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FOLDS, BODIES & BLOBS.

By Greg Lynn. Brussels: La Lettre Volee. 1998. BF850. In English

ANIMATE FORM

By Greg Lynn. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 1999. [pounds]28

In US academia today, Greg Lynn is some kind of post-Deconstructionist Wunderkind. Media-savvy and verbally dextrous, Lynn (35) is leading the way towards understanding the architectural possibilities of the now ubiquitous computer. Here two separate publications neatly package his work to date: Folds, Bodies & Blobs collects a dozen or so essays from 1992 to 1996 whereas Animate Form contains a new introductory essay, eight competition or installation designs, and a nifty CD-ROM.

The book from Brussels, coinciding with a Lynn installation there in 1998, is extremely useful to establish the cultural milieu in which its author operates. Originally published in such journals as Any (New York) and Arch+ (Berlin), Lynn's writing persuasively argues for a 'generative theory of complex variation', a blended architecture unlike the 'violent formal conflicts' of the 1980s. Inflicting digs at Rowe and Gwathmey, 'A Physique Out of Proportion', Lynn repeatedly quotes (via Derrida) Husserl's 'an exact yet rigorous' prescription for complex geometries

Lynn's greatest hero is biologist D'Arcy Thompson who tracked graphically the morphological nuances of mutant organisms. In the largely visual Princeton publication one sees series of viscous forms undergoing additions multiplications (Lynn loves the 'pli' or fold in the belly of that word) and, in particular, mutations as the architect arrives at actual intentions for Yokohama and Cardiff and galleries in Manhattan and Oslo But not, unfortunately, the New York church recently realized with Garofalo and McInturf.

Whether repetition and change is boring or exhilarating is not completely clear. As Lynn distrusts the Manichaean, perhaps both.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:RYAN, RAYMUND
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 2000
Words:276
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