SNAFU –“SITUATION NORMAL ALL FUCKED UP”
“Lost in contemporary usage of the term, however, is the tension held in the original phrase between two seemingly incompatible conditions occurring simultaneously: “The normal and the fouled up. If something is normal every day, and ordered then how can it also be disordered, jumbled, and otherwise out of kilter?”
1) We are all familiar with the quote that “Form Follows Function” however Lewis imposes the idea of SNAFU into this logic and questions if we can change that to “Function fucks with form” Here “function is not reducible to form, and form is not the inevitable conclusion of programmatic dictates. Instead, a self-critical, imaginative, recombnative conception of function opens up a new territory for formal and spatial exploration.” What are the roadblocks we face as architects to experiment with this change in Logic?
2) Generic programs-stores, bars, apartments, office buildings, theatres – provide a rich ground for examination for these “dumb programs” possess recognizable architectural conditions. Because of how embedded Architecture is into economic and social systems we are tied to convention, discipline, and standards. How can we stop taking program and convention for granted and get out of the repetition?
3) Friedrich Nietzche stated “What is familiar is what we are used to; and what we are used to is most difficult to “know”-that is, to see as a problem; that is, to see as strange, as distant, as ‘outside us. Lewis continues by stating that “critical architecture challenges the familiar, is there a point where something is done consistently due to its programmatic success or is this due to complacency and laziness.
4) “Surrationalism is the self-conscious examination of the rational.” Architecture is an inherently surrationalist activity due to the manifestation of the self-conscious into a rational object. How the image is made material is through a highly ritualized act of the documentation process do agree that our current process is reduced to routine or is it an affective translation?
5) In the reading Lewis discussed the works of Keaton and his unorthodox yet logical solutions to ordinary problems in film. In his films Lewis plays with the balance between the expected and the illogical by taking the situation normal of going from one threshold to another and maintaining the act of closing the threshold behind you while fucking it up by changing the door into a fence. In order for this act to be believable the proper code or etiquette of shutting the door on the way out is maintained. How can this technique translate into Architecture and subvert the standard we have today?
6) With Architecture being a Surrationalist activity due to the translation between the self-conscious examination and the rational or built form how can Hybrid Drawings help to bridge the gap more effectively then our traditional process.