beauty: complex simplicity



"The word resist is interestingly equivocal. It is not synonymous with words of ultimate negation like ‘dismiss’ or ‘ reject.’ Instead, it implies a measured struggle that is more tactical than strategic. Living changes us, in ways we cannot predict, for the better and the worse. One looks for principles, but we are better off if we control them, not the other way around. Principles can become tyrants, foreclosing on our ability to learn. When they do, they, too, must be resisted....

"Resist whatever seems inevitable.[...]

Resist the idea that architecture is a building[...]

Resist taking the path of least resistance.[...]

Resist people who are satisfied.[...]

Resist that feeling of utter exhaustion."



[rowan's] the·sis (thē'sĭs) 

n. pl. the·ses  (-sēz) 

1. A proposition that is maintained by argument.

2. A dissertation advancing an original point of view as a result of research, especially as a requirement for an academic degree.

3.A hypothetical proposition, especially one put forth without proof.


thanks ian

david maisal
history's shadow


once loved up close, 
loved now in a memory. 
as nature, 
reclaims some hold,
these walls sit quiet,
but assured.
additions and attritions of time
show on every surface,
confirming some certainty,
revealing some truth.


zine_  typically a self-published not-for-profit magazine.  Heterogeneity characterizes the zine world, which spawns diversity in format, size, scope, purpose, and periodicity (often erratic).  In my opinion, one of the best attributes of many zines is honesty.  Zines form out of passion, not profit, and so a reader often finds viewpoints and ideas not commonly found in commercial magazines.  A zine can provide refreshing purity of content in comparison with the watered-down mainstream media


"reality consists of colourless, shapeless, and formless essences”,




happening or likely to happen in an unplanned or subordinate conjunction with something else.
incurred casually and in addition to the regular or main amount
likely to happen or naturally appertaining (usually fol. by to).

acknowledging the incidental

"beauty demands, perhaps, the slavish imitation of what is indeterminable in things." 

adorno, g.; tiedemann, r.; hullot-kentor, r. in aesthetic theory

this work is an inquiry into the incidental: that over which we have little control, the overlooked aspects of our everyday environment.  as a architect, designer, maker-of-things, one can create a construct- physically or metaphysically, but before one even begins, the forces of the incidental, have begun to act upon it.  we may strive for eternal control, but often the most beautiful moments are those which occur unexpectedly.

aspects of the incidental
time:  the inescapable truth.  whatever we do, create, think exists within, and inevitably changes, with time.  
intuition: the duality between intuition and logic is unavoidable, but often discounted perhaps because of the unmeasurable nature of this relationship. 
accident: the unintentional and unplanned contribute further layers in the emergence of beauty.
an awareness of the incidental enriches experience and contributes to a deeper understanding of our environment and our actions upon it. overlooking these aspects leads to unstable things and ideas and paranoid control. 
a japanese sentiment:
“the most precious thing in life is uncertainty”  
Kenko (c. 1283-1350), “Essays in Idleness"


"We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it mere appearance in order to the more easily dispose of it. We can no longer be sure that whoever sneers at [beauty] as if she were an ornament of a bourgeois past can no longer pray and will soon no longer be able to love." hans urs von balthasar

Beauty is a quality familiar to us all; a value which is notoriously difficult to define; a sensation evoked in us, which catches the breath, lifts the spirit, freezing reality momentarily. Beauty possesses the incongruous capacity to captivate the imagination, but not "engender a desire to possess or consume” [Eco, 2004]; an immersive and addictive desire, but one which cannot be satisfied. In a similar way to ideas of ‘love’ or ‘truth’, the familiar yet elusive nature of beauty is precisely what has made it so intriguing. 

there has always existed within the human mind an enduring desire to simply contemplate the beautiful: that which exists for no other purpose than beauty; one might call this, 'the aspect beyond function'. 

this exhibition is the first in a series of works investigating notions of beauty and creative practice. 'beauty and the ideal' describes an imagined space. a space with no external form. a space with no function, but which makes reference to the common perception of simple beauties found in nature. the project builds on previous investigations into reduction as a method of achieving a universal beauty. the notion of true beauty involves a consideration, care, and time. with this in mind, every aspect of the project is given equal aesthetic attention. the intention is that although arising from a spatial design, each fragment [plan, section, detail] is a beautiful thing in itself, while existing as a piece of an unified whole.