Flatness transformed and otherness embodied: a study of John Hejduk's Diamond Museum and Wall House 2 across the media of painting, poetry. architectural drawing and architectural space

To study architectural space in relation to other works of art, the author aims at understanding how meaning depends upon the medium within which it is formulated. More importantly, the process of re-stating a work from one medium to another requires analytically rigorous study at the level of design thinking. In this thesis, Piet Mondrian’s sixteen Diamond Compositions, George Braque’s Studio Series, and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’s Comptesse d'Haussonville will be studied as points of departure of John Hejduk¡’s two sets of architectural projects: the Diamond Series and the Wall House Series. Compositional similarities among these works will be discovered as the design means of Hejduk’s architecture. Moreover, these paintings suggest two design ends: C flatness and otherness. Hejduk’s poems about paintings and his architectural drawings will be examined as working media in which the two design ends are formulated. On this basis, the Diamond Series and the Wall House Series will be analyzed once again on the basis of how flatness and otherness are constructed in architectural space. In a way, Hejduk defines his own design means in the medium of architecture. It is noted that the re-statement of meaning in the medium of architecture involves both a retrospective understanding of the spatial structure and an embodied experience of the immediate spatial condition. Only when space makes sense independent of the references back to existing works in other media such as painting or poetry and the key design move is made will the readings of such works become architectural concepts. In the media of painting, poetry, architectural drawing, and architectural space, John Hejduk designs intention in its own right as part of the design process. Therefore, working across media entails far more than superficial references or fanciful representations. Rather, it is a serious investigation into the construction of medium-specific meaning, which the work of Hejduk clearly exemplifies. For the same reason, Hejduk’s work can be understood beyond personal or mystical expressions, becoming a tangible, logical, and thereby shared construction.
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