Memorie dal Futuro: A Brief History of Architectural Time

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


For philosopher Raymond Ruyer, form is what an entity strives for; it is a longing for individuation. As such, form is sensational, in the manner that another philosopher, Gilbert Simondon defines sensation: grasping a direction and not an object. Moreover, the invention of a form, either through the power of architectural technicities or biological evolution, involves the resolution of a disparate tension between norms and values. Ruyer groups the two together by suggesting that we can understand them as directing essences. Consequently, the issue for Ruyer is to examine how these directing essences can have a direction in the first place: who chooses the direction invention takes and how? What qualifies this form over that?
To understand the directionality of novel forms, Ruyer claims that their direction is determined by a mnemic theme. However, he will claim that this theme does not come from the past. It is a mnemic theme of the future and, crucially, it has no privileged subject that embodies it. In this, Ruyer is clearly influenced by philosopher Henri Bergson: memory becomes another term for the virtual — the realm of potentials — and the mnemic theme is a virtual theme. In examining an architectural memory of the future, this paper will bring together Ruyer, Simondon and Bergson by claiming that while architecture is possible due to a virtual mnemic theme, simultaneously it is able to radically modulate that theme and allow for a space that is not-here and not-yet to determine our present — and our past.
Period18 Jun 2022
Event titleThe Place of Memory and Memory of Place
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational