VIDEOS ON ANTHROPOLOGY OF HABITAT AND ARCHITECTURE (by Nold Egenter)

Dear Mai Saptenno,

Excuse me for the former comments, I think I was tired, late at night. The videos somehow indicate some sort of a clear access path to a new type of architectural theory!

As an important part of culture, the concept of architecture today is theoretically fixed on its (mainly European-Near Eastern) monumental history and corresponding concepts of  aesthetics and artistic styles related ("architecture as art"!!!). Architects do not research, they "design"! Theoretical aspects are delegated to the "art historian"! Consequently there are only very few attempts to see architecture in the wider framework of an anthropological perspective.

A very early attempt (and the only one!) was done by the German architect Gottfried Semper in the second half of the 19th century. He was influenced by Georges Cuvier and consequently classified world architecture according to materials, primary "the textiles", that is  architecture related to fibrous plant materials.  This class filled the first volume with many fairly unusual aspects and details, quite revolutionary in those days! The second book dealt with architecture and architectural elements represented in other materials. Seen in a retrospective from today the book was revollution. It was about 100 years ahead of its time. (The Style in Technical and Tectonic Arts, 2 vols around 1860). Of course the art historians trampled him down. Consequently, he is not really well know among architects today!

The 6 videos in You Tube are a similar attempt to ask the question: what is architecture in the wider human or anthropological framework. They try to show that, in fact, architecture is much wider thant just conventional buildings, traditional houses, palaces, churches etc., but in fact is a very ancient human, even subhuman occupation with important implications for daily life.

The video on the great Apes and their daily/nightly nestbuilding is an attempt to understand what humans have physically and behaviourally inherited from the great apes in regard to constructing and building with hands, arms and bipedic position of the body. And I think it is much more than what is suggested recently in the framework of tool using as "culture". It is a constructive, as well as a social and spatial behavior, and it is of important psychological implications too: it is an elementary type of pre- or proto-human habitat.

If with this statement of a temporally deep reaching tradition (20 million years?) of constructive behavior and conditions that are highly similar to archi-tectonic conditions in the case of ground nests (naturally rooted "tectonic foundations and knotted frameworks with stable triangles = origins of architecture! 8 million years?) one becomes aware that the routined nightly nestcamp of ALL great apes is an initial type of "habitat" in temporal form (security: mother with baby in centre!).

In view of the present structure of cultural anthropology I think the concept of "habitat and constructive behavior" (or architecture) could produce a new focus point  of cultural study in a field which is extremely heterogeneous, following essentially the historical concept of disciplines with their endless attempts to find an approach which could give us a general view on cultural conditions also in the sense of evolutionary processes. Habitat? Isn'this a general human condition at least explicitly documented from Neolithic times? Could it be a basic model for the development of  civilisation, at least in the sense of spatial organisation of centralised city-states? Was construction/ architecture important in providing spatial signs and aesthetic symbols which produced an early spatial and symbolic order concept to these local settlements which formed the core principle for many secondary evolutionary processes?

This is what these 6 videos more or less want to propose. They are an initial spark to ignite the idea that the Neolithic human habitat could have been a highly complex cell from which many evolutionary processes started and which led to what we call culture and civilisation today.

Regarding Wittgenstein:
• PHILOSOPHY: Reed-pillar (Neolithic territorial marker), polarity (YinYang/ Ma'at/ OM/ coincidentia oppositorum) harmony, hen kai pan (all is one, one is all), Heraclitus, Parmenides (being), Atomists, Attic schism (Platon/ Aristoteles), analytics, spiritual absolutism/ empirical rationalism, science (Western world).

ANTHROPOLOGY OF HABITAT AND ARCHITECTURE
Nold Egenter: VIDEOS 01 - 06
Please copy the red URLs below into the URL-searchbar of your browser
(each video is about 10 minutes)

01 Architectural Anthropology 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWj5qmoHip4

02 Architectural Anthropology 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yS3dk0X1Ls

03 PRO portion In Japanese Art
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9LZl5nwn3g

04 Types of Divine Symbols in Japan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwr6kvXkRjM

05 Analysis of one village (Ueda)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB8J5znihu0&feature=related

06 Great Apes Architects
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYuQwNei8zo&feature=related

 


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