Nuances of Blackboard : 2

Blackboard – Semester 4, Batch 2018, WCFA

This is a moment in class (Feb 2020) where i was introducing architectural theory to second year students. Some say it is early to teach theory in second year or some say it is never early to teach theory. This insight is helpful, if at all we agree what is theory. If you had ‘theory’ in your postgraduate title, like me, it is a different game as it comes with some amount of anxiety. I used these two brilliant definitions in this first class and quickly illustrated as above.

(Top right)- “The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger’s slab. They are like fish swimming about in a vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use – these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind offish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation”
E H Carr, What is History?

My argument is that we have only very few fisherman in the east (compared to the west) , but a lot fishes to catch. Side note : Are academics fisherman or cooks?

(Bottom right) – “The word ‘theory’ derives from the Greek ‘theoria’, which has the same root as ‘theatre’, in a word meaning ‘to view’ or ‘to make a spectacle’. Thus, it might be said that a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is.”
David Bohm. Wholeness and Implicate Order

(Left)- The sketch happened serendipitously on the board, as an overlapping of the thoughts triggered by the two quotes. And since then this has been my go to diagram to the recurring and useful question ‘What is theory?’ – There are various positions (labelled as ‘T’) to look at architecture ( One can argue that ‘A’ should be ‘a’). Then there are theoreticians / critics have various positions on how to read these positions itself. These relationships form the premise of theory.