A AS A LINE, A WALL, AND A PORTAL
Once upon a time a man drew a line, then a straight line. Why did he draw two lines
instead of one? Why did he try to draw a straight line? Why did the man draw any
line first and foremost? There are a variety of answers available. The man drew a
line to capture something he would otherwise forego in his memory. Whether he is
trying to remember how god created the world by division or not is not important in
the discussion for the answer since it is not a matter of logic or anything slightly
related to sanity. So why did the man drew two lines instead of one? The man drew
the first line out of instinct and nature. The man drew the second line out of control,
logic and perhaps out of the ego that he wanted to show that he is better; The
discussion of how to properly draw a line is ultimately important to an architect. A
line is, to an architect, like alcohol is to a drunkard. An architect draws a line to
measure, to trace and to design with utmost precision.
The story of how the lines were drawn is told but not the story of the line itself. Why
was the first line drawn wiggly? Did god draw lines for the creation of the world? Why
was the second line drawn by the man not a line as magnificent as the line of horizon
on Earth? The first line drawn by the man was his name. The first thing the man drew
of course was himself, not the trees, the birds or the rivers. The lines drawn by the
man, either marked on the ground, the rocks, or bones are histories of man; It would
be not just stupid to even have a teeny bit of supposition of whether god draw lines or
not. God doesn’t draw. Lines are a device invented by man to understand both himself
and the world which surrounds him. The man could never draw a line as sublime as
the horizon. An architect could never build architecture as dynamic, diverse, and
divine as the sky, the ocean, the earth. It is not because the man or an architect is incompetent.
Being an architect or not, a man is only human.
The line drawn by the man starts when the man put his pen on the paper and it ends
when the man lift his pen from the paper. It does not matter what tool he uses or
when he draws it. He draws a line; Yet where is the start of the line? Where is the end
of the line? If there are a start and an end, why is the line connecting them? Or
rather, to ask the question properly, are there a start or an end?
The line starts when the mind of the man awakens. Or else,
it starts when history begins. The line ends when the mind of the man is asleep. Or
then, it ends when history finishes; To even remotely question if there is a beginning
or an end of a line is, again, senseless. A line is just a line. A history is just a story. The
line is there to describe the connection between two points. The history is there to tell
the ups and downs of human civilization. An architect, when designing, will start
scribbling even if he doesn’t know where to begin and how to finish.
There are only two lines in the story for now. Does the tip of the storyline stop
here? What if there are more than two lines in the story? Thereto the story of more
than two lines begins here. The first line drawn by the man was his name. The second
line drawn by the man was straight. He drew it carefully, only moving his arm and
not turning his wrist. He even closed his eyes so he could focus on the obscure touch
between paper, pen, his hand, and his mind. Then the man felt that it was long enough
for a line. He stopped, and he lifted his pen. He paused for a moment. He then drew
the third line, this time more confident and more determined. Along those lines the
space between two lines were created. The man just drew the most ingenious design
of man in a short moment of his long story. He would, in his life time, draw more and
more until the day he retreated from his long career of an architect, a designer.
Once upon a time a man, or rather, a group of men built a wall. Why was the first wall
built? It is because of love. The wall was built to clarify the division between the
beloved and the others. The wall was built to divide the inside from the outside. The
first wall built by a man is romantic in a sense that it is a promise to protect the
beloved from the rain, the cold, the beasts and the uninvited guests. Whether it was
the wall of a primitive hut or the wall of a great city does not change the essence of a
wall. A wall is a three dimensional manifestation for the line drawn by man. It is the
first thing, possibly under the guidance of a plan, ever built by human. The
satisfaction, or desire to build a wall, a direct extrusion from the ground, is similar to
constructing a tower or rather, the tallest building in the world. Whether it is the
highest or not does not matter in the discussion of wall. Likewise, whether it is
the longest or not does not matter. A wall, in any which scale, is a wall, a physical
The wall has two sides when man announced, let them be the outside on the outside of
the wall and let them be the inside on the inside of the wall. The two faces of the wall
are identical except the two sides they are facing. On the one side, it is the protected,
on the other, it is the foreign. The wall is ingenious in a sense that it separates two
sides with only itself. That being so, the question will be, “why is the wall important?”
Or rather, why is the wall important in this seemingly fictional story of man and
architecture? Should the question be asked even one step further, for instance, is the
wall alive? First of all, the question of whether the wall is alive or not, resembling
previous matters about the lines, is dumb. The wall is fundamental in any discussion
about architecture because it is the foundation of civilization. Without wall, there is
no hut. Without wall, there is no city. It is the essential architectural condition to
protect and preserve civilization for the civilized from the uncivilized, or rather,
to protect and preserve the uncivilized from the civilized. Without wall, there is no forest,
no nature...no love.
