Guy Nordenson and Associates were invited to install this Camber exhibition assisted by students at Southern California Institute of Architecture, in spring 2004. The text accompanying the exhibit was as follows:
What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence - L Wittgenstein 1922
What is the expression of structure to the touch, to the ear, to the mind? Leslie Robertson painted the World Trade Center towers with steel grades of all kinds to accord to particulars of the site's wind rose. But no one ever saw this and so far no one has ever drawn its picture. The fact remains in our minds.
Patterns can realize structure to our eyes - the observation of constellations, the grain of metal, the glazing figures of ceramics, the behavior of ducks and the flowers of nonlinear dynamic are clues to the hidden work of natural laws. Empirical research and close attention has un-veiled some astonishingly simple truths. And so we have come to expect that the expression of those truths in structure lends authenticity and authority to our work - architecture as the common ground of culture and nature.
Dynamis as in Homer for power, might, authority and in Plato for the force or meaning of a word and Thucydides for the value of money. Natural force is unseen - cause glimpsed through effect. And so is political force. Democracy is discernment - we don't expect to be told the truth by any one but by our democratic knowledge we assemble it in time. The force of argument in the agora directs the social assignment of meaning and value in an ever nonlinear dynamic swirl.
A beam, a floor, a roof are dynamic structures in momentary, static, rest. To camber a structure is simply to calculate in advance the shape it takes under gravity and counter that by pre-forming it in reverse. And so it comes out flat.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins - TS Eliot 1922