UTS Bachelors of Architecture _ History and Theory : Critique by Beatrice Myatt
OPPOSITIONS or inadvertently Zero positions. A publication by the Institute for architecture and Urban studies IAUS; that portrayed the battle waged between two groups. 
The Whites - a groups of architects inspired by the modernist ideals upheld by Le Corbusier and Miss Van de Rohe. This groups of five consisting of: Peter Eisenman, Richard Meier, Charles Gwathmey, John Hedjuk and Michael Graves, presented their ideas of the autonomy and self reflective nature of architecture as a precursor under a document labelled the Five architects and presented at a MoMA exhibition in 1969. These ideas to bring the modernist wave back into main stream architecture were critiqued by the new avante garde architects. They becomes the processors of  morphogenetic architects pursuing autonomous tectonics.

The Greys - influenced by Robert Venturi including Jaquelin Robertson, Allan Greenberg, Robert Stern, Charles Moore and Rimaldo Giurgola centred around post modernism and the affect of history, pop culture and society on architecture. These architects released their own document titled “Five on Five” in 1973. The document explored the ideas of the Whites; questioning, probing, dismantling and at times agreeing to their paradigm. 

The mapping before you looks at this turbulent series of arguments and critiques through the metaphorical lens of a chess board. The character pieces as you can see in the booklets before you mirror the characteristics of each individual architect and their position. The pieces are fragmented by the significant works of their respective architects and are surrounded by the projects which linked them to their peers and those that chose to critique them. 

In summation, each architect and their position on the Greys Vs Whites issue are positioned before you and much like in the time of OPPOSITIONS, we as IAUS portray the ideas in a level ground. Open for the discovery and interjection of your personal idealism and critique.
Being the Founder of IAUS, strong supporter and adherent for the Whites modernist ideals, Eisenman can be seen as the figurehead of the argument. Hence portrayed as the “Queen” Eisenman is the protector of the White’s argument and insights the most dialogue and critique from the Grey’s.

Derrida is on the chess board is represented as a bishop. Being an intellectual, Derrida makes links through an understanding of the fundamentals of architecture and form. His dwellings into the idea of deconstructivism and fragmentation is what inspired others like Eisenman in their jarring and segmented geometries. 

Rowe is the writer of the Whites and his words are what allowed the ideas of the Whites to link back into architectural history emphasizing the main idea that architecture can me autonomous and self reflecting. Rowe’s depiction as a bishop highlights this ability to look back into the future dissecting the moves made by Corbusier. Rowe looks at things from a different perspective metaphorically distorting the planar grid to demonstrate its merit. 

Corbusier is characterised on the board as the Rook due to his understanding of forms as planar and what is often described as cardboard or paper archtiecture with spaces of divine geometery.

As well as Le Corbusier, Charles Gwathmey appears as the rook. His idealism and design consideration were aligned to that of the pure white planar way of thinking and hence his piece is a kinned to that of Meier and Corbusier. 

Meier is portrayed as the rook, due to a few contributing factors, the main factor is his close relation to the geometries, styles and concepts used by Corbusier. Meier’s buildings such as the Saltzman House and Smith House use similar logics of the functionalist movement creating geometric planes which shift and segment on a plane grid the second reason for his characterisation as the Rook.

Hejduk can be described as one of the Whites more concerened by user interaction and the influence of performance with a space. For Hejduk there is no boundary between theory and practice thus, a more organic and unpredicatble piece compared to the rest that portrayed to the Knight.

Frampton is signified by a pawn, relating as he is responding to the works of the five architects. Using the lens of the five, where he is using the same minimalist and purist principles that they are, trying to understand their works. Frampton states “they share a comparable ethos in their respective positions”. 

Graves was the white knight who then transformed into a grey advocate for the late wave postmodernist movement. Graves moved over during the age of late wave modernism along with Phillip Johnson as the idealism of the Grey’s started to interject themselves into the scene in New York and MoMA. Graves is a knight due to his change in outlook much like the Knight shifts in axis as it moves up the board.
Venturi’s depiction as the Queen on the board is indicative of his creation of the Grey’s postmodernist group and his overarching ideals which pose a direct counter to the “Less is More” ideal that IAUS and Whites architects had. Venturi is the Grey Kings main defence and is able to put into place and facilitate the counter arguments through the Five on Five publication and discussion within MoMA exhibitions.

Charles Moore is one of the Grey’s stronger postmodernist architects. His idealisms were built upon Venturi and saw his buildings take on forms symbolically representational of Brown and Venturi’s works. As a bishop Moore aligns with the rest of his Grey brethren and create clashing planes to the Whites challenging them on the lack of aesthetic to their buildings.

Greenburg within the writings of Five on Five shows his support for many of the architects on the Whites roster, his understanding of their forms and planar ideology is far more accepting than his peers of postmodernism. As a bishop Greenburg moves across the planar path of the whites once again creating that interjected and jarring conversation of questioning their ideologies. 

Another key debater in the Five on Five document, Giurgola is a strong believer in the practicality of a building and its ability to be distinguished in terms of function and usage. Giurgola creates an argument directly against the functionalist movement and its elementary understanding of society as a utopian user with a set standardised way of operating. 

One of the Grey’s more critical architectural minds, Stern is a master at dissecting the fallacies and dismantling arguments posed by the Whites which in his opinion are fragile and baseless. Stern’s main concern with the Whites arguments is their inability to consider the geometries influence on the usability and appropriateness of a space. Stern being a bishop demonstrates how he clashes with the planar and gridded understanding of architecture upheld by the Whites.

Greenburg within the writings of Five on Five shows his support for many of the architects on the Whites roster, his understanding of their forms and planar ideology is far more accepting than his peers of postmodernism. As a bishop Greenburg moves across the planar path of the whites once again creating that interjected and jarring conversation of questioning their ideologies. 

Ruscha was interested in the way architecture was explained by Venturi as one of two- The duck and the decorated shed. In the argument, Ruscha and Frampton have an argument of philosophical looks into history. Ruscha believes that history should be used through strong motifs and allusions. However his target, Frampton used the geometry of historic buildings and stripped them of the aesthetic, distorting and distilling them down to a basic boxed form mirroring its composition. 

Denis Scott Brown is a co-creator of the Complexity and Contradictions and professor of the Duck and Decorated Shed. Scott Brown was a smaller part in the larger scheme yet made significant moves to target certain candidates of the White’s side and is hence a pawn. 

A close friend and supporter of the Greys, Johnson was also a member of both sides of the field. He started as a Late wave modernist architect with his buildings demonstrating a kinship with Corbusier and his funcionalist ideals. These then shifted to a postmodern idealism along with Michael Graves.
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