imagine nothing more metaphysically effective.
"THINGS THAT WORK".
My father gave me back a letter which I penned to him in 1950, when I was sixteen. I wrote in it: "I do not want to be an Architect. I want to be an Engineer. I want to design things that work". Well...I became an Architect because flying planes (and especially the conversations of Pilots), was insufficiently interesting. The Archergon is the Consultancy which shows its Clients how to make their lifespace (aka. their lifespace - architecture), truly 'Work' for, with and indeed upon them.
"BREAKING THE TABOOS".
It has to be understood that the British Architectural Establishment is not only incapable of knowing the difference between the Physical and its sister the "Meta-Physical", but that the reason for this ignorance is their determination to REMAIN ignorant. The "Archergon" Global Ontic Consultancy has been set up precisely to remedy this unpleasing pig-headedness. It exists precisely to eliminate the taboo on the metaphysical in Architecture that was pointed out by Professor Robert Maxwell, Emeritus Dean of Princeton, when he remarked, in his 1988 review of JOA's Cambridge University Judge Institute of Management: "Outram has broken the taboos of Modernism".
A GLOBAL ONTIC CONSULTANCY.
The 'Archergon' is a "Global Ontic Consultancy" which regards the presently constituted Architectural Profession and its pusillanimous 'culture' as its Enemy. This enmity is not 'personal'. I am an Architect and these are my professional peers. It is an intellectual enmity. The last seventy years has been the lowest point ever reached in the 9,000-year history of what L.B.Alberti called "The paradigmatic medium of civilisation". There was a loss of confidence in their own Medium, by the Humanist profession of Architects, which began in the late 19C. It achieved a complete collapse by the middle of the 20C. This collapse led to the deliberate abandonment of the study of the "as-found" (to use a 20C aesthetic category), evidences of its 9,000-year existence.
HANG-GLIDING INTO "MODERNITY".
Ludicrous propositions have marked the last seventy years. The late Reyner Banham, when the Professor of Architectural History at University College, London, advised his pupils against the study of anything built before 1900. He advised them to "take up hang gliding" in any of their spare time. He advised them to: "Shed the cultural baggage of the Architect so as to run with the Engineers". It was widely believed, by this unimaginative, uninventive, ill-read and incompetent Profession, that the circumstances of life had changed so much that an entirely new and original sort of "Architecture" was required. This became generally termed a "Modern" Architecture. "Modernity", as such, was nothing new. The Latin word "Moderna" means merely "current", "contemporary", up-to-date, modish and fashionable. What was radically new was that this "au-courant" Architecture should owe NOTHING to its "as found" versions. Today all of these, all 9,000 years of them, are termed "Historical Architecture". Today, in the early 21C only this totally deracinated sort of "Modern" architecture is considered possible. In the "Archergon" we term this sort of architecture "Une Architecture Autre" in order to stress its desire to be "Other" than the Architecture that humans have known, for the last nine millenia, as "Architecture".
TO "REST IN THE PEACE OF DEATH".
The Archergon addresses the Public, OUTSIDE of the "International Art Establishment" as well as the Architectural Profession whose international luminaries they have now assimilated. One of my most eminent Clients said to me "But John, didn't you know: Art must be meaningless". This entire superstructure has to be swept away. Only the Public can do this. This Public cannot understand why Architects have become useless and destructive to both Architecture and Urbanity, let alone Art and Decoration. This same Public do not yet realise how impotent Architects have now become. They do not yet know of their demotion to "Principal Designer". This Public do not yet know that the Architect's beautiful Art Deco Institute (not yet 100 years old), should now be titled the R.I.P.D (Rest in the Peace of Death).
"TAKE BACK CONTROL".
The Archergon is for those who want to know how to bring the whole Building Industry and their Professional 'experts' to heel. The Archergon is for those who want to discipline and correct this sad crew and, if necessary, force them, in the spirit of the Brexit's "Take back Control", to make Urbane, beautifully-Decorated buildings and cities. This is, as J.O.Academe's 44 Lectures proposes: "A War of the Arts of Peace".
The Archergon will advise how to win this war.
"A PURELY METAPHYSICAL, A.K.A. "ONTIC" CONSULTANCY.
The Archergon offers its Clients access to the theories proposed by the "Academic" version and the techniques proven by the "Professional" version of the three JOAs. However its advice is restricted exclusively to the meta-physical, and not to the physical. Any reification of Archergon's advice will have to be in the hands of others. It is up to the Archergon's Clients to tell their Architects what to do. For they will, especially if they are eminent. bitterly resist doing it. Yet who is to blame for the reduction of Architects, and even more seriously their great medium of Architecture, to the status of the merely second-rate and clerkly activity of 'managing construction' if it is not the deliberately ignorant, ontically un-ambitious, sub-literate, fellow-travelling and pusillanimous Architectural Profession of the last seventy years? Almost every one of this Profession - starting with its most eminent and successful members, is to blame for the ruin of our cities by the deliberate refusal to study, understand and re-invent "the paradigmatic Medium of civilisation".
THE ARCHERGON IN ENGLAND.
The Archergon is, for obvious reasons, aimed mostly at Londoners and their Global Extensions. It is possible that our wholly and natively English Clients will find that we can serve them at the smaller scale of individual rooms, individual buildings, or even the Campus of some larger Institution. It is hard to imagine a whole English town or city applying to the Archergon for advice. Yet no country's cities needs it more. The island life-space was fairly well pulversied, from the 18C onwards, by its militaristic industrialisation in response to the demands of Empire. There was a moment in the 1940s, during my own lifetime, when the chaotic deracination of the English cities could have been reversed and remedied. The 1940s saw the final loss of Britain's mighty Imperial possessions. But the Landslide Labour Administration, by its issue of "The Redevelopment of Central Areas, in the "Summer" of 1947 showed that it entertained no such ontic ambitions. The ONLY lesson drawn from the 9,000-year history of "Lifespace Engineering", aka. City Planning, was a map showing how certain city blocks in Los Angeles had been demolished for use as Auto Parking Lots. The headlong suburbanisation of the USA became the Labour model for a Socialist Britain. That was in 1947. Today, seventy years later, and with the surprised support of the "property-owning democracy" of the political Right - it is too late to imagine that any British city could so re-organise its ontic topography as to be able to employ it as a means to aiding a life within it towards achieving any sort of coherent narrative.
