Architecture of Becoming

  • "[. . .] form is essentially extended, inseparable as it is from the extensity of the becoming which has materialized it in the course of its flow. Every form thus occupies space as it occupies time." Henri Bergson


Bergson’s statement sums up the two fundamental principles that inform the basic tenets in my experimentation in architecture:

A State of Becoming and the flow

I believe that architecture must be placed within a broader philosophical milieu. Architects can no longer afford to lag behind and linger in the post-industrial, post-classical mechanistic models. The Bergsonian attitude towards philosophy that: it "cannot and must not accept the relation established by pure intellectualism between the theory of knowledge and the theory of the known, between metaphysics and science" , provides an appropriate philosophical model for the contemporary discourse in architecture. Deleuze and Guattari, invoking similar disposition, consider Nous and Physis, (metaphysics and physics), the two facets of the plane of immanence of concepts, the planomenon . Within the process of conceptualization in architecture, a planomenon of Nous and Physis is a necessary plateau for the transformation of the current paradigm.

In an architecture-of-becoming, architectonic and topological manifestations follow different behavioral patterns of in response to the forces and flows inherent within; metaphorically or typologically.

They both have internal codes of behavior "esoteric attributes" and external codes of influence, "exoteric attributes". Their rules of engagement are interdependent: A topological continuum may "gravitationally" cause the unfoldment, twisting, or bending of planes or volumes. Conversely, the flow within emergent architectonics may rupture, warp, or deform a continuous membrane.

Fixity and stasis may occur only at a thresholding instance (a point of suspension) where flows are moving in opposing vectors: A subversive counter-state to the point of inflection in a topological continuum. Would Deleuze’s concept of inflection (a state of ambiguity and weightlessness ) allow for an instance of meta-stasis, a reversal of vectorial purpose and desire, at a point of intersection? A point of turbulence . Architectonic volumes (imploding or exploding) that intersect with topological conditions, effectively become turbulences in the flow of continuous surfaces.

Within this philosophical paradigm, morphological concepts (topological or architectonic) cannot be adequately generated within the framework of Cartesian coordinates. An alternative spatio-temporal coordinate system suitable for simultaneous unfoldment of space and time, becomes an inevitable evolutionary step. [We are currently developing a coordinate system, Tetra-Vectors©, that employs the four vectors of a tetrahedral system as basic vectorial coordinates (Vt1, Vt2, Vt3, Vtn). In this system, spatio-temporal Vt values are imputed to each of the four vectors. Thus each point in space falls within a particular tetra-quadrant. The fourth vector carries an intrinsic potential (t) value for that point to vibrate, to become activated into motion (i.e. Vt1, Vt2, Vt3, Vtn ---- Vt1, Vt2, Vt3, Vtn+X) (fig. 1)]. Within those Vt vectors, a planomenon of architectonic fragments or topological continuums is imbued with a projective becoming. An inherent instability and fragile equilibrium permeates the behavior of space.

This architecture aspires to creating space that is simultaneously emergent and convergent, imploding and exploding. Space that is physically and metaphysically charged with the desire to transform, transmutate, and transfold itself.

Tarek Naga



Naga Studio References:

P r o f e s s i o n a l  A f f i l i a t i o n s:

  • NCARB, Registered Architect, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA
  • SEE, Syndicate of Egyptian Engineers (& Architects), Registered Architect, Egypt
  • SEA, Society of Egyptian Architects, Active Member, Egypt
  • RIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects, Corporate Member, UK

Naga Studio Projects List:

          E x h i b i t i o n s / C o l l e c t i o n s:

