Architecture’s Struggle With Control: A Discussion About “Frankfurt Kitchen” And “Food Dispenser” Projects



It would be inadequate to understand Modern Architecture without mentioning the term “control”. The epistemology of scientific thinking pointed out establishing a systematic form of knowledge for modern architecture by providing an opportunity to create a system of standards. In this paper, the relation between science and architecture is evaluated by questioning the issue of “control”. It wouldn’t be assertive to claim that the term “control” recast architecture’s reflex of anticipation, as the discipline’s eager of borrowing scientific methods from modernity installed a veiled meaning of this term to design methodologies. Employment of scientific methods marked a difference at that term concerning the concept of anticipation in its elaboration as an experiment in architecture. This paper designates the elements of “control” in design in “Frankfurt Kitchen” and “Food Dispenser” Projects with different prosperities, which represented two different approaches ideally and methodologically in how scientific way of thinking informed material and immaterial qualities of architecture. Margarette Schütte Lihotzky’s “Frankfurt Kitchen” project is considered here particular for evaluating architecture’s anticipation with control, of which she applied an innovative method for design. The lesser known “Food Dispenser” project of David Greene, on the other hand, was an embodiment of individual creation or an autonomous remark (declaration) in synthesising technology and architecture by taking discipline’s boundaries as a motive force. Although they represented different aspects of control (mechanisms) ideally and experientially in design, both projects were emancipative in reflecting the scientific guidance of “control” for the development of anticipative role of architecture. Concepts that support to read the control issue in these projects’ material and immaterial qualities. In terms of material qualities, the terminology that would help to read both projects is “modular/machine” and “fitted cabinet/fitted plug”; yet for the immaterial qualities that is “abstraction of movement-diagram/machine-plug collage”, “analytical thinking” and “human-labour/machine-labour”.

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