Humanist machines : Daniel Libeskind’s "Three Lessons in Architecture"

Ioannidou, Ersi (2010) Humanist machines : Daniel Libeskind’s "Three Lessons in Architecture". In: Bandyopadhyay, Soumyen , Lomholt, Jane , Temple, Nicholas and Tobe, Renee, (eds.) The humanities in architectural design : a contemporary and historical perspective. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 81-90. ISBN 9780415551144


For the Venice Biennale 1985, Daniel Libeskind constructs Three Lessons in Architecture. The project consists of three large machines; The Reading Machine, The Memory Machine and The Writing Machine. Each machine embodies a way of thinking and making architecture within the tradition of humanism. Libeskind directs this experiment with the belief that the humanist means of architectural production although present today are at their final stage; the era of the architecture of humanism and its respective technology of the mechanical machine is ending. Libeskind’s project questions the present state of architecture by examining its past and anticipates a transition into a post-humanist era. ‘Humanist Machines’ is a critical analysis of Three Lessons in Architecture. It argues that Libeskind’s ‘post-humanist’ project re-articulates the role of humanism in design by bridging the gap between theorising and making. Thus it proposes a template for architectural research which combines intellectual inquiry into the humanities and design creativity.

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