          • "Hikari Tobari", Tokyo Designers Week, Tokyo, Japan 
          • "Bridges & Beyond" / Venice Art Walk, Venice, California, Group Exhibit at Trek Kelly Gallery, 2005 - "Pontifex Universalis", Architectural Installation's Drawings
          • Collection du FRAC Centre, Permanent Collection, Orleans, France, 2000-Present - ESK House Drawings, Sketches and Model
          • "Plastered: Political Prints", Group Exhibit at Block 7 Gallery, Denver, Colorado, October, 2004 - "Outsourcing" & "Ascension", Two Posters Commissioned for the Exhibitions
          • "Architectures Experimentales 1950-2000 ", Orleans, France, June - October 2003 - ESK House / Collection du FRAC Centre / Exhibit
          • "Research Architecture", Pratt Institute/Storefront Gallery, New York, USA, Feb., 2001 - "ESK House", Models & Drawings / Traveling Exhibit
          • "Venice Biennale 2000", Egypt Pavilion Exhibit, Venice, Italy, June, 2000 - "Phoenix Rising", A Multi-media Installation for The Egyptian Pavilion
          • "Archilab 2000", An International Conference and Exhibit, Orleans, France, March, 2000 - Four Projects Exhibited / ESK House, MI Hotel, Yokohama Terminal & Equus Resort
          • "Project 2000 Exhibit", Global Architecture, GA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, March, 2000 - "ESK House", Group Exhibit
          • UCLA/AAAI - Art & Aesthetic of Artificial Intelligence Conference, UCLA, CA, USA, May, 1998 - "Architecture in the Information Age", Group Exhibit
          • UIA Congress, Chicago, Illinois, USA, June, 1993 - "Domesticating Modernity", Exhibit
          • "Doors, Scrolls & Ladders" Art Show, Avenue Gallery, Venice, CA, USA, 1991 - "Liberating the Architect", Steel & Glass Architectural Installation
          • "Drawing Towards Building Exhibit", Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 1986 - "Cairo Islamic Center I & II", Exhibit

          L e c t u r e s / C o n f e r e n c e s:

          • Tianjin University, School of Architecture, Tianjin, China, March, 2005 - "Emerging Syntagms - Shifting Paradigms", Architecture Lecture Series
          • Cal Poly Pomona, Architecture Department, Pomona, CA, USA, Fall 2004 - "Emerging Syntagms - Shifting Paradigms", Architecture Lecture Series
          • "Culture, Identity + Architecture", Bibliotheca Alexandrina & UIA Conference, April, 2004 - "Becoming Abstract, Becoming Universal", keynote Speaker
          • Alexandria University, Department of Architecture, Alexandria, Egypt, April, 2004 - "Philosophy, Science + Architecture", Lecture
          • "Architecture + Conflict" Lecture Series, Archilab-Denver, Denver, Colorado, Feb., 2004 - "Via Negativa: Esoteric & Exoteric Oppositions", Lecture
          • "Deconstruction Symposium", Misr Univ. for Science & Technology, Cairo, Egypt, Oct., 2003 - "Deconstruction in the 20th Century", Lecture
          • "Town House Roundtable", Town House Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, February, 2003 - "Creativity & Mediocrity", Symposium
          • Ain Shams University, Alumni lectures, Cairo, Egypt, December 2002 - "Recent Projects", Lecture
          • "Graduate Lectures", Tama Arts University, Tokyo, Japan, June, 2002 - "Architecture of Becoming", Lecture
          • "Toyota Lecture Series", Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, March, 2002 - "Requiem - Resurrection" / Recent Work, Lecture
          • "Architecture Lecture Series", Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March, 2002 - "Experiments in Architecture", Lecture
          • "Heritage + Architecture: UIA International Symposium", Alexandria, Egypt, Feb., 2002 - "The Pyramids Plateau Project", Keynote Speaker
          • "Intelligent Architecture Seminar", American University in Cairo (AUC), Cairo, Egypt, April, 2001 - "Is Architecture Getting More Intelligent?", Lecture
          • "Archilab 2000", An International Conference and Exhibit, Orleans, France, March, 2000 - "Globalization & Architecture", Conference Speaker
          • Cal Poly Pomona, Architecture Department, Pomona, CA, USA, Fall 1998 - "Meta-Architecture: A State of Becoming", Architecture Lecture Series
          • UCLA/AAAI - Art & Aesthetic of Artificial Intelligence Conference, UCLA, CA, USA, May, 1998 - "Architecture in the Information Age", Lecture
          • SCI ARC (Southern California Inst. of Architecture) Los Angeles, CA, USA, April, 1997 - "Architectural Drawing: A Process of Investigation", Studio Lecture
          • Cairo University, Department of Architecture, Cairo, Egypt, Fall 1995 - "Beyond Modern Architecture", Lecture
          • UIA Congress, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1993 - "Domesticating Modernity", Lecture
          • Baltic States Conference / Workshop, Tallinn, Estonia, 1993 - "Socialist Cities in the New Age of Capitalism", Lecture
          • UIA / SEA Tourism, Heritage & Environment Conference, Cairo, Egypt, 1992 - "New Paradigm in Architecture", Lecture

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