(W 4) Power of structural determinism

L’École des beaux arts between France and the US created value for architects in New York. Some may argue that the wealthy that were able to acquire such education abroad in France remained inclusive within their domain but from my observation these scholars created necessary contrast between civil engineers and architects. To elaborate on this fact my procedure is to unpack the physical and spatial conditions of Felix Duban’s école des beaux arts.

Within the depths of this space one may identify two different corners creating a closure of the academic space, however I see a space of conversation created by the limiting factors of that specific area. Furthermore, the windows and the sitting structures on the centred sculpture allows everyone unable to join that conversation to be witnesses of these collaborations and organic vocal exchanges. Additionally to these observations, the building on the left is built to a higher ceiling creating a disproportionately larger space of shadow on the ground space stimulating a specific pattern of traffic as individuals pursue their education. These patterns of traffic only added to these spaces of communications that remained fruitful to the student body and some may refer to this as Thomaï did “Structural determinism”, the natural distribution of attributes in that environment.

These outcomes of such educational facilities may reflect the strength of architecture’s pedagogical foundation as we observe the contrasts between the engineers and the architects going back to New York. Manhattan became a niche and a common ground for architects to allow cultural values into the fundamental structures engineers had been following prior to this foreign knowledge. Others could also argue that these interactions created a greater sense of diversity based on a diverse set of educated professionals. Beyond the predictable constraints present in any infrastructure project isn’t it the sense of inclusion created by a diverse set of creatives that matters more than the preconceived notion of a one-dimensional perspective?




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