The Function of Style

This seminar is a continuation of the research on function initiated in past years.The function of ornament challenged the understanding of ornament as superficial and non-functional by approaching it through different types of depth – form, envelope structure, screen and surface – and sought to show how different built forms use depth in unique ways to construct ornaments that trigger novel affects which are abstract and lead to unmediated experience.The Function of Form challenged transcendental approaches to form whereby either objective or subjective concerns provide a-priori ideas for its generation. Form accordingly is representational and requires mediation to connect to culture and the environment. By approaching it as a transversal material system instead, form can generate novel spatial sensations and affects through the direct interaction of diverse concerns, allowing individuals to develop different types of subjectivity towards their environment. This semester we will investigate the function of style within the first decade of the 21st century. Architects during this period have pursued an unprecedentedly divergent range of sensibilities, yet their work has an discernable similarity: a simultaneous compulsion towards systemization and differentiation. The seminar will investigate these parallel conditions to speculate on the role of style in architecture today.We will discuss debates surrounding style which oscillate around a set of binary oppositions: style versus manner, rhetorical performance versus material performance, capricious invention versus systematic innovation, and authorship versus the canon.As with the previous research projects, the seminar will use a case study method and students will be required to participate in analysis through drawings throughout the semester.Please note: Farshid Moussavi will not be present at all course meetings. James Khamsi, Teaching Associate, will run the course when Professor Moussavi is not present. Dates when Farshid Moussavi will be at the GSD:January 20, 21, 22February 2, 3, 4February 16, 17, 18March 9, 10, 11March 23, 24, 25April 13, 14, 15