Architecture manifests its synthetic discipline by reinterpreting plastic relationships in the society. The process of expressing complicated and organic data in society requires endless repetition of architectural experiments. This results in architectural innovation related to shape, structure, or materials used for building.
The city of Chicago, where Somol is working as a director of school of architecture in UIC, is an example, which clearly shows architecture's synthetic discipline. Chicago operates as a city-making machine, suggesting new approach to the organization of urban discipline. In Chicago, each landmark acts as a pivot to express personality of a small urban boundary. Here, new urban cluster is created from the interaction between different types of urban clusters. This approach to expansion of cities is totally different from the one of other old cities such as Paris, London, or Seoul. This approach has an efficient central point in its composition, so it is hard to expose modern city's synthetic and organic characteristics.
Elaboration and organic subdivision of Chicago represents commercialism and plastic relationship in modern society and is a good way to maximize the potential of city for realizing architectural innovation. Somol says, “A forty-year history of refuting architectural potentiality has made the world a poorer place, one that inhibits the ability to develop alternative ways of associating with others, managing material and ecological flows, and organizing the spaces and stuff of our various passions and pleasures.” Endless repetition of architectural experiments aimed to express the diversity and changeability of current society can make our world more beautiful and richer. It can suggest new aim for futuristic architecture.
The repletion of forms also takes pace due to repetition of architectural experiments. Somol discusses dots in order to show patterns and other effects that contribute to the magnificent architectural development of Chicago. Due to repetitions, architects were able not only to come up with diverse uses of dots, but they also came up with ways of enhancing them. The phrase “green dots” emphasizes utterance and performance effects elaborated by Somol through Austin (Somol, 2006). One can only do green dots because he/she cannot explain them. In this statement the relationship between architecture and society manifests itself. The indication of performance task in utterance identifies the need for communication in architecture. Because of a need to interconnect the two entities, figuration, decoration, notation, and articulation made subsequent modernism architecturally significant.
As stated earlier, Chicago is a good example of the above representation. Figurations and decorations act as performatives, while notation and articulation serve as constative descriptions. Chicago is a city, which is influenced by various cultural backgrounds (Somol, 2006). While some buildings serve as predictors of what to expect in the future in terms of architectural development, other buildings and landscapes constantly remind people in the city about their origins. To be precise, an architect can design a building in a way that reminds people around about their culture. Furthermore, he/she can use articulation to create the future in the present. Just like using green dots to emphasize some aspects of piece of art, figuration and decoration embrace arbitrariness and convention as means of taking pleasure in artifice and ersatz. This emphasizes content or message rather than format medium.
Today, architectural education seems to operate where public university system (one crisis) and the profession (another crisis) meet. Both parties respond to each other in one way or another. The profession responds by asserting responsibility and relevant virtues as it grips additional cost-efficient product delivery models. On the other hand, universities respond by using other tactics. Recently, these institutions responded by disintegrating their earlier dedication to education in liberal arts, while offering compensatory calls for interdisciplinarity (Smol, 2006). Such scenarios show that there is a conflict in an institution within an institution. Architecture in education is a social affair. Similarly, architecture as a profession is another social affair.
As it was claimed earlier, the city of Chicago stands for a number of things that may occur as monumental or destructive. By changing the course of a river to turning water into real estate, habitats of Chicago tend to indicate that their main interest is experimenting rather than preserving monuments. In order to create a balance between areas of possible extreme, architectural institutions such as University of Illinois in Chicago continue to looking for ways of mitigating differences between education and the profession. These are significant aspects of a social perspective. Such terms as “thinking locally and acting globally” continue to propel people of Chicago to doing exploits in as far as architecture prevails. However, checks and balances put forth by learning institutions, professional bodies, and other architects prevent those taking part in the field from moving to one extreme.
In an essay titled “Perspecta” by Hays, the author explains that “architecture stands in the critical position between being a cultural product and a discreet autonomous discipline” (Somol & Whiting, 2002). Hays implied that important architecture functioned in his advantaged “between” position. However, this implication has been recently reconsidered. The authors of “Perspecta 33” explain that all architecture is currently occupying a de facto vital category. In other words, an outstanding practice is currently an everyday act. Such transformations in discipline continue to dissolve in the criticality project (Somol & Whiting, 2002). It is no longer something that is predicted, but rather something that one can anticipate.
Form and culture play significant roles in establishing a position and integrating the reinterpretation of plastic relationship in the society. The alternatives of form and culture include avant-garde and kitsch (C. Greenberg), phenomenal and literal (C. Rowe), art and objecthood (M. Fried), and design and capitalist development (M. Tafuri). Tafuri and Rowe claim that “there is a requisite assumption of contradiction or ambiguity, regardless of whether it is subsumed or sublated (dialectical materialism) or balanced (liberal formalism)” (Somol & Whiting, 2002). In other words, the representation of architectural pieces should not only be clear from architecture’s perspective, but they should also be significant from a social angle. This should not only occur in the scenario where a building is good enough for the owner to like it, but rather where a building will make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
It is crucial to consider some concerns brought up in urbanism and architecture. A campus such as UIC presents plastic possibilities of urban design and architecture. “The campus simultaneously occupies the idealized civic center of the 1909 plan, the built reality of postwar disurbanism in the form of the circle interchange, and the thickened field of Walter Netsch’s misunderstood and ultimately abandoned campus [plan, including his Arts and architecture Building which houses the School” (College of Architecture and Arts, 2012). In addition, main institutions such as schools should implement rigor and discipline values.
In discussing functionalism, Eisenman initiated cultural response. However, parties should recognize the influence of culture. Socio-economic factions, individual nature, and social entities have a significant impact on functionality of a surrounding environment. Although cultural functionality brings form, there is an element of functionality that is friendly to culture. Such architectural works as “Architerrura Razional” and “Ecole des Beaux Arts” evidently show that architecture can include form and function in different ways, but they also introduce function and type as the unchanged definition of architecture (Somol, 2006).
In responding to the work of Sherman, Somol compliments him for his view on the development of city’s shape and for the expansion of city’s minimum, common increase. These were possible due to the negotiations of property stakeholders in the face of history and careful planning, which is more satisfactory. Game theory best explains private intersections and interests o the public. Through such scenarios, architects develop a different logic of composition in architecture. From another angle of a famous architecture critic Kipnis, people should be ready to embrace advanced and modern forms of technologies. For example, Mies Rohe changed the world of architecture by coming up with glass curtained walls. Even after harsh criticisms from the society and from those in profession, his ideas and influence made an impact in the world of architecture.
Architecture manifests its synthetic discipline by reinterpreting plastic relationships in the society. The world of art and social arena continue to find ways that prevent each party from going to the extreme. While it is important to maintain the cultural aspect of people, it is also important to explore this area as deeply as possible. The repetition is only put in place in order to make emphasis, just like the way dots are effective when repeated on a surface.