Jean Nouvel

1. ARCHITECTURE OF CONCEPTS

Jean Nouvel has defined his work as that of one who is devoted to the assembly and fine-tuning of concepts. A concept creates a space of free connections between ideas, generated by their mutual synergy, which constructs a force field in which certain relevant issues and strategies are trapped. In other words, it stimulates and invites us to contemplate the solution of certain unknowns, to travel unexplored paths, to think differently.
For Nouvel, the concept is thus a variable, complex state of relationship between a multiplicity of ideas from different sources which enables us to takle specific problems and reformulate them effortlessy.
For Nouvel, facing up to emergency problems or old themes in the light of the present necessarily requires the production of a new conglomerate. It might partially share its elementary components with another, but only with systems of forces and dependencies that are utterly distinct from each other. The result is that these concepts are systems in constant redefinition, still in a magmatic state. They are permanently in their formative period. This prevent them from achieving recognizable structures and hierarchies. In other words, they are impure lexicons, languages in creation for which an appropriate grammar for the structure of their contents is yet to be developed.
Thus, moving to the realm of the project, his buildings seem to have a certain spatial dismemberment and a natural assumption of imperfection. They are units in which there is no sense in speaking of organizations, in whichlexicons from different sources are overlapped without reference to an overall model of order. What we really find fascinating is that in spite of being highly sophisticated as intellectual constructions, they do not appear to be so in formal or organisational terms. When the constellation of ideas suddenly solidifies in the project, it generate fascinating clusters with a delibe…

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