Reading 13 – Thompson

The forword to D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s On Growth and Form highlights the basic laws of the generation of form and the processes of growth. This is presented within the framework of organic nature, that which humans convey to be true and physical. Thompson grounds this matter with this qualifier: “No organic forms exist save such as are in conformity with physical and mathematical laws.” Thompson generally considers growth and form as products, ever evolving as they become influenced by a greater number of events. Thompson explains these changes in growth and form as a “diagram of forces,” which act upon the object. This is where I can draw the closest parallels to architecture as we consider diagrams to be explanatory tools, communicating the forces acting in the generation of the construction. Although, these forces act on architecture in ways that differ greatly from the evolution of organic forms. Because architecture is a capturing of the given time and space, forces acting upon it following its completion are inherently more advanced than the architect could have possible anticipated. Architecture may be best served to accept these forces in the most submissive way, allowing it to become a clear amalgamation rather than attempting to predict or fend off these forces. Architecture should be a receptacle where by the contemporary human ecology may imprint its forces to better communicate the existing condition rather than the architecture remaining static and imposing its established forces upon the growth and form of the occupant. Without this reception, architecture may see its usefulness decline and be reappropriated, requiring a whole new argument on adaptive reuse.


About jasonsedar

My final year of architecture school at the University of Calgary!
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