THE BANISHMENT OF ARCHITECTURE 'AS-FOUND'.
Nor did any of Britain's premier Academies of Architecture resist. The late 1950s saw that of Cambridge University turned brutally away from a study of the 9,000 years of its as-found evidences. Born, in 1912, out of the Department of Archaeology, Cambridge's Department of Architecture enjoyed only four decades as a three-year liberal arts degree before being separated from its proper subject by Dr. Leslie Martin. It is the eminent Dr. Martin, whose amiable person I met more than once at his retirement fenland water-mill, who must be largely blamed forthe post-WWII impoverishment of English Architectural Theory. It was Martin who hived off the 9,000 years of Architecture 'as-found' into a new Bachelorate to be pursued in a newly-founded "Department of the HISTORY of Art and Architecture". Martin did this in order to create a five year "Vocational and Professionally-Practical" Bachelor and Master's degree in a re-founded Department of Architecture.
Cambridge is a University that has always prided itself on only engaging with subjects with a firm theoretical backbone. Subjects which are taught and practised as a rag-bag of rules-of thamb and craftsmanly intuitions were the province of Polytechnics and at the very bottom of the intellectual pecking-order: Schools of Art. The mysteries of "Art" all of which have traditionally been imported from outsie the Island Kingdom, have never been regarded by the University of Cambridge with anything but a paranoid contempt.
A GENETIC DEFICIENCY.
There is, in the native culture of the British Islands, no trace of an Architectural gene. The Medium, in the sense of an artificially-scripted lifespace to obtain for its users the nobility of a life lived "sub specie aeternitatis" (in the mirror of eternity), was first introduced by the Romans. The decision to deny the ordinary Briton the benefits of the "paradigmatic medium of civilisation", when published in 1947, led to no protest from either Public nor Profession. It was only when the newly illiterate 'Modern Architecture' began to replace relatively civilised "old" buildings that the Public, ten years after Comprehensive Redevelopment began, finally rebelled. The Conservation Movement has been the only civilised movement, on a large, publicly-supported scale, during the Architectural culture of the last seventy years. But it could lead to no positive action and like all rearguard actions, was finally worn-down and defeated.
THE SIREN OF THE "MATHESIS UNIVERSALIS".
Martin's crime was to persuade the brilliant minds of the University's Senate (Martin was the first Professor of Architecture to hold a Doctorate), that Architecture itself (a subject requiring, in the 1950s, no A-levels at all to study), could achieve the degree of theoretical respectability required. This was because he, Martin, and his associates, amongst whom was Dr. Lionel March, would re-found Architectural Theory upon mathematics itself. The Senate was promised the whole of the human lifespace - that rent-bearing chaos from which all leisure was supported! Such an ontically puerile ambition could not but appeal to the University Senate. The mirage of a "Mathesis Universalis" rises like a Siren from the frozen swamps around the River Cam. The promises of Descartes and Leibniz that, one day everything will be explicable with mathematics continues to attract a torrent of money to this University. If the wealth of Oxford and Edinburgh Universities are subtracted then the Financial Foundations of Cambridge total more than double all of the other island universities combined.
MARTIN'S TERRIBLE CRIME.
The crime was so large as to pass largely un-noticed. By diverting the best young minds of the Architectural Profession into a futile mathematisation of the human lifespace - a thing mere Surveyors are trained to do, Martin ensured that no effective "theorisation" of the Architectural Medium, "as found" was achieved. Such a theorisation is absolutely necessary if a Medium is to be understood, taught, learned nd generally philosophised in a culture as far as are the British Isles from the "Five Centres of the autonomous origins of Architecture" - Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China and Meso-America. Any branch of knowledge, when it has been theorised, can be taught and employed, even in a culture that has no natural genetic impetus. Indeed such 'alien cultures' can develop such Media in ways barred from the cultures of their autogenesis - who will be bound my ancient taboos and intuitively-held imperatives.
DECLINE AND FALL.
The argument that this taboo on the study of Architecture 'as-found' was necessary in order to divert the best minds of the Architectural Profession towards the invention of L'Architecuree Autre has been proved to be a fraud and a failure. Else how to explain the misery of the decline into "Principal Designer" and the R.I.P.D.? No "Theorisation of L'Architecture Autre" has been achieved and today, both the Medium, and its Profession are dead and gone in the British isles.
THE AMERICAN 'LEFT' CAUSES THE SIREN OF THE FENS TO MISS A BEAT.
This dream of a Mathesis Universalis lay behind the "Government by Fiscal Engineering" which crashed in flames around 2007-8. The American Left began to fracture the Sirens seductive call when the Clinton Administration tried to load the American Poor into the "Consumer Class" section of the Democratic Party jetliner. Mario Cuomo of Clinton's Housing and Urban Development agency forced the USA's banks, on pain of being denied Federal credit, to open branches in the poorer sections of their cities. The USA's blue-collar jobs had been leaking overseas for decades - especially after, in 2000, Clinton signed the Bill to admit China to the WTO. The poor learned to accept the "sub-prime" loans, to enjoy the brief "free ride" of their unexpected wealth and mourn the zero credit rating that reposession imposed. Meanwhile faith in the Monetarist project of Government by Fiscal Engineering collapsed, bringing down, in 2007, the Western Economies and "Liberalism" with it. It could only be kept alive by stuffing it with trillions of State-backed credit. This was not a diet that allowed the Siren of the Fens the lusty enthusiasms of the past. Perhaps she had seen it all coming. She had been rehearsing the songsheet of "Critical Theory" since the early 1980's. But these did not please the ear of the University. Neither did they bring-in the grants and donations attracted by the Old Songs of the "Mathesis".
