Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222747
Title: ARCHITECTURAL AMBIGUITY & SPATIAL EMANCIPATION: THE CONTEMPORARY AMBIGUITY OF JUNYA ISHIGAMI
Authors: CHONG KAILING ANNA-ELISABETH
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master (Architecture)
Tsuto Sakamoto
2013/2014 Aki DT
Issue Date: 5-Nov-2013
Citation: CHONG KAILING ANNA-ELISABETH (2013-11-05). ARCHITECTURAL AMBIGUITY & SPATIAL EMANCIPATION: THE CONTEMPORARY AMBIGUITY OF JUNYA ISHIGAMI. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: According to Robert Venturi1, the idea of ambiguity in architecture was first expressed in the works of mannerist architects of the early 17th century, Michael Angelo and Andrea Palladio being the most prominent among them, who advocated the breaking away from the stultifying order of renaissance architecture. The same concept was later revisited by the post-modern critics of utilitarian functionalism, Robert Venturi, Aldo van Eyck and Kisho Kurokawa being among the prominent architects in this group. Following the mannerists, Venturi also questioned the established stultifying architectural form of the day. Van Eyck and Kurokawa on the other hand, proposed the idea of relativism and twin-phenomena, being influenced by the avant-garde movement in art. Today the concept of ambiguity is revisited again by Japanese architects like Junya Ishigami. While seemingly contradicting van Eyck by eliminating fixed boundaries and thereby making ambivalent ‘in-between spaces’ irrelevant, Ishigami is also like van Eyck, as he also varies boundaries to create ambiguous space. Unlike van Eyck, he introduces structures with functional symbolism, like in nature, to vary boundaries and thereby increase the expanse of space and functional possibilities for the user, much beyond the flexible ambiguity of van Eyck’s ‘in-between spaces’. Unlike the mannerists and the critics of utilitarian functionalism, Ishigami believes that ambiguity should take on the properties of nature and natural phenomena. This research paper seeks to understand and explain the contemporary concept of ambiguity in architecture, as propounded and practiced by Ishigami. In this context, it seeks also to examine his ideas of ambiguity in the light of the ideas of ambiguity in architectural history and theory. By highlighting the significance of spatial and functional ambiguity in the contemporary context, this paper attempts to show how ambiguous architecture may lead to spatial emancipation; allowing users to exercise their own creative and imaginative capacities in realizing the spaces they live in. As Lefebvre said, such architecture would serve as a “tool of thought and of action”.2
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222747
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