Architecture is built for the inhabitant. In its basic form it is created to provide shelter, space to live and work. The first forms of architecture were built for a nomadic lifestyle and our present world is turning back towards living a nomadic lifestyle. My generation does not feel the need to be bound to a traditional life lived in one place and in one house. Our lives are nomadic and thus fragmented by our desire for change and movement. Thomsen writes about the architect Tschumi in, Deconstructive Designs and Built Architectural Visions, “One of his axioms is that contemporary life is basically disjunctive, dissociated, and discontinuous: that is, life takes place in leaps; there is no one reality but many; meaningful value judgments are no longer possible; history cannot be controlled; and nothing can be considered definite. Everything, Tschumi believes, is fragmented…” (Thomsen).
Deconstructive architecture is beginning to reflect this nomadic lifestyle. However, our ideal nomadic lifestyle culminate with buildings that conform to the user as opposed to traditional modular style nomadic architecture. The fragmented nature of deconstructive architecture would support the ideals of the modern nomad. Thomsen writes that deconstructive architecture, “Involves an urge to overcome aesthetic borderlines and familiar structural principles…” (Thomsen, 2).
Perhaps cities could develop Nomadic zones, housing individuals who are free to come and go. Alison Furuto writes about nomadic architectural exhibit from Portland State University:
Nora Wendl, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, Portland State University, writes, “Nomads move from place to place very purposefully in search of the things that sustain them – food, water, and other resources. While one culture’s patterns of movement might be borne out of necessity, for another culture movement patterns arise out of desire, a curiosity. For the necessarily nomadic, it is often the case that the ways in which temporary, nomadic architectures are constructed will echo the methods by which the nomadic body itself is adorned and protected” (Furuto, 1).
Deconstructive architecture would form the stylistic foundation for a nomadic complex. The complex would latch on to existing structures within cities allowing for changes based on the people who would inhabit the structure. Similar to the ideas created in New Babylon by Constant Nieuwenhuis, where the individual would be allowed to design their living space. Constant states, “The optimum organization of material conditions and the maximum development of each person’s sense of initiative – we can deduce the essentials of a structure that is no longer composed of nuclei, as in the traditional settlement, but is organized according to the individual and collective covering of distance, of errancy: a network of units…” (Nieuwenhuis, 4). Cities will have fragmented nomadic societies living along side the normative; practical societies. For those who rely on order the traditional city laid out in its rational grid would exist and intermingled would be a nomadic complex for those who thrive in fragmented; flexible spaces. A nomadic lifestyle could once again become a reality.
C. Thomsen, C. (1982). “Deconstructive Designs and Built Architectural Visions. In Visionary Architecture: From Babylon to Virtual Reality. New York: Prestle, 134-50.
Furuto, Alison. “Toward a Nomadic Architecture Exhibition.” ArchDaily. 19 Feb. 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. http://www.archdaily.com/209314/toward-a-nomadic-architecture-exhibition/.
Nieuwenhuis, Constant. “New Babylon.” Constant Nieuwenhuis:. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.