BUT THE AMERICAN 'RIGHT' GAVE THE 'SIREN' BACK HER SONG.
The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq on 20th March 2003 defeated the largest military of the sabre-rattling Middle East in a mere five weeks. One of the briefest blitzkreigs in history destroyed an oil-rich military that had bought itself a large equipment of modern kit. It was a victory that marked the moment when a combatant capable of turning a physical battlefield into a computerised, information-technology doppelganger now held an overwhelming advantage - whatever the physical strenth of the opposition. Here was "War", not only as "Diplomacy by Other Means", but an indubitable part of mathematics! Something for the Siren of the Fens to celebrate indeed!
Sadly for our Siren, however, the next eight-and-a-half years, until the USA withdrew its last troops in December 2011, were a total failure for the "Mathesis Universalis". Firstly, the USA invested three trillion dollars. Its dividend was less than zero. It is, as 2020 approaches, reduced to a minor, discredited player in the arena of Middle East politics. Its principal political and administrative strategies, which remained those of Monetarism, proved entirely impotent and useless to the aid of the Anglo-American ambition of "Regime Change". So not only has the Mathesis failed at home. It has failed, even more dramatically, overseas. To read the accounts of this failure, candidly recounted, by its military and civilian protagonists, as only the marvellous self-confidence of the USA can allow, is to be left in no doubt of their enormous, indeed heroic efforts. It is also to be left in no doubt of their cataclysmic, indeed gigantic, three trillion dollar failure. The Siren of the Fens is dead, silenced, floating down its sedgy channels like the body of Ophelia. Mathematics may sing in the many branches of Natural Science. But in the realm of the ontic roles of the human lifespace it enjoys the silence of death.
THE ZOMBIES OF SCROOPE TERRACE.
A minor event at this global scale, but major to the interest of the Archergon, and all who remain concerned with the lifespace they occupy, was the decision of Alison Richard, while Vice Chancellor of Cambridge, to issue a notice, in the Michaelmas term of 2004, that the Department of Architecture was to be closed. This Vice-Chancellor let me know, in 2008, that the Department of Architecture had failed to respond to requests that it "show some signs of life". As an Anthropologist, one must allow Doctor Richard to be able to offer a close and technical definition of what these "Signs of Life" ought to be. I imagine that they need not have mirrored those of her previous charge when the good Doctor was Provost of Yale. The Students of Architecture at that place had set fire to their faculty and burnt it out. The structure itself had seven floors cast in very solid bush-hammered ribbed concrete by its Architect, the late Paul Rudolph. Everything inside it was consumed. But the massive solidity of his madly interlocking thirty-level framework had refused to combust. It was some sort of credit to its brutal body that it rose from the flames intact. The Cambridge faculty, made of flimsy wood, brick and plaster, would be dust in a few hours. Not that building materials as such have any more value than their molecular properties. 'Modern' Architects like to talk of "Truth to Materials" when they build their dull boxes stripped of all colour and decoration. Yet nothing is more un-natural than a building and nothing more artificial than the smoothly aligned surfaces of their putatively "natural" veneers of sliced wood, stone and marble. "Modernists" disguise their refusal to communicate (at all and every level of representation), with this fraud that they are being "true to nature".
"BUT HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR COLOURS?.
The 'Building Materials Researches' of this Faculty were dead well before the 2004 "Closure" episode. The Martin Centre was budgeted with £250,000, in the 1990s, by the British Building Industry to invent a teaching-pack for all of our Schools of Architecture. It would explain the uses to which one could put the marvellous, yet commonplace material of "concrete". It so happened that the Professors all came to collect their 'packs' in 1994, just as JOA's Judge Institute building was finishing. I was asked to show them around. I examined the teaching pack. The part on the possible finishes of pre-cast concrete stopped around the 1960s. There was nothing about all the many sorts of decorative finish which JOA had not only built since the 1980s but published, in colour, in the industry's own "Concrete Quarterly". One of these iconically challenged Professors asked "But Mr,. Outram, how do you choose your colours"? These infertile and unpracticed Academics were unworthy of their responsibilities. But who is to educate them if the highest Architectural Authority in Britain eiither can-not or will-not? The Martin Centre must either be disbanded, ignored, starved of money or radically changed. Who will do this if it is not an 'authority' from outside our useless Profession?
PLUS CA CHANGE..
The Closure episode ensured that the Critical Theory paradigm and its indubitably brilliant Professors were shown the door. 2004 was just over twenty years since "Critical Theory" had begun, in the 1980s, to replace Mathematics as the theoretical paradigm of the Faculty of Architecture. Twenty years seems the life-span of these futile attempts to avoid studying the proper subject of an Academy of Architecture - Architecture itself 'as-found'. Both paradigms proved entirely barren. Critical Theory produced no Practitoners of the world class one might expect from the undoubted braininess of Cambridge. But what can mere brains achieve without an effective "theorisation"? In twenty years the Critical Theory produced only one major book, that from my late friend and academic patron: Dalibor Vesely. Although brilliantly discursive it has proved useless to both Pedagogue and Practitioner. The Faculty, bruised, battered and stripped of the premises of its ontically implausible "Martin Centre" seemed to find no other alternative to this "Death Threat" than to return to its original mythos: that of the recently-deceased Dr. Martin himself!
"THE DATA-MINERS OF TRUMPINGTON STREET".
The episode of the 2004 "closure" was airbrushed out of the official internet history of the Department that was penned by the otherwise reputable historian Dr. Andrew Saint. The Undergraduate numbers were reduced to fewer than that of the Martin Centre post-grads. This was so as to eject 'teaching and learning' from the classically-cultured early-19C row houses of Scroope Terrace. The Students are now housed, like clever little rabbits, in a nice new wooden "workshop", at the bottom of the collective Terrace Gardens. The high-ceilinged rooms of the Classical houses now throng with the "researching" refugees from old Martin Centre itself. Bereft of the Siren's mystical "Mathesis" these grant-farming frauds are reduced to turning the human lifespace into "data" that they can then "mine" and generally mess-about with mathematically.
