Houses for Descartes: Grid Pattern as an Ambiguous Image in a Critique of Utopian Megastructures and Modernistic Uniformity

By Maciej Stasiowski.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 18, 2017 $US5.00

The case studies presented in this article—Superstudio’s "Continuous Monument" project, Stanley Kubrick’s film "2001: A Space Odyssey," and Francois Schuiten and Benoît Peeters’s "Fever in Urbicand" graphic novel—invite us to speculate on new, non-Euclidean forms that can (and have been) introduced into the discipline with the advent of CAD/CAM design, or, what Charles Jencks described as “architecture of complexity.” The text focuses on the history of a cultural form—being the grid, understood as a pattern—along with the process of attributing to it a new understanding of “architectural complexity,” evidenced by the examples ranging from film, comics, to drawings/photo montages. It aims at discovering an updated geometrical image, attempting to seize characteristics of mutability, transitiveness, and dynamics, thus expressing shifts in the discipline, as well as those in our worldview.

Keywords: Grid Plan, Utopia, Monumentality

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.9-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 18, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 579.558KB)).

Maciej Stasiowski

Doctoral Graduate, Institute of Audiovisual Arts, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland