Blurred Zones: Investigations of the Interstitial : Eisenman Architects, 1988-1998
Andrew E. Benjamin
Monacelli Press, 2003 - Architecture - 334 pages
In the late 1980s, the New York-based office Eisenman Architects, led by architect and educator Peter Eisenman, shifted from an investigation of "artificial excavations" as an architectural tool to a conscious pursuit of a concept he called "blurring." Blurring is not a visual effect but rather deals with affect, that is, a strategy for exploring a mind/body relationship in architecture that displaces the conventional or expected experience of space. Blurring has many different definitions -- the between, the interstitial -- and takes many different forms in the work.
"Blurred Zones: Investigations of the Interstitial" presents seventeen design projects, both built and unbuilt, and twelve essays that attempt to illuminate and illustrate the conceptual activity of blurring. The work from this period begins in 1988, with a project for the Guardiola House in Cadiz, Spain, and continues until 1998, with the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. Also shown in this monograph, with photographs and Eisenman's signature drawings, are the Aronoff Center for Design and Art at the University of Cincinnati and the Greater Columbus Convention Center, both in Ohio; the Nunotani Headquarters Building in Tokyo; the Max Reinhardt Haus in Berlin; and the entry for the Church for the Year 2000 competition in Rome.
Complementing the design projects are texts by critics: philosopher Andrew Benjamin, "ANY" magazine editor Cynthia Davidson, teacher and editor Luis Fernandez-Galiano, architectural historian K. Michael Hays, literary critic Fredric Jameson, architect and teacher Franco Purini, and philosopher John Rajchman. Eisenman himself has written a series of essays on blurring, the interstitial, and undecidability, bringing together the preoccupations of his two roles: architect and theoretician.
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