Architecture’s Allagmatics: Data does not equal information

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a workshop, seminar, course or other meeting


The lecture will draw on the anti-substantivist and anti-hylomorphic legacy of two French philosophers of the late 20th century: Raymond Ruyer and Gilbert Simondon. Ruyer vehemently opposed the logic of mechanicism and concurred with Alfred North Whitehead who famously dismissed the possibility of ‘simple location’ – a bias in favour of the tangible and self-presence. His masterpiece Neofinalism, which is not yet fully appreciated in architectural circles, is to be read as a challenge to the hegemony of step-by-step causation and partes-extra-partes logic. According to Ruyer, the non-locality is the key, not only to the question of subjectivity, but to the problem of life itself. Simondon too shies away from the metaphysics of presence. For him, the process of individuation cannot be grasped on the basis of the fully formed individual. In other words, the knowledge of individuation is the individuation of knowledge. Simondon’s highest ambition was to integrate culture and technics. The conviction that culture need not be antagonistic to technology is particularly pertinent to architecture. Simondon opposed structuralism with the theory of operations that he named allagmatics. The transition from operation to structure is not systematic but system-making. Structures are, per definition, balanced, while thinking ought to venture beyond the given. Consequently, intelligence may be defined by the capacity to insert an interval between the cause and effect – a margin of indetermination related to the non-entailment of open systems.
Period29 Apr 2021
Event titleDATAPOLIS 21 Lecture Series: Complex Projects Design and Research Studio
Event typeCourse
LocationDelft, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational