The study of the Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni allowed Eisenman to elaborate his own vision of Modernism, and at the same time, to interpret this architecture according to the lens of Chomsky’s grammar. In 1964 he was a founding member of CASE (Conference of Architects for the Study of the Environment) and in 1967 he founded and served as the director of the IAUS (Institute for Archite… Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Save 30% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. And, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche, one might say that there are no facts, only interpretations. In the 1960s he developed a theory of architecture antithetical to most modernist theory. Gianni Vattimo, Pier Aldo Rovatti, Il Pensiero Debole (milano: Feltrinelli, 1983), foreword. What Vattimo somehow described was the end of history: if Modernism based its own message on unitary narratives (religion and Marxism), post-modernism represented the crisis of such narratives: "there isn’t only one History; there are several images from the past proposed according to different points of view; and thinking that there is a comprehensive and supreme point of view, is a pure illusion." For this reason, when describing the heterogeneous articulation of Eisenman’s career, it is necessary to find a congruent model for dismantling the propagandistic apparatus built by the architect through the years, and at the same time to offer a clear interpretative framework. Peter Eisenman focused on the concepts of presentness and trace, Daniel Libeskind concentrated on the concept of absence, and Frank Gehry focused on binary oppositions and free play. In his early work he sought a purely “self–referential” architecture, a removal of all normative meaning from architectural form. Finally, a deconstructivist architect is not as free as a reader or a philosopher; not all that one can do or apply in language and philosophy can be done and applied in architecture. His differentiation between a deep and superficial structure would be the main reference for Eisenman’s discourse: the American architect in fact distinguished between superficial/sensorial aspects (colour, texture, shape, and so on), and deep aspects (frontality, compression, and disjunction). Because of these affiliations, Eisenman was alternately classified as a postmodernist, deconstructivist, and poststructuralist. In other words, architecture can be about itself. In 1967 he founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City, and from 1973 to 1982 he was editor of the institute’s publication, Oppositions, which was one of the foremost journals of architectural thought. Each of them has constituted the mutant epidermis of Eisenman’s theoretical corpus, based on philosophical references and provocative statements. Weak thought also contaminated other territories, from urbanism to cinematography; Michelangelo Antonioni or Andrei Tarkovsky, for example, constituted real examples of a weak narration, based on the distance between image and narration. By structuring this volume around the concept of form, Stefano Corbo links together Eisenman's architecture with his theory. ), the link with contemporary frames of thought (such as structuralism and post-structuralism) and by situating the major lines of thought in a broader historical and cultural perspective. Eisenman has always been deeply interested in the problem of form in architecture and has constantly challenged the classical concept of it. Jul 1, 2016 - Explore monce jo's board "Peter Eisenman", followed by 190 people on Pinterest. [1]. From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman argues that form is the sphere of mediation between our body, our inner world and the exterior world and, as such, it enables connections to be made between philosophy and architecture. ArchDaily 2008-2020. In Peter Eisenman’s professional activity, architectural criticism and theory have been integral with the production of built form. Architecture thus became for Eisenman a tool to reflect upon the instability of history. The nihilist suggestions offered by Vattimo and Jean François Lyotard, along with the textual interpretations of Jacques Derrida, led Eisenman to acknowledge that traditional metaphysical thought had been dissolved; God was dead and rationality just a tranquilizing myth. The American architect, Peter Eisenman (b 1932) has been responsible for “introducing European philosophical thought into the American architectural realm”. [1] Gianni Vattimo, Pier Aldo Rovatti, Il Pensiero Debole (milano: Feltrinelli, 1983), foreword, last accessed 21 July 2014. Thanks to his ability to connect with the cultural tendencies of the time, Eisenman has explored different territories: first, structuralism and Chomsky’s linguistic theory; successively, Derrida and Delueze’s post-structuralism, passing through the influence of Colin Rowe’s formalism, and his recent interest in the return to autonomy as theorized by Pier Vittorio Aureli. He tried to connect his own work with the cultural manifestations of the time: firstly under the influence of Colin Rowe and his formalist studies; secondly, by re-interpreting Chomsky’s linguistic theories; in the 80’s, by collaborating with Derrida and his de-constructivist … See more ideas about peter eisenman, architecture, peter. • The structure was incorporated into Eisenman’s grid to convey the module that created the interior spaces with a series of planes that slipped through each other. Visitors to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe can follow a labyrinth of pathways between the massive stone slabs. The adjective weak was also linked with the idea of truth, at the point in time when it lost all its traditional and reassuring characteristics. To approach the complexity of his discourse means dealing with form in all its declinations: formalism, de-composition, deconstruction, and weak form. After the slabs were in place, the cobblestone pathways were added. From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman, the world's most visited architecture website, © All rights reserved. