Orthogonality

7 April, 2018

"The brain must use past experience, either its own or that of our distant ancestors, which is embedded in our genes, to help interpret the information light brings into our eyes."

J P Eberhard, Architect and founder of Neuroscience for Architecture

The word Orthogonality is the relationship between the vertical and the horizontal.  It is essential in making.  The ancient Greek word for orthogonality originates from the carpenters set square and which also meant the verb, 'I know.'  For a carpenter to make a right angle, they are knowing themselves, they have the knowledge.

The relationship between set square elements, or a vertical human standing in a horizontal landscape or the vertical structural column intersecting a horizontal beam, all these connections and relationships to orthogonality can be used to describe a complete knowingness.  A knowingness of a right angle.  But also knowingness is within ourselves and our distant ancestors too [as Eberhard alludes].  To have a deep knowing about a human in a landscape or a piece of architecture or a painting composition is Orthogonality.  Although deconstructivists may disagree, for me, what more important knowledge is there for an Architect, other than knowing their architecture?  To design a beautiful connection forming a right angles, means an Architect has an ultimate knowing.  Knowing material, themselves and their embedded genes.  From its ancient etomology origins, the knower is the person and the knower is the Architecture, but only if the Architect knows.