Reality and Coincidence



We acknowledge that coincidence can harbor intrinsic beauty. It cannot be planned or orchestrated. Coincidence engenders the moment in which we question the given reality. Given the context, if we look at the photographs Wim Wenders took in Fukushima. A Geiger counter of alertness or perhaps even in overdrive, after they were developed, all of the photos seemed to display a sine wave caused by the radiation constantly being emitted into the environment. This was photographed purely by accident. This was a presence that would normally go unnoticed, but by coincidence it was captured on camera. Coincidence and reality hand in hand, as if it were a dream of a wedding. As if a photo suddenly became indispensable. An added value that was caused by the moment and not by any prior knowledge. In architecture, there are two types of coincidence. On the one hand there is coincidence as part of a building process, while on the other there is the accidental form. The form that arises by accident and has no connection whatsoever to its surroundings.

Like Grassi in his logical construction of architecture: it’s about the form that is released, not the form that’s being sought. This means that the form must be derived from examples of similar assignments performed over time. Herein resides the actual freedom of architecture. A freedom that is derived from attachment. Freedom is always linked to that which we are already, i.e. that which we can already say.

In his existentialist philosophy, Kierkegaard describes human beings as a synthesis between finity and infinity. For us, a synthesis like a relationship between two also seems to apply to building. The present being the synthesis between the past and the future. We would no longer be able to talk in terms of a synthesis as soon as the link between the two, between the existing and the new, disappears. If, in architecture (here meaning formalism), coincidence with prior knowledge were posited as the final outcome instead of being raised as a question in design-based research, we would lose the above-mentioned synthesis between the two. The past and the present lose their affinity once and for all, and the future becomes irrelevant.