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- 发布时间:2014-07-18 13:14
中文校对：阴倩雯、李天 / 英文翻译：Hou Laurent / 法文与英文校对：克洛伊 · 巴夯
Changing The City to Change Life
Changing the city to changelife. This was the very motto of the situationiststhat Claude Parent approved and adopted under the initiative of Paul Virilio.
Getting back to its ability to anticipate ahead and capable of creating a futurethat can deal with an ever-changing crisis situation， architecture should bethe engine for change. It should be the liberating act that could make manfeel the isolation his environment used to confine him in， take him out ofthe standardized way of life and passivity he used to be constrained to，and make him dream about a new reality， invent new social relationshipsemancipated from the habits of modern urbanism， facilitate encounters andmake communication more effective. For Claude Parent， architecture hasto bring revelations and play such a role of agent provocateur. Throughouthis whole career， he relentlessly pursued the ambition he assigned toarchitecture： creating situations that can build a new equilibrium， freedfrom past conventions， make man move and become more reactive.
Claude Parent is a man of challenges who throws a permanentchallenge to normality. He is not a man of certainties but a man ofconvictions， who believes in the necessity to get off the beaten trackto plan and experiment the roads of the living and of the future.Architecture has to build future. His whole life was a challenge to therisk of falling into immobilism， in the reproduction of a practice and intoboredom and repetition. Setting the highest challenge like the extremequest of an athlete.
He went through all the schools of thought of the twentieth century，without any prejudice， and made his own rules. He created his ownpath towards new horizons. In order to reach such horizons， he hadto push the limits accepted by society and the norms he was notconvinced about. Choosing risk， the risk of renewal， giving up thepast in order to make something new arise. Establishing risk as amodus operandi. Refusal of conventions. Search for exception.Hereare the rules that underpinned his whole life and dictated the attitudehe adopted during his fight for architecture. He built his identity inconflict， always looking for a place， between two positions， betweentwo links， between two times， and conflict is a central element inhis architecture. Claude Parent is afraid of conflict when it opposesaffective values. But for him， there is no architecture withoutconflict. Opposed to formal harmony， he plays with contradictoryingredients， makes unnatural alloys and establishes violence withunexpected encounters. Architecture is a source of conflict inits essence： conflict against nature， conflict against the planet.
Architects are criminals， assassins who reveal and provokeconflict. It is their task to seize it， exalt and amplify it so as tocreate meaningful architecture.
There is no formal truth for Claude Parent but anexperiment of the form and faith in the experienceit creates. The form is his way to adventure. Heuses drawing as a forceps to deliver his thoughts.Drawing is also the means that allows him to expresshis sudden emotions and utopias and preserves theshadowy areas where the best part of architecture lies.
Nothing is totally planned and in control. No matterhow determined one is to measure the effects of theproposed solutions， there always remains a space fortaccident， which sometimes contains the spark of “truth”.Random and arbitrary are two different things. Arbitraryis related to the absence of common rules whereasrandom is generated by causes which probability can bemeasured and stem from the unexpected alloy of certainingredients.
His options are not defined by a program but by hisvision that triggers the creative process and sometimesmakes him wander and takes him “to the threshold ofsomething unreasonable”. Most of the time， huge risks weretaken. It is during the construction phase that true risks areindeed measured. Architecture on paper allows one to bereckless and can step away from reality. The danger relatedto the experimentation of such excess is another matter.
It is the space between drawing and reality thatarchitecture is built. Architecture becomes real through theway it is felt. The chance of unexpected encounter and thesource of the strongest emotion precisely lie in the emptyspaces of the drawing and in the things we humans could notplan. “The best works of architecture， the most extraordinaryones are those that have things which are out of control”.
They are places for contemplation because they are “related tothe integration of a mystery”. There is no truthful architecturewithout shadows and mystery that defy reasoning and stemfrom the edifice by themselves， without having been summoned.
This is where beauty comes from， not from the formal quality ofarrangements.
Dispelling the illusion that the work of art only exists by the willof its author and can only be created through rational work. Thisabsence of unique truth allowed him to tip over， shift to a new orderand change alliances. In 1966， he created the group ArchitecturePrincipe with Virilio. Apart from himself and Virilio， the groupincluded the painter Michel Carrade and the sculptor Morice Lipsi.
