Vítor Alves (Vila Nova de Gaia, 1980) is an architect and independent researcher, dedicated to the study of the relationship between the specialized media and the construction of the architect’s figure. He obtained his PhD in 2021 at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto with the thesis entitled Mirror Shards: the Jornal Arquitectos (1981-2015) as the territory of the architect’s construction.
It will be difficult to understand the full impact of the digital on architecture without the internet as its privileged territory; they are, to some extent, inseparable, in the same way that it become inseparable in how architects consume and produce architecture today. Although not always organized, the internet has become architecture’s biggest archive, one made up mainly of images.
Using Luca Galofaro’s montages and their dissemination as a paradigmatic example of a contemporary architectural practice that takes full advantage of the internet as a medium, this text problematizes both the conception and consequences of the digital image on the discipline. The former, how images are consciously constructed, as a kind of graphic hupomnemata for the one who “ingests” the work of others and incorporates it into his own; the latter, the effects to be constrained to a specific medium. If one of the internet’s characteristics is the ability to support simultaneously redundant and contradictory discourses propagating the same type of content within each “niche”, how can we bypass the mashed-up state that the discipline has become? Is it possible through the fruitful use of the digital medium or are we expecting more than what it has to offer?
More than taking sides for or against the internet, perhaps we may ponder one that does not consider it in terms of exclusivity – pixel vs. paper or analogue vs. digital –, but in complementarity with each other, taking the advantages of different media in order to build a more consistent discipline, one that is able to go beyond temporary nodes of aligned interests.
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