01: Spatial Scripts
History of Diagrammatics and Diagrammatology, Diagrammatic Literacy, Semiotics, Knowledge and World Construction
The first issue questions historical grounds and references of diagrammatic recordings and reasoning in a wider sense. It revolves around various studies on all the scriptures related to spatial thinking and design throughout history, particularly those that make theoretical foundations or could be included in further construction of the so-called microhistory of diagrammatics (Ćirić).
Since what we might consider to be a primary cluster of spatial disciplines today hasn’t been treated equally in all historical periods, the graphical evidences on which the focus has been put are problematised due to all – their undisciplined, integrated trans-disciplinary, and a specific disciplinary nature and field of reference. A transitive character and common features which enable them to be present at the same time in architecture, arts, artificial intelligence, biology, geography, astronomy, cartography, cognitive sciences, computer sciences, graphic design, history, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, etc., give them multiple identities and the possibility of disciplinary integration of extreme extensiveness. This implies exploration of the wide scope of mathematical/numerical, visual/representational, multi-sensorial, performative/operative, scenic, narrative, technological, and other syntaxes that might express their spatial contents and indications diagrammatically, in both and merged artistic and scientific registers.
By modelling a distinctive spatial language through acts of documentality (acts of recording by which objects of the individual interest and research enter historiographical, archival, or public realm of a certain culture and society, thus becoming the objects of collective memory by directing the authorship towards public recognition, acknowledgment, and acceptance (Ferraris)), it becomes possible for space to be inscribed, prescribed, or transmitted and transposed as a social, cultural, political, economic, or a disciplinary scientific and artistic figure, mode, register, code, order, rule, law, exception, consistency or inconsistency, dynamics or performance. The documents of interest contain and construct spatial syntaxes in form of direct instructions and principles given in treateses and theoretical works, and as pieces of creative and imaginary spatial behaviour outside of any given school or methodology.
Architectural problems are usually addressed and investigated by visual means. When we amplify their aspects of cognitive figures, these graphics and visuals can be put into relation or equivalence with diagrams and diagrammatic hybrid forms due to their intellectual implications. Thinking through ‘scripting’ – recording of architectural design processes and activity of graphic dissemination of spatial ideas (both through texts and images) – developes a specific visual semiotics. Its modes and productive technologies were at times constitutive of particular architectural culture. Depending on the methods and instruments used, new possibilities for architectural visual language were provided and new lines of thought, philosophical and theoretical discourses, distinctive design strategies and rules established, inscribed and documented as social facts. As products and traces of an important architectural endeavor towards creation of its specific epistemology, spatial scripts form a significant part of architectural and spatial documentary heritage.
The issue on spatial scripts, thus, looks for a fresh view on the ways through which spatial graphic communication (visual and/or textual) has been and continues to be conceived and represented developing distinctive scripting discourse in relation to space in different cultures, incorporating underlying relational codes between humans, humans and non-humans, and humans and machines, either dominant or alternative depending on the epoch. Seeking a new definition and meaning, the epistemological, methodological, technical and heuristic position of spatial scriptures in contemporary architectural culture, theory, and production, it invites all the thinkers and creatives to give their opinion on design research and experimentation dealing with suggested themes and questions. Drawings, diagrams, notations, cynegrams, and all the hybrid scripting forms, instruments, and devices should be discussed through the original research barring theoretical and practical significance.
The questions worth posing and exploring are: What is spatial, or architectural script and a code in contemporary postdisciplinary context? What are their epistemological positions? What are their historical predecessors and origins and in what way are they related to contemporary diagrammatics? In what ways are different classes of spatial scripts expressed and defined and how can they be applied in theory and practice? How can we interpret positions and functions of drawings, sketches, diagrams, charts, maps, cynegrams, performative, dynamic, sensorial, narrative, and mnemonic scripts in contemporary architectural cognitive, methodological, representational, aesthetic, scientific and artistic contexts and frameworks? How to perform their scientific verification and evaluation? How to explore and define their potential for altering current and fabricating alternative realities in their visionary alignments? If architectural research process and problem-solving are conducted and made visible primarily through various scripting forms, in what ways are their variations and external disciplinary transgressions manifested in contemporary architectural theory and practice?
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