Antonino Saggio  I Quaderni


Penezic & Rogina Some ideas in perspective

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Presentation of the book "Penezic&Rogina, digitalizzazione della realtà" It revolution in Architecture, Edilstampa Rome 2007. at Association of Architects of Croatia DAZ, present Author Nigel Whiteley, Antonino Saggio, Paola Cicconella, Sasa Randic, Sasa Begovic, Vinko Penezic & Kresmir Rogina.




Digitalization of reality

  From the conclusion of text Nigel Whiteley:

....... A parallel point is made by Kengo Kuma in a short essay about the architects' work written for their "Architecture in the Digital Era" exhibit in 2003, and reprinted in Reality Check : "What is characteristic about the way Penezi? & Rogina have responded to IT is that their discontinuities have become even more pronounced, and that their works have become even more fragmented."    Kuma views this in a very positive light, because

"Ordinary architects and designers try to respond to IT by using designs that embody an even greater element of continuity. This trend is particularly manifest with American architects [who] start with a rough and discontinuous item, forcibly smooth it out, and cover it with a continuous curved surface.    IT has made things like this possible.    A complex, rough surface that is made with numerous undulations is the faddish 'new form' of American design."  

This is obviously beneficial in terms of branding and marketing, but is deficient in terms of variety and heterogeneity.    Kuma argues that Penezi? & Rogina are

"...doggedly pursuing discontinuity.    They continue to break up-even atomize-objects that were previously connected.    Even before IT prevailed, they had this tendency to fragment items.    I get the impression that this tendency is escalating, not waning, because of IT.    Their particles' edges are becoming ever sharper and more strongly delineated, in stark contrast to the smoothing technique used in contemporary American designs."

   For Kuma, Penezi? & Rogina have a profound understanding of the IT age and its implications: "If the basis of IT is digitization-breaking down the world into fine particles, calculating them and analyzing them - then the process of breaking things down into particles which characterizes Penezi? & Rogina's work perhaps more accurately represents their grasp of what IT essentially is."    Kuma sees political implications here: "The current American-style trend looks new from the outside. However, it is new only as a fashion in terms of form. Hidden in the background is a 19th century-style hegemony that believes the world must be made, by the use of force, into a single domain. On the other hand, Penezi? & Rogina's fragmented designs symbolize a strong will to democratize the world in the truest sense and to liberate it."    He concludes that "One look at their works is enough to convince me that the worries about IT creating a homogenized world are groundless."

   Penezi? & Rogina are committed to IT, but not an homogenised architecture of IT.    They are enthusiasts rather than evangelists - IT will always be a means rather than an end for them.    As they put it in their "Millennium Lament": "architects should enter the hidden chambers of the microcosm of everyday life.    Whatever they come up with it still has to have a body, but its soul has to change from the transcendental sphere to reality.  Both the virtual and the ritual part of environmental events in synthesis should substitute the common in-between-heaven-and-earth-physical-structure-buried-with-equipment." They have achieved this level of accomplishment because of their enthusiasm for both IT and the potential of new technologies, and "making architecture" with its concomitant demands about the quality of space, materials, organisation, function and image.    Earlier phases of influence and absorption in their output are being superseded by a maturity and richness that is characterised by an authenticity, integrity, inventiveness and creative intelligence which promises much for the future.  

  (Nigel Whiteley, Penezic&Rogina, Edilstampa, Rome pp. 87-88)


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