A profound thinker, comunicator and "so on..", Professor Slavoj Žižek lets us figure out a slight different way to interpret the adopted Ludwig Mies van der Rohe phrase "less is more", from a new point of view.
He states his particular upgrading of that concept to nowadays times: "more for less", root of the congress he was invited to.
The excesses of our civilisation, he suggests, guide our current views on social evolution, starting from a sexual approach to mechanising the own act of making love to then continue through an analisys of the architectural realm as a privatised volume of space. The understanding of "the entire stretch" as a social entity follows the aim to understand what he portrays as the gap between the inside and the outside space of a building, that layer of reality which makes the whole notion of volumetrical territory as something that belongs to a certain human status o class in our highly layered society.
"I believe I do not believe in what I would believe I believe.." is not a pleonasm he would incur into. On the contrary, his overwhelming rationale is as clear as it is his critical narrative, that which withstands the arguments of probably the most influential post-modern architects of our time. He spends quite a long while analising Alejandro Zaera's philosophical approach on his Yokohama Cruiser Terminal, relating it to other works from great contemporary designers on the basis of the public and private realm. He generates an interesting new concept for space as the third field which excludes certain people from public spaces as much as all servicing installations occupy invisible gaps within any given building.
He finally concludes his talk warning the architects as follows:
"When you are making your plans, treck softly because you treck on the dreams of the people who will live in and will look at your buildings".
Dear Professor Žižek,
Someone once said "a philosopher learns always from the poet", probably as Don Quijote learns from Sancho Panza.
As you suggest in your flamboyant and swashbuckling conference to all those who climb mountains to reach the top to then come down again (..when is way better to "stay down and read a good book.."), I would kindly recommend you to have a thorough read to Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space, a book that has meticulously been studied by every dedicated architect of our times.
On one hand, that year 2010 Congress had the intention to investigate the keys to a fairer and more efficient architecture, that which would be able to cope with periods of crisis and optimize resources to achieve better quality with less costs, certain aspects, on the other hand, which are intricate along the process of designing any building since the beginning of our times as a civilisation.
The worry one extracts from listening to your speech would not be such if you had contrasted your socially biased views with the opportune thinkers of the architectural profession. These people would have shown you how accurate their own personal concern is on the basis for social needs through their work. Please, rest assured the design processes they fulfill from a small garden shed to the most intricate hospital building, a new urban development or a whole wide city, takes the human scale and its necessities much into their mind.
Also, I would humbly guarantee to you that your crap, as every other human being's, will always travel down the pipes hidden inside the walls and floors of a building, because no one gives a shit about where it finally and definitely goes to vanish.
As Mr. Bachelard stated in the Intimate Immensity chapter, the "inner immensity (of one self) is what gives the real meaning to certain expressions concerning the visible world".
"And with a stroke of the pen
I name myself Master of the World.
Interesting, though, the first five minutes of humbleness shown in your highly formative and amusing conference. I'd like to kindly ask you, nevertheless, to let the architects think by themselves upon what's best for our "post-modern" society, they are intellectually enlightened by the hard work they have been applying since their first step set onto their own university grounds..