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RE-Existence and Identity

The architecture can be subject to resistance, resiliency or transcendence. If the resistance is the ability to withstand something, the resiliency the ability of take operates external, the transcendence, can define her/it as the evolution without memory of the preceding actions. There are laws written identitarie and others not writings, to which contemporary culture doesn't refer anymore; above all the historical city hands down still us laws and valid codes but daily consequential disattesis from the speed with which projects produce him, build and they consume buildings. If for a long time the city has represented a text for the continuous learning, through its histories, places, contexts, today, this text doesn't come bed anymore. You also finish less complexes than the identity, as it measures seriality, rule, character, typology, road alignment, polarity are circumvented in favor of leveling and globalizing, yet they have handed down to us an image of great value.

RE-Existence and Identity

Enrico Bascherini

Scuola di Ingegneria di Pisa, C.d.L. Edile Architettura


There is a before and after to everything, “Time has a direction, and an arrow flows from something towards something. In the vision of time, every repetition is banned, we deal only with single, individual, unrepeatable events ...” (Rossi, 1991).

What determines a passage between a thing and its transformation is the reaction of the existent to its change. In chemistry, this is called a reaction, and is the transformation of a primordial element into something else. Often the reaction is reversible, other times the change is such as to arrive at something quite opposite and unrecognizable. Like chemical elements, even architecture reacts to the actions it meets with flux. Architecture can be subject to resistance, resilience, or, indeed, transcendence. If resistance is the ability to resist something, and resilience the ability to introject external actions, we might define transcendence as the memory-less evolution of preceding actions.

In fact, resisting something means expressing the will to deny a change, that is, an intention to remain firmly rooted, to deny any interactions that might cause an imbalance to the pre-existing state. History regales us with fertile periods in which fragments of resistance have produced significant architectural phenomena. The Middle Ages was perhaps the moment when architectural phenomenology, without urbanity, first took root, then enduring for several centuries. If the Renaissance is to be understood as innovation, the following centuries can be said to have been constructed through a resilient attitude, and the results may be seen in terms of that constant and legible compositional arrow.

The 1900s were born transcendent, and only the trauma of the Second World War, a phenomenon entirely incomparable to other traumatic events, brought attitudes of resistance and resilience back to the fore. “Architectural neorealism” (Bascherini, 2013) is a vibrant confirmation of this.

The city has always changed and mutated its appearance, also, and above all, in relation to the urban capacity to accept the new. “It is normal for one époque to pass into another slowly. Cities are organisms that survive the cultures that generated them, producing themselves their own culture” (Ferlenga, 2015), and are thus definable as resilient. 

If resistance does not allow change, resilience, understood as the capacity to react to external forces, can certainly represent a more constructive attitude.

Resilient is that which does not win a priori, but whose results can be seen over a longer time scale. The theme of resilience accompanies more enduring moments, in terms of both political and social continuity, and the results, seen according to time scale, are constant and un-leaping.

Transcendence, the notion in which a form of existence is identified and cannot be traced back to the determinations of experience, is perhaps a stage, in the perspective of human construction, opposed to resistance.

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Ultimo aggiornamento: 19/10/2018 10:15

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