BACK WHERE WE WERE .
Over two million gifted pounds were recently expended establishing the alarming fact that the distribution of buildings in height or spatial configuration, that is whether in villages, towns or cities, has very much less impact on their consumption of energy than the lifestyles of their inhabitants. In short that the culture of a population matters more than the machinery of their accommodation. Yet how could Cambridge deal with this extraordinary truth when its Faculty of Architecture is "founded on mathematics".The main ambitions of these 'researches' are entirely tautologous.They are to find another Research Grant amongst all this value free rubble. As with most enterprises, ?repeat business" is the holy grail. It is clearly a pity that the Faculty was not closed by Alison Richard for it has entirely failed to justify itself. It is just carrying-on as if nothing has happened outside the dull grey world of the Fens. Not that one can be surprised when one sees the subliterate trash that the University has built for itself in its huge expansion Westwards. The City of Cambridge, at the end of the 20C, had the well-deserved reputation of owning more good 'Modern' buildings per citizen than any other in Britain. But then, right at its end, the brilliant academics of Cambridge decided to leave their University's huge expansion in the hands of the Architecturally sub-literate Clerks of C.U.E.M.B.S: the Cambridge University Estates Management and Buildings Service. An American University will endeavour to take the advice of a Building and Grounds Committee staffed by its millionaire alumni. These will have a far more sophisticated notion of our medium than Maths and Physics geniuses, let alone salaried clerks.
THE OLD ENEMY.
Oxford University has no Faculty of Architecture at all. But then Oxford is the older University and produces more prime Ministers than Cambridge. Cambridge was founded by monks from Oxford who found the politics too hot and too worldly. They re-located away from the only part of Englsnd with even a vaguely decent climate to a North Sea Fen where they could be sure that no one would disturb them. The enmity of Cambridge for the more worldly Humanities (and Oxford), has increased with every one of their phenomenal successes in the Natural Sciences.
THE BIRTH OF POP - 'EX UTERO' THE HIGH TABLE.
Neal Acherson, one of the most admired English essayists of recent years, wrote in the Observer: "When I was up at Cambridge, in the 1950s, the idea was that if calm and reason reigned (colour grey), wars and famines could be planned-out of History". Then, at the end of his essay he wrote: "when I came down from Cambridge I felt the presence of something out of sight, over my shoulder, which later turned out to be Pop".
BRITAIN AS AN ONTIC DESERT, COURTESY OF THE "TWO CULTURES"..
What Acherson discovered, and subsequently fought against for the rest of his life, was the contempt of Cambridge, bolstered by its brilliant successes in the Sciences, for what are properly described "The Arts of Peace" - of which Architecture is the principal. The brilliant minds of Cambridge are not fools. They may or may not be inexperienced. But one has to be certain that this ambition to remove the metaphysical and the ontic from all political and economic decisions by reducing them to triviality and ring-fencing them inside what are termed "The Media", is deliberate and real. Cambridge does not believe that government should allow anything meta-physical to manifest itself in the reality of everyday life. Britain, if Cambridge has its way (which it has had until now), will remain an ontic desert, populated by humans who will never know the simple dignity (and even the thrill!), of occupying a lifespace in which they may "think the truth of being". And this is the evil trash that its feeble little Department of Architecture teaches to the brightest young minds in my Profession. To survive five years of its specious drivel is to expect too much of a good mind. Many do it. I have worked with them. They are capable because they are clever. But it is a criminal waste of their young energies. Especially is this so in the University widely held to be the brightest in Britain.
DON'T SAY "HELLO"...SAY "HOLLOW".
There is, of course a more positive solution. Every condition has its antithesis. A promising beginning could be made by ejecting the Judge Business School from a building-complex it has shown itself unworthy, on more than one occasion, to occupy. JOA were the only firm of Architects to propose a successful solution to the problem of occupying the hugely high-ceiling rooms of the Old Addenbrooke's Hospital. We dug out the Ground Floor level by 46 cm and shoe-horned two new floors to every old 'Ward-Block' floor. JOA could do this because the "Robot Order put all the services into the walls and not the ceiling or floor. These were left bare so that they could be "surface scripted". JOA ALWAYS did this. Of course CUEMBS failed to learn this lesson - as did their "Tenant", the Judge. JOA then solved the footprint of the Hospital conversion by cutting the site in half and then stitching the Old building to the two new ones with theatrical bridges and stairs whose underbellies carried pipes and wires. As we used to say to the Waitresses in Houston Texas, "Don't say Hello, say Hollow". Then we would explain how we hollowed out our new and therefore physically 'tacky' , buildings, hid all the pipes and wires and covered the new skin in fabulous tattoos all of which had symbolic meanings. The Americans understood perfectly and cheered us on. Sooo different!
THE "CONVERSION" OF THE "OLD ADDENBROOKE'S INTO AN "ONTIC" MACHINE.
The purpose of this cut and stitch strategy was both to distribute services via a "Necklace Service-Core" and to open the interior of the Faculty Building so that 200 people could sit in our novel "Seminar Balconies" in huge, 26 metre-high space that would be "surface-scripted" to represent the "Truths" within which the mundane labours of "Biznis" could be undertaken "sub specie aeternatitis". Not only was this precondition for an ontic nobility projected, but it would also be a good training for these Biznispeople to make their narrow decisions in a place that was scripted to remind them of the fullness of the reality in which their little "biznizis" actually existed. JOA were chosen for this project by Simon Sainsbury and his Architectural adviser Colin Amery. Neither Paul Judge nor the University had little opinion on the matter. JOA were given to undersand that this was to be a contract between Biznis and Cambridge such that Biznis would attract some higher calibre minds into it and Cambridge would benefit from the cash that Biznis might bring-in. In fact Cambridge's scientific and mathematical genius attracted so much money that this University hardly knows what to do with it. The telling thing about this 'contract' is that it was the University that failed to take any advantage from it. The sad little clerks in CUEMBS, who were legally "in charge" entirely failed to rise to the occasion. Everything "physical" was built and everything meta-physical deliberately deleted! Yet the physical structure was by far the greater expense. Not only this, but the meta-physical "surface-scripting" was actually pre-paid by a gift to the University from the wife of the richest man in England. The donation had been offered personally by Hans and Marit Rausing, to Simon Sainsbury and Paul Judge while we were all sitting in the Library of Wadhurst Park. It had to be returned because its terms were exactly as Marit Rausing had spoken them "for the decorations". It was the first time such a donation had been both rejected by the University, and returned to the Donor. Could there be a more telling condemnation of the monocultural blindness, the deliberate bloody-mindedness of this wretched camp of geniuses?
