Today Enrique Walker presented a Lecture on his theory research project the Dictionary of Received Ideas. Enrique conceives his teaching space as a testing ground, generating evidence through the work of his students during studio. He then starts writing…

The Dictionary of Received Ideas wishes to investigate both Practice and Ideas, or Theory and Design, that is ideas that have an effect on your design.

For this project Enrique was inspired by two writers in particular:

Georges Perec, relative to self imposed and volontary constraints, resulting in a different way of producing, in this case architecture;

And Gustave Flaubert, relative to looking at what we take for granted without critically processing it.

This of course applied to the architectural field, that is to examine clichés in the world of architecture, ideas that we take for granted, but with regards to design techniques.

The Dictionnaire des ideés recues by Flaubert, project from which Enrique’s research gets its name, was an inventory of ready made phrases that you had to use in 19th Century France to be socially accepted. Flaubert wanted people to start thinking before talking. He provided instructions rather than giving definitions.

Enrique aims to chart clichés used in architecture in his Dictionary of Received Ideas…

But what is a Received Idea in Architecture? What is an architectural Cliché?

It is a technique that had intensity and was effective, that then gets used excessively, deleting it of its efficiency through its abuse. Or a solution to a problem that is no longer there.

Through his work Enrique hopes to give new use to these clichés…

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