|Publisher version (open access)||818 KB||Adobe Acrobat PDF||View/Open
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/35441
- Symbols of evolution, signs of regression: Mies and the politics of geometry
Ostwald, Michael J.
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, School of Architecture and Built Environment
- The architecture of Mies van der Rohe, from its early crystalline forms to its later more orthogonal compositions, has been the site of a range of conflicting interpretations. At the center of several of these debates has been the question of whether Mies's use of geometry represents an enlightened or progressive approach to society, or whether it is simply a sign of cultural regression and the failure of Rationalist thought, Curiously, in many of these debates, Mies's architecture has become secondary to the way in which geometry can be deployed for political purposes. This paper looks at one such proposition about Mies and geometry from the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, and the political purpose of this argument which is the suggestion that Euclidean geometry is unnatural and regressive. The focus of this paper is mathematical interpretations of architecture and geometry. Specifically, this paper examines the structure and basis for Mandelbrot's argument drawing conclusions about the way in which geometry may be deployed for political purposes and is also particularly open to such operations. In this way the paper supports Robin Evan's assertions about appropriated geometry and the naïve assumption that it is theoretically inert.
- Progress / SAHANZ 03: 20th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand. Progress: the Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (Sydney 3-5 October, 2003) p. 226-231
- Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
Mies van der Rohe;
- Resource Type
- conference paper
- Full Text