A NICE CRINKLY TIN SHED FOR THE "BUSINESS" OF THE JUDGE..
The Judge is better suited to a nice crinkly-tin shed-complex in the University's new West Cambridge Campus. It will then be at home in the suburban iconic squalor that is the logical fruit of its reduction from an "Institute of Management" (which included the Public Sector), to a mere "Business School". The ambition of this Cambridge Department is, according to its current Professor, merely to "help businesses improve their performance". This is an ideal suited to a Polytechnic rather than the High Table of an Oxbridge College. I was informed, in the 1980s, by the wealthiest man in Britain, when I designed and built his English house for him, of the three simple means to "improved business performance". These were, and I am sure still are - One: "look after your Product", Two: "look after your Customers" and Three: "look after your Staff". Without the "One" a business has no "Two" and without a "Two" there can be no "Three". One hardly needs to be at Oxbridge for these simple "theories of business"!
A NEW FACULTY.
The Old Addenbrooke's building can then enter into a relation with the Fitzwilliam Museum, directly opposite and the Depatment of Architecture equally close to the Addenbrook'e site across Trumpington Street. A new Faculty would be instituted nto Addenbrokes. This could be called not a Faculty of "Urbanism" but a Faculty of "Urbanity". Trumpington Street would be re-paved in this area and four large polychrome standing sculptures erected, two to each side, to mark the four corners of the new paving's extension. This will be the essential signature of the New Faculty's ambition. For this ambition is to solve the "Brexit Crisis" by assimilating European immigration, in particular, to a powerful public culture capable of projecting a "British" identity onto, and into, the island's cities. An economic separation from Europe will result in whatever work is done in Britain being moved-over onto the Continent itself. Nor will this lost employment be replaced by work generated by Asia. Prime Minister Teresa May's immediate, and fruitless, expedition to India was one of the more pathetic consequences of the vote for Brexit. The British lost the ability to export to India in the 1940s, when the subcontient became independent and no longer subject to the rules of "imperial preference". The Brexit vote was a protest against immigrants who, unlike those from the old Empire, did not drink beer like ditchwater or spend several days playing and or watching cricket. These eager and well-educated refugees from the defeat of Russian Communism made the Jamaicans, Pakistanis and other ex-imperial Brits look like the island article. But all such "protest" is futile when measured against the fact that the island is now totally integrated into the EU Economy. The British Economy would have to be put onto a 'war footing' if these economic chains were broken. It would be as catastrophic as any submarine war!
"TAKIING BACK THE CITIES" AND ASSIMILATING THE EUROPEANS.
The solution is obvious. The British must assimilate all immigrants to an island culture that has become newly-capable of this achievement. The Cities must be re-colonised and impregnated with this new "culture". Yet no culture is less suited than that of Britain to this task. The Islanders love privacy and eschew the "street". As for a Piazza, or Place d'Armes,in which to rehearse, publish and act-out this "Public Culture", they are virtually unknown in Britain, as is their noisy and theatrical employment after the Continental fashion. In one sense this is an advantage. Having no ancient history of a powerful, high-level Public culture of "Continental" quality enables the British to be radically novel. It would enable this New British Culture to project the Truths of Science that seem to conflict so much with the ancient cults and religions which are the foundations of so much public culture - worldwide. This is one reason why Cambridge, as the inventor of so many of these world-shaking Scientific Truths would be so suited to such a powerful, necessary and novel Faculty. Another reason would be to expaiate the lifespace ruins concreted-in by the last seventy years of Cambridge's ontic arrogance!
THE CITY AS AN 'ONTIC CONSTITUTION'.
Addenbrooke's also has, for Cambridge, a balconied facade of metropolitan scale. This is a necessary backdrop to the City as a Theatre of Culture - which is, of course, of "Cults". which need to be "cultivated". Addenbrooke's also has an unusually large "forestage" for a Cambridge building. This Public culture and its "machines" need a fore-stage of this sort in order to be deployed. Addenbrooke's is also a building that is dear to the heart of the townspeople. Addenbrooke's also has an enormously theatrical interior, and a huge roof-terrace that is sufficiently low down to be viewed as a 'stage' from all around it. All of these are loci that already exist in and amongst the Faculties needed to constitute and prove the "Ontic Constitution" that is the ambition of a "Faculty of Urbanity". This Trumpington Street seems providentially disposed for an essential new project - the saving of Britain from a fatal response to the Brexit Vote. For, as the Archergon proposes, it is this Imperially-reinforced illiteracy of the City as THE epiphanic locus of a culture's Public reification of identity that has crippled Britain's ability to assimilate its post- (and therefore non-), Imperial immigrants. "The City as an Ontic Constitution" is both the most neglected as well as the most necessary component of British culture's post-Imperial hisory. Time is short. Seventy years have already gone by. One may hope that a preferably British MOVEMENT would now begin to remedy this lack! If it does not, other less suitable Agents will almost certainly step in and fulfil the demands of Brexit.
-LONDON, NOT ENGLAND.
