Blog and online portfolio of Ian Pollard

Frail things in Eternal Places

Francis Yates' conjectural reconstruction of Giordano Bruno's Memory Wheel

The following is an edited extract from my M.Arch thesis, entitled Dialogues: Architecture’s Origin in Language

“Now if the ancient orators, wishing to place from day to day the parts of the speeches which they had to recite, confided them to frail places as frail things, it is right that we, wishing to store up eternally the eternal nature of all things which can be expressed in speech […] should assign them to eternal places”[1]
Giulio Camillo (1550)

If the exchange of ideas between architecture, the arts, and the sciences may be described as a trichotomy, it is certainly a complex, fascinating and relevant group of interactions to examine. And if this thesis is an attempt to extricate, firstly, a set of themes through which Architecture may be compared to language, and second, to investigate and question those themes, then it is within the subject of memory that we encounter a most difficult theme. Memory and language are interconnected, even interdependent. Theirs is an interaction studied in disciplines from cognitive neuroscience to philosophy, linguistics and literature. But how does memory, then, relate to architecture, if it does at all? In what ways does it relate? Does its relation exist in the exchange of metaphors or , alternatively, can architecture be a physical manifestation of memories? In the history of architecture memory has been understood, employed and denied in dramatically different ways.

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Filed under: Architecture, Writing

Thesis second attempt

Filed under: Architecture, Writing