Mute Icons: ConceptP-A-T-T-E-R-N-S
Mute Icons is, at its core, a book that interrogates images: historical, contemporary, and — more importantly — speculative. This examination concentrates on the increasingly dichotomic state of architectural practice, discourse, and contemporary culture at large. Through the analysis of images that exist and some that we propose, we aim to develop a language and a sensibility for discovering simultaneous, contradictory, and even unexpected readings of images in architecture.
An Argument for the Mute Icon
The term mute icon is, in itself, a dichotomy: mute, referring to the inability to speak, express, or represent, and icon as a sign, symbol, or representation that speaks clearly. The mute icon neither deftly communicates, nor is it wholly inhibited and silenced. Mute Icons operates and finds significance within this dialectic. As architects, we have become accustomed to iconicity through various formal tropes and imageable features, many of which are now pervasive in our culture. This book offers an attempt to identify a progressive reaction to collective, established expectations of icons. Arguing for a redefinition of the project of the icon and therefore the image in architecture, Mute Icons aims to construct a viable alternative to the icon’s simple cliché and exhausted form of communication, positing one that is decidedly introverted and withdrawn.
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