We should conclude, from this, that the reason why the Archergon can propose its clear-cut techniques is not that it has grown in a culture which has sustained it. The reason for the Archergon's emergence is the reverse. The Archergon's techniques and theories have emerged from a culture that offers, like a cliff of solid ice, no hand-hold to anyone seeking to bring the aid of a metaphysically-structured life-space to the living of a life, even the most modest of lives, that can enjoy a good and clear narrative line. This is especially the case if this 'route to meaning' would employ the use of Architecture. It is even more the case if the larger canvas of a whole city and its environs should be pressed to the aid of of these cognisable ambitions. It is this very barren-ness, this ontic dessication, that has forced and sharpened the research of the Archergon to finally crack the Architectural code and offer rational techniques to achieve its metaphysical ends.
A FAMILY TREE.
The ambition of the three JOAs has never changed. Although hubristic, it can be simply stated. It was to Modernise Architecture, as found from its 9,000-year existence. It was not to invent a new sort of Architecture, which one could call a "Modern" Architecture which bore, and this is critical, NO RELATION, no relation at all, to these 9,000 years of previous existence. Thus, even by 1961, before I had even graduated I had established an universalised phenomenology of "Architecture as Building". I was between my 'second' Thesis design (it, like my 'first', had been failed as merely city-planning and without 'architectural' qualities), and the 'third', which was finally accepted. Architecture as "decoration" took a little longer. But it was achieved in 1985 with the lately-demolised (2016), conversion of a flimsy, physically inadequate 1960s sub-Corbusian complex into 'Harp Heating'. Architecture as "Text" was also achieved around that time with the July 1982 publication of the method of the "Tricorso" in "Warehouse, Wordhouse, Picturehouse", in AA Files No. 2. The final "proving" of a complete metaphysics of a Modernised Architecture had to wait until 1996, when JOA completed Duncan Hall for the Faculty of Computational Engineering at Rice University, Texas. The "theorisation' of this metaphysics took another seventeen years of on-and-off work until the "44 Lectures' were printed for J.O's. "Academe" in April 2015.
"THINKING THR TRUTH OF BEING".
For it is the use of these meta-physical tools, termed by the 44 Lectures "iconolects" and "pragmalects" that will enable Hannah Arendt's description of the ambition of Heidegger when he proposed that the ultimate purpose of human existence was "to think the truth of Being". This ambition, in that thinking is the most free of all human pursuits, can include anything one can imagine as being the "truth" of any individual, institution and community. It will include both good and evil, truth as well as lies. This is certainly why its techniques have been virtually prohibited since the excesses of WWII. It is what Robert Maxwell may have meant when, in his 1997 critique of the Judge Business School and after kindly naming my Ordine Robotico as a "Sixth Order", he judged that "Outram has broken the Taboos of Modernism".
"IDEAS ARE CHEAP" - UNTIL YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THEM.
For the Clients of the Archergon, the FIRST medium to be conquered will be that of the applied, surface-scripted image. This is because the use of the Outram Ordine, or "Sixth Order" leaves no physiocratic machinery exposed, none at all!. The "Ordine Robotico" is more Ordine than Robotico. Everything is "scripted": from the armature of the Order to the "picture planes' it empowers. So this "scripting" comes first. It was the source and raison d'etre of Architectre at its very beginning and must become so if Architecture is to live again! These scripts become a realm of meaningful, legible images. Not for the Clients of the Archergon the dictum of New York's most dominant post-WWII Critic: Clement Greenberg. He advised against naturalism in painting, or even painting anything re-cognisable at all, as it would be appropriated to the employment of some great 'cause', such as Fascism, Communism, or even Capitalism. Greenberg should have met Lord Beeching, the man who administered the destruction and legal sterilisation of the earliest, most densely-distributed system of off-road transport on the planet. Beeching's proposition that "ideas are cheap in Britain" confirms, by the laws of supply and demand, that we British do very well without "ideas". We do not know how to use them and they just lie around to be had cut-price! Ah well, life will teach us better one day - let us hope for our sake that it is before someone else buys them all up and sells 'em back to us dear!
DOING OURSELVES SOME GOOD.
The greatest inheritance left to these islands by their centuries of Empire is the ownership of the global lingo. Everything else, even our precious supremacy in natural Science and advanced technology can be overtaken by other states, often with superior resources of population, skill and money. One may instance, here, even metaphysical culture. For Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the most brilliant mathematicians ever to work in Cambridge, used to receive, on occasion, his superlative mathematical genius in scrolls shown to him by his Goddess Mahalalakshmi of Namakkal. I mention this, only to stress the extreme stupidity of a culture and a state, which came into the indigenous ownership of the global means of textual communication and yet retained, from its long-exhausted imperial history, a contempt for ideas, especially when mediated by iconic and plastic means. For it must be obvious that a technique that could fill, saturate and 'pack' images and objects with English text must be the first step to an effective reification of the island's sole remaining advantage. This is truly a "War of the Arts of Peace". It is not a war that the British can afford to lose. Yet my own dear Profession lead the way to our defeat with the deaf-mute strategy they call "Minimalism". It is not at all clever to become a deaf mute just because something vile might be uttered. One thinks of the advice of Karl Kraus when he wrote: "if anyone has something to say please step forward and remain silent." Things turned-out badly after that. If one lives in a free society one learns to talk-back. I did this in "Warehouse, Wordhouse, Picturehouse", published in AA Files No 2 of July 1982. I was told, by a Professor during a Critique to which I had been invited in 2014, how impressed he was by it. I could not help wondering what else he had been thinking-about during these intervening 32 years.
"A "SECOND CHANCE".
This technique of the "come-back" is what the USA is and was built-on. Not for nothing has this state been called "Mankind's Second Chance". For this is what it proved to be, in the early 1990s, for JOA. The USA has owned, since 1996, JOA's best building. Duncan Hall is the only time that JOA were encouraged to fulfil our project to Modernise Architecture itself - complete with giant symbolic graphical inscriptions, a giant "Ordine" in the "Sixth Order" versions of the three Vitruvian dimensions of "Firmitas, Commodas and Venustas", etc. etc. Michael Graves, the most feted American Architect of the 1980's was appointed, just before his too-early death, to be Consulatnt Architect to the whole Rice University Campus. He remarked of Duncan Hall, "One must watch Outram. He does not know when to stop". I never met him. I do not know what I would have replied. Probably that "I began just when everyone else stopped" .It was only after this "proving" that the tabooed "Architecture As Found" could be "Modernised" that JOA were "sent to Coventry" by the Rice Architectural Faculty! I knew then that I must now Theorise my "breaking of the taboos". Little did I know that it would take me 17 years - by far my longest project.
