Abstract / Description of output
The Useful -as a fundamentally abstract quality- is at the very core of architectural discourse. It has historically been rooted as both a goal and a tool for the validation of any design output since it was conceptually articulated as part of Vitruvius`s triad Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas. This paper discusses how this quality has in fact evolved into both a symbol and a tool for the spatial enforcement of hierarchical, accumulative orders –both in aesthetic and in social terms-. Furthermore, it studies the implications of alternative modes of design practice in which the articulating mechanism of the useful has been deliberately suspended. As a result, a number of critical tools, aimed at subverting the mainstream architectural modes of inquiry, are put forward. These tools promote actions that open themselves up to sensibilities transcending the closed discourse of a purely productive design ethos, thus offering and opportunity to broaden the gamut of the operative social discourse of architecture, and conveying a vision of design that drops accumulation in favour of inclusiveness.
|Translated title of the contribution
|The limits of the Useful
|Pasajes de Arquitectura y Crítica
|Published - 31 Jan 2012