A magazine on the
power of the project.
Unlike the many magazines that revolve around the architectural world, Ardeth concerns neither with outcomes (architecture) nor with the authors (architects). Ardeth concerns instead with their operational work, i.e. projects. The shift from subjects (their good intentions, as taught in Universities and reclaimed in the profession) to objects (the products of design, at work within the social system that contains them) engenders an analytical and falsifiable elaboration of the complex mechanisms that an open practice such as design involves. Through a process of disciplinary redefinition, Ardeth explores the falsifiability of design hypotheses as the object that allows the project to scientifically confront errors and approximations.
Ardeth came into being in Italy: the place where in the second half of the 20th century the currently dominant interpretive paradigm of the designer’s role originated, as well as the place where such a paradigm encounters the most trouble in renewing its own social function. Ardeth opens to the world, aware that the problems of architectural practice concern global urban challenges, and that the scale of the effects engendered by the project changed radically with the turn of the millennium.
Ardeth aims at opening up a space for design theory. A space for reflecting and discussing around an object that is in need of a redefinition, despite the fact that it informs all design practices. Often erroneously likened to the architect’s poetics or worldview, design theory has its own theoretical foundation, which has been under discussion for centuries, and which needs to be further discussed in order to understand the power of design actions.
Ardeth builds on the exhaustion of the legitimization model for the project of architecture as based exclusively on the seduction with the subject-author. Starting from the analysis of the difficulties encountered by architecture in socializing its merit, Ardeth aims at defining the field of action for design to establish its own specific operative dimension, which is technical, symbolic and political together. The project is intended here not as the outcome of a supposed artistic will of a subject informed by an all-inclusive interpretation of the world, but as the documental result of a complex negotiation between agents of a various nature (subjects, rules, writings, collective representations). Starting from this assumption the magazine intends to explore the various phenomenologies of performativity of the project which are able to offer convincing answers – in terms of narrative as well – to the socially founded request for the transformation of physical space.
Ardeth looks to two kinds of readerships. Firstly to those motivated by operative purposes, who will be interested in the analyses on the performativity of design production, the estimates of its implications within the bureaucratic and symbolic dimensions, and the project’s ability at producing effects. Secondarily to those with interest in the purely social dimension of the project, the framing of specific forms by means of which it operates within the community, and finally in connecting the narrative to the forms of a socially constructed and analytically verifiable rationale, not centered on the exclusive intentionality of the architect.