«CSAAR (7: 2010: Amman) Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development \ Edited by Steffen Lehmann, Husam Al Waer, Jamal AI-Qawasmi. Amman: The Center ...»
(Leach, 2006, pp. 244-245) He presents camouflage theory as providing a "sense of belonging in a society where the hegemony of traditional structures belonging has begun to break down." (Leach, 2006, p. 245) However, camouflage still works through image production; whereas in the traditional structures architecture is involved in what is more than mimetic relation. Traditional neighbourhoods give infonnation that can be structured as a worldview through which individuals can differentiate their identities, without which the person can easily slip into alienation. No three dimensional images within any camouflage perspective can provide such a worldview and, hence, a feeling of security.
For architecture to be successful, it does not need to sacrifice its cultural context and alienate its inhabitants. The impact of images, whether they are two or three dimensional, cannot in general go beyond the impact ofthe dwelling and its refreshing and secure appeal.
Sustainable Architecture and Urban 411 In addition, the emphasis on the process of activation of the place is important. For without giving the individual a chance to fee I the possibly positive outcome of the link with the space, slhe will not proceed in occupying it in such a way that will turn it into aseeure personal horizon. As such, repetition of some details of the older environment becomes important to make possible such link and initial feelings ofsecurity.
All architecture can be viewed as processes in the making, which starts wirh a brief and will continue as long as the building exists. So, architecture is in a sense an invitation for people to interact with their environment and to enhance their identification and becoming processes. This is why cultural context is important to architecture and is what renders dangerous to the stability of the society the thinking through media-commerce promoted iconic architecture without allowing the community to mark such iconicity on its own terms and required time.
3 The Importance of the Present Architecture should defend its context instead of challenging i1. However, if challenge i8 an imperative in the project it will not necessarily mean taking an offensive strategy against existing cultural horizon. Architecture cannot be only about what is next, but also shou!d be about what exists. If the new project seeks newness despite the context, it will mean that it has already assumed the death of the present. While a more balanced response would be to let the present live whilst at the same time giving a chance for an alternative that can be the 'other' within the existing culturallanguage.
We grow in sociallife and cannot help but be socia! creatures. We grow with others to be a piece in others. So, when architecture affirms the importance of the present urban fabric it will harmonize it, but when it seeks difference it will contradict it, as in famous iconic architecture, which tends to undermine relations with the present in the name of invention and a better future outlook. Such a type seeks to start new conditions, and to avoid the present dilemmas of architecture by promoting new aesthetics; as if all the dilemmas have emerged from architecture's aesthetics.
The architecture of images avoids the real and the present by pointing to the future. But how can a future be without its present? The only way is to import different present conditions, which at this time cannot be other than global generic assumed conditions, to frame the context of the project and based on the assumption that current celebrity architects are promoting.
Importing present conditions from elsewhere can mean two things: either ignoring or dismantling the current urban context despite its current identity, or aiming at constructing a new identity where the current one does not measure up to the aspiration of its people. However, no new identity can be constructed without any link to the present identity formation process, and when an identity i8 constructed, it should not be easy for others to dismantle it nor will it be easy Faida Noori Salim for its people to search for alternatives without falling under the threat of alienation.
One mayaiso argue that the present is always in tlux as in the state of becoming, which is true to a certain extent. But, there is no becoming without being, and for all practical purposes, the present is continuous, as all buildings continue to exist for some time. On the other hand, only natural and manmade disasters can change habits, beliefs and social systems, and iconic architecture is not an outcome of such drastic changes. It is an outcome of peace and luxury, and its message of change is not affordable any more, as the recent financial crisis, and the logic of sustainability that is against luxury and overconsumption, tell uso We are at war with time over the avoidance of further environmental disasters. Architeeture cannot go on in seareh only for the sustainability that is environmental and ignore the by-produets that ean affeet the sustainability of resourees and of existing eultures. It cannot afford a role in destabilizing the existing social fabric by encouraging the fragmentation of the urban fabrie. To this effect, arehitecture and urban design should consider themselves in astate of crisis, and at war with the perception that the architectural aesthetic is their contribution to culture and sodal collective identity; at war with the perception that arehitecture is about ideas; at war with the immersion of arehitecture into theory to the extent that teachers of arehiteeture will let an artistic sketch pass as an architectural project because of its possible outcome in accordance with their own personal imagination and not necessarily with that of the student.
