or 'How to Understand Pretentious Architectural
Anyone embarking on an architectural education (or
stupid enough to go to a party with some architects) will eventually
discover the term 'deconstruction'. The following text helps to a) stop any
conversations on this subject before they go too far, and b) explain
what's happening in that strange park in North-East Paris: 'Parc de la Villette'.
Just remember that deconstruction is all about word
play1 and the questioning of perfectly
sensible hierarchies, such as up/down, left/right and alive/dead. So,
when necessary, simply state that 'deconstruction = zombies' then
pause dramatically and ask someone to pass the nuts.
Tea Bags and Disjunction4
The hierarchy imposed by the term 'tea', prevents those of us
involved in tea making from acknowledging the paradox which is inherent
within the word play. Tea is not tea.
The rational act of tea-making is made sensuous by working
within the program of water and leaves. The modernist5 tea
maker may strive for a
monovalent concentration on an individual element - either leaf or
water - the Platonic tea. Yet, the tea event is derived by the collision of
each element, rather than allowing the dominance
of, let us say, the tea leaf. Instead the breaking down of these
accepted hierarchies within the water/leaf dialectic, creates real tea
This pleasure can only be found within the bondage of order. The
institution of tea drinking is established by the systemic rules: cup, tea
leaf, water, and the dairy produce variable. These rules do not limit
us, but rather, provide the possibility of brewing through disjunction.
It is the interstitial space between these elements that defines a new
paradigm of drink.
The action of introducing these bi-polar conditions can be performed
in numerous ways. However, the postrationalisation of cinematographic
methods of control - fade in/fade out, cut/splice, pan/freeze - can be
used as diagrams for the deconstruction of the joy of liquid
For it is only by recognising the institutional tea rule that the
subject of drinking will reach the full depth of experience and its
sensuality. Like eroticism, sweet tea needs both system and excess. Which
can be seen as a kettle/sugar dialogue.
To really appreciate white tea, you may even have to run out of
Paris.3For alternative method see 'Tea' by 42.4See Tschumi's book
Architecture and Disjunction5Position
of arrogance which trys to adopt the cultural high ground