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Beginning in the late 1960s, Eisenman’s ideas took form in a series of numbered houses—e.g., House I (1967–68) in Princeton, New Jersey, House II (1969–70) in Hardwick, Vermont, and House VI (1972–75) in Cornwall, Connecticut. The idea of weak thought transferred to architecture influenced the theoretical production of the 1980s. [2]. From his engagement with the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, Eisenman began to look at architecture as a text: a palimpsest open to multiple readings, whose real nature is indeterminate and unstable. Whereas this phase, defined by Eisenman as the diagrams of interiority, was characterized by the desire to find internal rules and mechanisms for the discipline without any contact with the exterior world, at the end of the 1970s pessimism about architecture and the mission of Modernism enveloped Eisenman: he gradually abandoned his interest in internal syntactic processes and replaced geometry, abstraction and self-referentiality with a recourse to external factors. Eisenman studied at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (B.A., 1955), Columbia University, New York City (M.S., 1960), and the University of Cambridge (M.A., 1962; Ph.D., 1963). Peter Eisenman was a notable American architect, renowned for his radical designs and architectural theories. Weak thought is thus certainly a metaphor and, to some extent a paradox … It points out a path, it indicates a direction of the route; it is a way that forks from the no matter how masked hegemonic rationality from which, nevertheless, we all know a definitive farewell is impossible. To venture into this complex tangle of different phases, projects or essays, implies the risk of becoming trapped in an undiversified accumulation of concepts. All of the different moments characterizing Eisenman’s trajectory imply different phases, different projects, different programmatic manifestos and, above all, an evolving notion of form. Eisenman's philosophy of architecture could not be more opposed to mine. You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Picture Source: arch daily, from the article “From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman” published in January 2015, courtesy of Stefano Corbo. The New York-based boutique design firm’s clients have ranged from the individual to the Federal Republic of Germany, from the State of Ohio to the Autonomous Community of Galicia in Spain to corporations in Japan, each with its own needs, financial constraints, and expectations. Against a globalizing model based on truth, unity, and totality, Vattimo, along with the philosopher Pier Aldo Rovatti, claimed the necessity for a philosophy that denied any kind of strong, definitive and universal solution: Rationality must de-potentiate itself, give way. His many books include Written into the Void: Selected Writings, 1990–2004 and Tracing Eisenman.Elisa Iturbe is cofounder of the firm Outside Development and a critic at the Yale School of Architecture and the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. Considered one of the New York Five, Eisenman is known for his writing and speaking about architecture as well as his designs, which have been called high modernist or deconstructive. Updates? Eisenman returned to the United States in 1963 to practice from an office in New York City and to teach as an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Princeton University. The aim of such organization is twofold: on the one hand, to overcome a close reading of Eisenman’s work based on a mere chronological and linear narrative; on the other, to avoid the de-composition of his discourse into several autonomous entities. In his designs he fragmented existing architectural models in a way that drew upon concepts from philosophy and linguistics, specifically the ideas of the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida and the linguist Noam Chomsky. Internationally acclaimed architect Peter Eisenman established his professional practice in 1980. In “From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman,” Stefano Corbo attempts to redress this balance, connecting themes in the design and the theory of the influential architect across the many stages of his 50-year career. From Formalism to Weak Form: The Architecture and Philosophy of Peter Eisenman argues that form is the sphere of mediation between our body, our inner world and the exterior world and, as such, it enables connections to be made between philosophy … Foucault’s notion of archaeology became one of the cornerstones of a weak architecture: archaeology implied superposition, discontinuity, folding and unfolding. Peter Eisenman, in full Peter David Eisenman, (born August 12, 1932, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.), American architect known for his radical designs and architectural theories. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. He is … Peter Eisenman’s main contribution to architecture as a discipline is that it can be detached from responding directly to a particular function. Peter Eisenman is founder and principal of Eisenman Architects and visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture. This early work, which some critics saw as nihilistic, earned him a place as one of the “New York Five,” along with future postmodernists Richard Meier and Michael Graves. Eisenman also returned to a lively debate among young professionals concerning the future of architecture, a debate in which he played a critical role. In Terragni, Eisenman also discovered that kind of formal exasperation that he had learnt from Paul Rudolph’s houses and Casa del Fascio represented his critique of the so-called metaphysics of the presence, the definition of which clearly derived from Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology (even though this text was not to be published until 1967, four years later than Eisenman’s doctoral thesis). Peter Eisenman: Theories and Practices: Language : English: Author, co-author : ... philosophy, science etc. Despite his significant impact on architecture through both built and theoretical works, most studies of Peter Eisenman's career focus on either one aspect or the other. At the same time Eisenman has always played a central role in influencing and manipulating the American architectural debate, due to his propagandistic activity, first with the IAUs (Institute for Architecture and Urban studies), and then with the magazine Oppositions. His later writings include Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963–1988 (2004), Peter Eisenman: Barefoot on White-Hot Walls (2005), edited by Peter Noever, and Written into the Void: Selected Writings 1990–2004 (2007). 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