• Long in this book suggested a different reading of Loos, Frank, and Strnad’s spatial programs, (examining how they assembled rooms within a volume and the complex ways in which they connected these spaces.) “one that does not entirely replace the old one, but seeks to offer a significant amendment: that a core part of the spatial explorations of all three architects had to do not only with the design or configuration of spaces, but the ways in which the experience of space through movement might affect the viewer or inhabitant.” (xiii) Long was trying to demonstrate, through his descriptive discussion of the work by these three Viennese architects, the way in which their work conformed to the idea of Schmarsow. What mattered the most for Schmarsow was not the function of a space or the enclosing mass but its reality and how we “feel” it – the experience of space or our apprehension of it. The author tried to argue that for these early modern architects “architecture is about our subjective experience of space, about the ways in which we ‘grasp’ and inhabit it, and that, in turn, directly related to the process of forming it… Thus our experience is directly related to architectural design.”(7) I think what Long wasn’t able to say explicitly is that their design processes were not rational, as in the cause-effect relationship, but rather “irrational.” The basis for design is not any stylistic “given” but our direct sense of space, which in fact is a basic constituent in the history of our worldview.” I think this is an important insight that neither Forty nor Van de Ven (and Mitchell Schwarzer) was able to identify. But it is, in fact, one of my working premises.
Posted by:Liyang DING

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