Parent wrote “Power and Imagination” with Virilio， setting theirfight in the perspective of a possible universe， in a utopia that doesnot belong to immediate logics. With him， he conceives the idea ofa third urban order in which inclined plane is the basic geometricprinciple. Creating a new geometric order that would induce a newpsychical order. The oblique is a symbol of freedom： destabilizing man to make him move， allowing him to aspireto the freedom of being， putting him in a positionto develop this independence and giving himthe opportunity to access the expression of hisindividuality. The oblique function - breaking thehorizontal and the orthogonal of establishedspaces - would open doors to social andpolitical criticism. It would become a factor ofthe emancipation of man， the tool for a renewalof architecture. The theory of the oblique and itsprinciples are an assault to fixity and static， andpromote the energetics of the walking man. Stabilitygives way to disequilibrium， which is the engine thatgenerates activity. The “inhabitable circulation”，the “surmountable obstacle” are the means that obliquearchitecture suggests in order to activate man in theperspective of taking control of his own future.
Developing inhabitation and circulation on a uniquestructure-shelf cleaned from the obstacles that enclosespace and punctuate time， a unique continuous installationthat allows fluidity of spaces and time.
Utopia， for Claude Parent， is not a state of mind. It isdeeply rooted in the history of ideas and it is also a necessity. Itis essential to push research “beyond the limits compatible withcurrent circumstances” in order to discover the new foundationsof the future architectural language. The originality of ClaudeParent is that he has always been trying to make utopia happen.
In his approach， he always expressed a will of experimentationand the necessity to put theory to the test of reality， not technicalfeasibility but men‘s ability to integrate and prepare themselves forthe future. In his experiments， Claude Parent has been testing theinhabitability of the oblique.
To him， the use of a space is the positive or negativeconsequence of innovation， a concept that prevents dogmatism.
Contrary to lots of utopias， the oblique function has not aged； it hasnever been as relevant as it is now since it goes in the same directionas today’s concerns about more efficient land use. The oblique isan answer to the architecture crisis： it denounces the urban crisis， itdenounces the social crisis. It is the geometrical means to solve theissue of men in their environment.
Re-weaving the unity of a world fragmented between man and nature，man and his social environment， domesticating nature， naturalizing thedomesticated， reinventing landscape， making a new topography， creatingnew territories， managing density - all these are current approachessuggested by architects who are “future inventors” and strive for integratingthe parameters of an ever-changing world so as to welcome and maintainlife. With “Architecture Principe”， Parent and Virilio evoked the necessity to“remodel the planet‘s soil in order to increase arable land”. The oblique orderimposed itself as “a natural answer to the problem of global urbanization”.
His great project， his great utopia is now about city： finding back socialliturgy， community life which is currently hampered by the obstacles of an urbanism that neither allows continuity nor paths and scleroses any desire ofencounter. The planet is getting nibbled by galloping urbanization， devouringinfrastructures that leave a moth-eaten land where we find no option butconstructing vertical buildings that pile up the inhabitations in order to meetthe needs of a growing population. We must stop building dams， stop fillingthe empty spaces between the roads and communication infrastructures， andcreate a continuous built environment， “a compact above-ground […] in whichwe would， in a second time， freely engrave the incisions of communication”.
He sees this new concept of urban development as the salvation ofour“urban survival”. He strived to depict this urban utopia and project it into anunavoidable future when men will have no choice but expatriation to otherworlds such as the Moon， Mars or Pluto if they cannot find any inhabitablespace on Earth.
The oblique function was a first step in the direction of a more efficientland use.Today he commits himself to imagine a city where the urban fabricwould spread itself in different layers， as if skyscrapers were lying in aconurbation and in a continuous space without streets， were the fifth sideof the building， the roof， becomes an available space and could be usedas an uninterrupted path， thus restoring direct connections betweenspaces. Construction and destruction at the same time： on which wecould circulate without obstacles and cut through the thick layer ofbuildings to rediscover the nourishing earth below the artificial earth，to find back the horizon.
Drawing is now the main vector to share his views： one idea anda supporting drawing， with absolute rigor. He now strives to deepenhis speech about city. These are like science-fiction images that aimat safeguarding the city from an invading density and at giving backthe freedom to express oneself differently. Very beautiful abstractdrawings that he hesitates to spoil by adding some humancharacters on them， therefore giving us a scale and bringing thedrawings back to the realm of architecture. Between art andarchitecture， he always chose architecture. Now he is hesitating；art for art has never been his approach. For him， social issuesare much stronger and deeply rooted in architecture； this iswhy he made such a choice. He is resisting： he would draw thecharacters， even if he has to remove them with his eraser.
Béatrice Simonot writer
Chinese corrector： Yin Qianwen， Li Tian / English translator： Hou Laurent /
French and English corrector： Chloe Parent