The Architecture of Analogy
This PhD proposes that Aldo Rossi’s concept of the Analogical City is unfinished. The Analogical City collapses the history of architecture into a single conceptual territory. It uses recognisable architectural types, which are combined, recombined and transformed in different ways, as freely as in the process of collage. When thinking about the Analogical City, it is illuminating to recall Walter Benjamin’s statement that history disintegrates into images. The images, as fragments of the history of architecture, are superimposed, juxtaposed and manipulated until they are actualised as architectural form, transformed from history into the present. When Rossi said that history is the material of architecture he refers to a closer, more fluid relationship between the past and present, between analysis and design.
I create a dialogue with the work of Rossi, through the production of images and by a close analysis of his key texts, drawings, and buildings. The collage-like methodology begins with Rossi, then to his references: Baudelaire, Benjamin, de Quincy, Durand, and, Roussel. Proceeding to those who comment on the work of Rossi: Aureli, Eisenman, Hays, Scolari, Tafuri, and, Vidler. Then to those commentators who invoke ideas of Rossi but are neither Rossi’s primary references, nor are commentators on his work: Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. The theory and practice of these commentators is spatialised in montage-diagrams to make new connections, and categories are developed to understand this material.
This PhD aims to go beyond an excursus on Rossi, and address the city by turning knowledge gained into a framework for dealing with the conceptual, formal and spatial problems of city development. It understands the Analogical City as an image of a formally coherent, culturally denser, and typologically richer alternative to the contemporary urban condition.
Cameron McEwan is a PhD Student at the Department of Architecture, where he has taught in the Year 1 Design Studio, the City Masters Unit, and lectured in History and Theory of Architecture. Cameron graduated with a Master of Architecture with Distinction in 2009 and has received awards for architectural design and drawing. His work has been published as journal articles, in exhibitions, and at conferences, including in Venice at the 2011 IUAV International Conference The Architecture of the City on Aldo Rossi. Cameron has worked in practice, volunteered abroad, and is a member of the Foundation for Architecture & Education, an independent forum for the discussion and exposition of architecture.
Dr Lorens Holm