On-line version ISSN 0717-6996
ARQ (Santiago) no.80 Santiago Apr. 2012
ARQ, n. 80 Representations, Santiago, April 2012, p. 10.
Patricio Mardones H. *
* Ediciones ARQ Editor in Chief, Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Estudios Urbanos, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
In an attempt to compile, connect and publish a collection of perspectives on one of the architectonic discipline's most important aspects – representation, this 80th edition of ARQ magazine laterally approaches an issue central to architecture: the relationship between time and space. There is a permanent tension in architectonic practice to move forward, project and anticipate: anticipate uses and habits which must be given a home, anticipate relationships between preexisting and new buildings, anticipate how a structure is to age well and anticipate by visualizing a building that is yet to exist. The most obvious of operations, like the creation of instructions for new buildings using drawings and texts, involves the ability to anticipate an upcoming reality.
Moving over to the other end of the timeline, representations can also be linked to retrospective motives that tend to appear on calmer, more deliberate fronts: review of and reflection on the professional exercise itself, the creation of a register based on already existing architecture, study and research of plans, drawings, models and photographs that others have left behind or the creation and selection of images capable of communicating the agenda that informs a construction.
Given this tension between future and past, and unable to resist the temptation to simplify, one could say that professional architects tend to come together around the project in anticipation, while academics tend to concentrate on what reflection and curatorship have collected regarding that which already exists. Still, ARQ's editorial project wishes to affirm that architecture has the potential to reunite anticipation and retrospection; that, in fact, it can only exist at the point of overlap between these two forces.
Made for a client, for a builder, for public opinion, for a studied reader or one caught off guard, more or less pictorial, purely technical, bi-dimensional, tridimensional, even incorporating the latest animation and video techniques, representations occupy a critical place in the exchange and transfer processes that architecture stimulates. This edition is dedicated to representations and the impulses that they generate at both ends of the timeline spectrum.
The way in which something is represented directly indicates the cultural place from which architects considered the project. The result of this relationship, which reaches beyond the visual components, is not one bit innocent.