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Meditations On The Metaphysics Of The (Extra)Ordinary Brick, Gregory S. Palermo May 1994

Meditations On The Metaphysics Of The (Extra)Ordinary Brick, Gregory S. Palermo

Architecture Conference Proceedings and Presentations

This paper considers brick -- (extra)ordinary brick -- and its metaphysics. How can a brick, a material object, have a metaphysics? The singular 'brick' is arguably the most ubiquitous of construction materials, modest in its earth and fire roots, fitted to the hand, a utilitarian artifact habitually assembled into a myriad of constructions. Yet embedded, presupposed, potentially, within each brick are: a technological society with labor organization; conceptions of fabricating structure, skin, and illusion; temporality; and the creation of place, transparency, and motion. Louis I. Kahn, when discussing architectural materials, specifically brick and arches, speaks in Platonic terms of material construction ...