SLIVER Lecture Series 2018/19
“IN THEORY, ...”
IoA Institute of Architecture
University of Applied Arts Vienna

Generalised Chromaticism: Theory’s Sense and Sensibility
Andrej Radman, Delft University of Technology

Thanks to the neo-materialist turn, architects have been equipped for breaking with the bad habit of hylomorphic moulding in favour of immanent ontopowerful modulation. To meet the challenges of today – be they economic, social, political or ethical – the architect’s role needs to undergo a fundamental change from a synoptic visionary – a psychological subject whose private meanings and public expressions are supposedly crucial for understanding their work and its effects – to a more humble clinical/critical cartographer of unlimited finity. Traditionally, architects are known to have difficulties understanding order and contingency as co-constitutive. After all, the better part of our technological and aesthetic traditions has been oriented towards structure as stable and homeostatic. However, reality is far more accurately rendered by mapping incorporeal effects than by tracing the ‘physical substrate’ whose very degrees of freedom come to depend on the quasi-causality of these events. What is required is a concept of structure that is not detached from what it structures, a ‘generalised chromaticism’. In the words of Deleuze and Guattari: “Placing elements (…) in continuous variation is an operation that will perhaps give rise to new distinctions, but takes none as final and has none in advance.”