Jean Pellerin wrote, “La porte me flaire, elle hésite.” The answer is elegantly simple.
“The door scents me, it hesitates.” The creation of the door is sort of like a hinge in
the wall. It both connects and bridges the two sides of a wall. It both opens and closes;
Once upon a time, a new way of life began. Food was cooked in clay ovens. People
learned how to make sun dried bricks and they used them to build houses. Later they
learned to make mortar. They used it to bind stones, mud bricks for walls and floors.
They entered the houses through hatches in roofs. They didn't separate houses from
each other so they walked on roofs. The people were quite happy with their warm
little civilization. Centuries later, the door was invented. People then started to walk
Once upon a time, a man drew a line. Then he drew a straight line. He paused for a
moment. Then he drew another line, this time more confident and quicker. Why did
the man draw lines? Why was the first line wiggly and the second line straight?
Once upon a time there was the creation of man. Then the LORD God took the man
and put him into the garden of Eden to till it and care for it. He told the man, ‘you may
eat from every tree in the garden, but not from the knowledge of good and evil; for on
the day that you eat from it, you will certainly die.’
‘Now this, at last—
bone from my bones,
flesh from my flesh!—
this shall be called woman,
for from man was this taken.’
THE ARCHITECT’S DREAM BEYOND A LINE, A WALL, OR AN IMAGE WILL NEVER BE FULFILLED. A
DREAM OR MORE PRECISELY, AN IDEAL WORLD FOR THE ARCHITECT IS A GOAL THAT IS
INFINITELY AWAY FROM PRESENT SITUATION, A SITUATION THAT IS SO ENTANGLED, COMPLEX AND
DIFFICULT FOR EVERYONE TO MOVE FORWARD. HUMAN AND NATURE ARE LIKE TWO LINES
RUNNING PARALLEL TO THE END OF THE WORLD. WHAT ARCHITECT HAS IS NOT ONLY A PRIVILEGE
TO MAKE SPACE BUT ALSO A MIND THAT COULD POSSIBLY SHAPE OUR FUTURE IN PHYSICAL
ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE IS THE PORTAL. MAN TRAVELS IN TIME AND EVERYONE HAS A
SPACESHIP. WOMAN IS CLEVER, BEAUTIFUL AND INDEPENDENT. MAN IS WARM, HONEST AND
SMART. WHAT IS THE PORTAL? BEFORE WE LOOK FOR THE ANSWER, LET US START BY LOOKING
AT ONE DEFINITION AND TWO ETYMOLOGIES:
DOOR, A CONSTANT STATE OF EXIT AND ENTER.
EVOLVE, FROM LATIN EVOLVERE, TO ROLL OUT, UNFOLD: E-, OUT FROM, EX-, +VOLVERE, TO ROLL.
DEVELOP, FROM OLD FRENCH DESVELOPER: DES-, FROM LATIN DIS-, REVERSAL, +VOLOPER, TO WRAP UP, TO ROLL.
THE PORTAL IS THE CONCEPT THAT, THROUGH CONSTANT STATE OF LEARNING, WE COULD BE
BETTER. WE COULD FAST-FORWARD THROUGH TIME. WE COULD ACCELERATE THE PROGRESS OF
BETTERMENT OF OUR CIVILIZATION, OUR SOCIETY AND OUR OWN LIVES. THE PORTAL IS A
FICTIONAL ARCHITECTURAL CONCEPT DESCRIBING THE HOPE AND THE WISHING THAT MAYBE
FROM A POINT OF REFERENCE IN FUTURE TIME, THE TWO PARALLEL LINES OF HUMAN AND
NATURE WILL JOIN AND BECOME ONE.
ENTERING THE PORTAL, WE FAST FORWARD TEN YEARS TOGETHER. THERE IS
LIGHT. THE ROOM IS DARK. THE IMAGE IS BLURRING. WHERE ARE YOU? WHERE
IS YOUR LOVER? AND WHERE IS THE WALL YOU BUILT? THE SKY IS VAST. DO YOU
WANT TO DO A SCREEN CAPTURE?
ENTERING THE PORTAL, WE FAST BACKWARD FIFTY FIVE YEARS TOGETHER.
THERE IS THE BERLIN WALL, A STRUGGLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL. THE
WALL IS LONG, HIGH AND COLD.
DO YOU MISS WAR?
OR DO YOU MISS YOUR LOVER?
THE PORTAL IS HERE. WHEN IS TOMORROW? WHEN IS NOW?