Architecture As Human Geography
Stanley Saitowitz


Stanley Saitowitz In His Office

©Monica Pidgeon

The dissertation I did at the end of undergraduate school was on indeterminacy. I was interested in architecture which would set its occupants free. I wanted to dissolve walls. to erode symbols, to expose unconscious habit. I searched for form without cement. space without program, hoping to act without intention or imposition I thought of architecture as apparatus rather than object. telephone rather than conversation camera rather than photograph Through both the mind and the body, through both conception and perception. I am interested in architecture as a tool of transformation In terms of the mental. abstraction as the direction of liberation is as old as the Hebraic tradition which equates iconoclasm with idolatry. In terms of the physical. I want to eliminate walls. and search for openness. emptiness. absence. I am interested in space more than meaning. in experience more than objecthood in ceremony more than idolatry. I think about architecture as geography. matter evolving through forces without particular purpose. like tectonics of the earth. like geology. I‘make buildings by the construction of systems which allow design to grow through a generative process. one step removed from will. This puts them in the realm of nature's mode of operation. I use metaphor and miss-naming to set up a process of fusion I think less about architecture as art and visual. than architecture as cooking and happening. I make buildings by the assembly of ingredients through recipes. ’ I am interested in the electronic organic. in an architecture of movement and flux. of time and event. rather than object and monument. I am interested in the material that constructs the emptiness of space. I am interested in the invisible. Each project begins with desires and the site. I like to think about the site of architecture as the horizon. the crust of the earth. the edge between ground and sky. The act of architecture involves reading these two elements. matter and space. All material comes from the ground and we act on it and transform it and capture the ‘spirits from the sky.


House In The Transvaal, Outside Johannesburg

©Stanley Saitowitz

The first project is a house in the Transvaal outside Johannesburg in South Africa. Here I was interested in taking the contours which are the abstraction of the landscape that is the way that we actually describe Nature graphically, and peeling these contours up to form the shelter of the house, so that it quite literally describes this act of taking the ground and peeling it up and catching space which is what‘s inhabited as the house.

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