Forming Knowledge – On Architectural Knowledge and the Practice of its Production
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2007
How do we actually produce knowledge in the field of architecture and what kind of knowledge is it? According to Michel Foucault – and elaborated by Gilles Deleuze – all knowledge is about form; what we can have knowledge about has a form – or is given form in the production of knowledge. Architectural design gives form; it is about conceiving a unity from a set of contradictory requirements, factors or demands.
Architectural design, with its strong connection to social, economical, political factors, could by giving spatial form to existing but elusive forces of different kinds produce new knowledge – it can freeze, give form to diagrammatic conditions and plays of forces in specific situations – and also explore and generate knowledge about potentials and previously unseen possible paths of development.
This paper discusses – with the point of departure in the explorative architectural practices of FOA, MVRDV, Chora and François Roche – what architectural knowledge is and in what ways it could be possible to research and produce knowledge with the architectural project as focus. What is argued is that the knowledge produced in architecture could be of both a traditional, Royal, Mode 1 kind as well as of a nomadic, Mode 2 kind. Practices following processes in a context of application, as well as conscious reflections on the form and the formations of matter and texts that every architectural project produces are means to generate new knowledge.