A HELPING HAND.
The Archergon will aid the Client in the representation of what it is that constitutes his, or his Institution's or his City-Quarter's "Being". With this iconic vocabulary the Client can begin to plan how to introduce the changes to the life-space that will make it work for him at a metaphysical level - the level of Being.
AN ONTIC THEATRE.
"Thinking the Truth of Being" is difficult if one is constantly interrupted by unforseen events. But building a shell which excludes these interruptions offers not only a negative advantage. This shell, aka. a building, creates an interior which can positively aid the achievement of the ontic ambition that Arendt describes. It is at this point that it becomes clear that the metaphysical wellspring of Architecture is neither a view out of its (picture) windows, nor a view of "a building in a landscape" but the way that a symbolically-structured interior space can empower the "Thinking of Being".
"IT'S A WRAP".
This in-scribing, which we term "surface scripting" can be executed at any scale, from that of the smallest room to a whole city-quarter. The scripts of the 44 Lectures given in the JOA of John Outram's Academe rehearse these epiphanic techniques from a Studio-Shower-Room, through buildings of diverse shapes and sizes up to the City-Quarter scale of the 2012 Olympics in Stratford, East London. Anything 'built', anything at all, can become an Arendtian "Space of Appearances" in which the "Truth of Being" can be "Thought".
IN EIGHT (OR SO), ACTS.
This process will include, inter alia, the following:
Phenomenological Virtualisation.The subject is exhaustively described by its superficially 'phenomenal' attributes.
Narration of the Transforms. The visual Metaphors are "scripted' into graphical narratives.
Mythification of the Tableaux. Certain of these graphical narrations are amplified before being 'reversed' back into a textual 'mythos'.
Dictionary of the 'Iconolects'. After sufficient iterations of this process, titled the "Tricorso", or three-horse race, a structure of "iconolects" and "pragmalects" is established for the original subject.
Surface Scripting the principal elements. "Wrapping the Physical in the Metaphysical". The principal elements of the subject lifespace are given a suitable level of inscription.
Supply of Surfacings and Supports.A supply of inscribed surfaces can be organied, where desired. Architects and Engineers can be instructed to provide supports.
Design of Rites. The vita contemplativa, aka, the "thinking of the truth of being" can be raised to the level of a formality.
Accompanying Media. Music and other media to that end can be organised.
POWERED BY THE FORBIDDEN "CHARISMATICS".
All of this this will never 'work' very effectively unless these Iconolects and Pragmalects are "put into motion" by an Architectural "narrative" in some way similar to that of the Architecture repudiated by Modernism. For that animation of the images was the sole and brilliant purpose as well as the magnificent achievement of the 'ancient' architectures. It is this 'modernisation' of this Architecture-powered animation of ideas that has so offended the 'Modern' Architects. For this "animation" can only be effected if 'powered' by an 'Ordine' (an Architectural Order) - the very instrument whose epiphanic role in the reification of ideas has been so persistently resisted in England and which "Headmaster" Walkden warned us would be our ruin! As indeed it was...and in Cambridge University of all places.
"HARP HEATING", THE BUILDING THAT WRAPPED PHYSICS IN META-PHYSICS.
My peers have consistently and steadily increased their resistance to JOA's achievements. Even the remote headquarters to the central heating compamy of Harp Heating, hidden away in the modest suburb os Swanley, brought out the big Architectural guns to defend the redoubts of subliterate hapticity from invasion by literacy, clarity and sense. The photographs enclosed with JOA's application for the Financial Times Industrial Architecture Award were binned by a hard-line High-Tech Modernist member of the Architectural jury before they could be shown to their chairman Lord Gibson. I had this from Gibson, who confirmed to me, when I was later a member of this jury, that he had no knowledge of the "flaming capitals" of Harp. Prior to this act of suppression was the Critique penned by Richard McCormac, later to become President of the RIBA. He refused to accept that Harp represented a "generic" solution to the renovation of the hundreds of flimsy, sub-Corbusian boxes built after WWII. He accused Harp of exceeding the "Sumptuary Laws" that decreed commercial buildings be reticent, dull amd less iconically poetic than their Public Service sisters. McCormac, when Presisent of the RIBA, refused the offer of the British Council to install, cost free, their Venice Biennale Exhibition of 1991, featuring the Six most admired British Modern Architects of international status. Whatever one may have thought of us, the other five", James Stirling was, in this year before he died, counted by the entire globe as the world's best Architect. It was the petty jealousies of my trade-union's Headquareters and its President who deliberately denied the British Public a free retrospective of the "Great Juggler's" (John Summerson's nomination), magic. McCormac was very much a "Cambridge" type - happy doing his expensive Oxbridge buildings and decreeing sub-Socialist trash for the "People". Harp has now, after this deliberate neglect, been demolished months before it was due to be "Listed" by the excellent historians of Historic England. In February 2018 Harp was classed by the 20C Society as one of the ten most mourned demolitions of British 20C buildings. But why did this modest "conversion" of some one and two storey buildings give my peers such nightmares? It was because Harp was the first of the many JOA buildings which conclusively proved that the whole of the haptic, dumb, text-free physiocratic world of High and Low-tech post-WW II Nordic "Modernismo" could be wrapped-up, rendered in-visible and decently-buried inside a new, cheap and brilliant meta-physical "envelope". And the means to this obliteration of the mind-rotting cult of mechanical muscularity was nothing other than the forbidden and tabooed "Architectural Ordine". In this case, of course, it was not one of the canonic "five", but that which my old tutor Bob Maxwell later christened (Outram's),"Sixth Order".
The 'cargoes' placed into motion by an 'Architectural Ordine' can include:
The Forest of Infinitude: the Hypostyle which reifies the time before Time and Space.