So, the perfeet murder, which for Baudrillard is the murder ofthe real by the new technology, is a kind of unwanted utopia that cannot and should not be allowed to happen. Architecture in particular cannot be other than real if we relax the grip of its postmodern theory. So it is in the interests of the profession that the present as real be the focus of our attention. All regulations, codes, and laws assurne a stable present. Without such a responsible present (state of being), no court of justice can function. So there is no point in exaggerating the impact of the promised change to agiobai culture aside from what the national and/or collective identity can absorb, because such exaggeration will destabilize the existing sodal and political system.
Correction of urban form in the name of inventiveness and the shedding of a new light on the present context is desirable but not to the extent of promoting complexity and contradiction without harmony. People need to fathom the built environment. They need to live in harmony as much as they need change, and that ean only happen in time and with familiarity. It is diffieult to see how individuals ean feel secure when the image presented in their urban buHt form says something else. Why is it necessary to impose the concept of singularity on architeeture? The articulate individual of the democratic society cannot live as a case of singularity. Slhe can be singular only within a society, of which he/she is apart. Thus singularity should be about the particular. Being different in democratic society is not about fragmentation.
Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development 413 4 Iconic Architecture and Sacrifice Some iconic architecture defies the need for limits, and specifically the need for limiting change. All stable communities impose such limits for obvious reasons, why then doesn't architecture impose limits on its attempt to change and bring in the new. The new postmodern architecture that Philip Johnson started with his AT&T building in New York (Jencks, 2005) has brought with it a greater contribution to energy consumption: "In New York, almost 80 percent of C02 emissions come from heating, cooling and providing electricity to buildings."
(Reportingtheworldover, 2010) If we can explain such energy consumption as the price that should be paid for creating a great city Iike New York, then we should be prepared to sacrifice more when other cities will like to compete with such global visual and cultural impact. But should we allow the sacrifice of nature for such man made creation?
Sacrifice is part of the rituals that most cultures practice when starting the eonstructing of a new building. For Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss, the building sacrifice aims to evoke some form of guardian spirit. (Hubert & Mauss, 1964, p. 65) Today this guardian spirit is born into the building through admiration and through the amount of belonging that it attracts, and the same can be said about cities.
Claude Levi-Strauss views "sacrifice as a meehanism of identifieation," (Leach, 2006, p. 194) because in the rituals of some cultures sacrifiee aims at establishing a relation with God to protect the place to whieh the sacrifice is made. However, considering the rationale of sustainability, in the current competition between eities to gain the global status or to promote attractiveness to tourists, nature and resourees are beeoming the saerifiee, thus entailing the destruction of nature.
For Bataille, "sacrifice restores to the sacred world that which servile use has degraded, rendered profane. Servile use has made a thing (an object) of that which, in a deep sense, is of the same nature as the subject, is in a relation of intimate partieipation with the subject." (Bataille, 1988, p.55) Aeeording to this understanding then, our sacrifice of nature is a matter of sacrificing our human nature for the benefit of the profane object. As Leach puts it, "the purpose of sacrifiee is not necessarily to kill but, rat her, to surrender and give up." (Leaeh, 2006, p. 198) However, one hopes that such sacrifiee will not confuse the present collective identities and results in the destabilization of the present.
Moreover, sacrifice for those who believe in God is a constant reminder of the limited time and power of all creations and that it is only the absolute spirit that continues to live. As Bataille notes, "it is always the purpose of sacrifice to give destruction its due, to save the rest from a mortal danger of contagion."
(Bataille, 1988, p. 59) Girard says, "Christ dies not as a sacrifice, but in order that there be no more sacrifices."(Girard, 2008) Aeeording to his Mimetic Theory, all religions aim at ridding communities from such violence, through the mechanism of sacrifice.
Faida Noori Salim All previous styles of architecture grew through their social and cultural context in a long process of differentiation, but not without sacrifice. However, most iconic architecture has consumed more resources than expected, whether in the starting budget or later operation cost. The regulating principle for architects and elients should be that surrende ring to others is, also, living through others, without setting aside the differentiated self. (Girard, 2008) 5 Iconic Architecture and Violence Most contemporary iconic architecture stands as an edifice of violence. When a new architecture is initiated by a building that means either there was no order previously or that the existing order needed to be sacrificed to channel these violent feelings towards the present urban form. It is difficult to deny the importance of iconicity in architecture, but such iconicity, as dictated by the architect and the elient, cannot, and should not, be received passively. Iconic architecture has to be received as an important addition that can be a source of aspiration to individuals involved. At the same time its iconicity should not defY its natural and built environment.