The Veil of Lethe:the Hypostylar "trigger" that resets the 'vita contemplativa'.
The Camera Lucida: The Room in which the "Truth of Being" can best be Thought".
The Arrow of the Eschaton:The Cycle of Eternal Return broken free to find its End.
The Ontic topography:Superpositioned Economic, Political and Poetic topography.
The Republic of the Valley.The "Fluvial Phenomenology" reified as a political narrative.
The Event-Horizons of the Fluvial Narrative:-Each part marked by a "Camera Lucida" reifying the following:
The Source, the Bridge over the Tumbling Stream, the Confluence/Crossing, The Displaced Crossing/Place des Pouvoirs, the Lazy River/Hollow Tree, the Nine-Fold Cité Administratif, the Balcony of Appearances, the Twin Towers, the Delta and Field of Reeds, the Okeanos, the Horizon of Kymata.
The Raft of Reason: A "Trabica" that brings the Fire of the Future
The Cone of Hestia:The Ashy cone of the Hearth of the Founders.
The Cypher-beams:That guide the Raft across the Ocean of Chaos.
The Time of Advent: The moment that the Raft of the Future finds the Heap of History.
The Columna Lucis: That unites the Future to the Past at the Time of Advent.
The New Foundation: carried by the Raft to the Heap.
The Act of Quadration: that seeds the Freedom of the Individual.
The White Sun and the Black Sun: The Future inside the Cone of Hestia and the Past inside the Heap of History
The Armature of Light: The Columna Lucis as an Ordine framing the Camera Lucida.
The Heap of History: The accumulation of Contingencies in which is the Genius Loci.
The Sundering of Contingency: The opening of the Heap to join the Past to the Future and create the Present.
The Ocean of the Voice: The Atmosphere.
The Sixth Order: Invented by JOA and named by Princeton Emeritus Dean Bob Maxwell.
Coelum et Caelum: Latin for the Cieling and the Knife that cuts it open to reveal the Cargo
The Blinding of Vision: to see what can best be seen with the eye of the imagination.
PHYSICAL AIDS TO THE META-PHYSICAL.
Then, if our Client requires advice on the best means to realise the Supports to the Surface Scripting and the means to reifying the Architectural scale of the required narratives, JOA can advise on the use of the following:
Photolithic Materials: are materials made of solid light, coloured right through but as hard and heavy as rock .
"Blitzcrete": is a photolith that reifies the "Armature of Light"..
"Doodlecrete": is a photolith that can reify any symbolic figure.
"Nullcrete": is a photolith that can be used to represent "Nothing".
AT A LARGER SCALE.
Should our Client require advice at a larger scale then the following can be employed:
The Isola-Block: A City block that is an "island" with streets around it
The Fluvial Block: A new sort of city-block which has the "Fluvial Narrative/Arrow of Time running through it.
The Handy-Square: An isola-block with shops and workshops under a garden with houses and apartments above.
The Constant City: A city, often a city-quarter, that is always the same and gets better with each re-building.
The above has also been suggested as a more successful means to "Winning the Peace" than filling a conquered city with "Tee"-walls!
It is the very use of both the JOA "Sixth Order" and its employment to supercharge the "Cargo of the Entablatura/Raft of Reason" which proved that not only were the deracinated planar rhetorics of 'Modernismo' incapable of a similar level of 'empowerment' but, in so 'losing the competition' it rendered the whole of the huge and hubristic ambition of post-WWII Modernism a patent failure and a stupendous waste of resources - without even going-on to JUDGE its cruel suppression of the ontic dimension of human needs and desires.
DIVERSITY, IDENTITY AND GLOBALISATION.
It may appeal to some of Archergon's Clients that instituting the equipment this movement requires will serve to preserve, augment and develop any person, institution of culture threatened by erasure by the 'mediated' powers of Globaised Consumerism. The symbolic landscape of the Archergon will allow the ideas and the rites of its User to be reified as a 'state of Being'. A life lived within this Arendtian "space of appearances" will be able, in so far as it is enlarged to encompass more and more of 'ordinary life', to achieve the 'authenticity' of a Life of Meaning. There are many goods to be derived from globalisation. But the erasure of distinct cultures is not one of them. The powerful and proven techniques of the Archergon can serve, here, and without seeking any cult of deliberate isolation, to defend and reinforce 'difference'. After all, what is more powerful than total immersion in a landscape of symbolised ideas in forms suited to the epiphanic force of a physical empathy?
The first conversation at any consultancy is always free. The Global Ontic Consultancy is no exception.
An appointment can be made by e-mail to email@example.com, or by calling +44(0)2072624862 or writing to
44 Connaught Square,
Anyone interested in the ideas that animate the Archergon Consultancy may consult the web-site of the War of the Arts of Peace and that of the Sixth Order and read some of the material there. It may be of assistance in guiding the direction of the Consultancy conversations! I can offer no other guide to a prospective Client except their own understandings and feelings, combined with their attitude to the present life-space.
If it is to seek a positive response then the Archergon can help. For there is no other fully theorised and practised recourse. There is, in short, no other Modernism that accepts and builds upon the shoulders of the preceding 9,000 years of our Medium, the "Paradigmatic Medium of Civilisation". A Client will meet, elsewhere, no-one except the Nihilists (aka. the Minimalists), the Deconstructivists, the Punks (aka. the Post-Modernists), the High-Technophiliacs, the Back-to-the-Beginningists (aka. the Brutalists), the Neo-Classicists and maybe even some others of the fagged-out Architectural Zombies who stumble about in the Ruins of the Modernism they all betrayed.
If , conversely, it to accept and exploit these desolations, then pass-on in peace, the Archergon has nothing to offer.
* Anything written on a JOA web-site is a mere sketch. The only coherent and complete version of my ideas is contained in the 1,000 pages and three volumes of the "44 Lectures" which constitute the principal study-materials of the 'JOA' of John Outram's Academe that form the substance of the Course titled "The War of the Arts of Peace".