Orderly Disorder>

Enrique Rojo Asín, Pamplona

Sandri, P. Painting (Composition with 11 wooden panels, 17 wood slats and 4 colours) Softening the Margin. Group exhibition?Project175?Zurich: 2016. ? Sandri, P.

By definition, order in architectural terms is defined as the organization of constructive elements –either structural or not- in a given space, being the organization given by an “intelligent” individual.

Therefore, order, as dependant of an individual, does not follow a certain pattern. Supposedly, there are no formulas to evaluate if a building has an intrinsic order or not.
However, historically, there has been a social, and even, architectural convention of how constructions should be designed according to pre-stablished orders. Actually, even though modernity was meant to be a period of new architecture ideas in order to exceed the past, now that modernity has ended, it can be said that in the end, modernity was in a way not more than new constraints for architecture design.
It is almost impossible not to recall about order when imaging buildings. As appointed by N. A. Salingaros, human brain tends to like what he can understand, and in the architecture sense, that means simple forms and structures that clearly show the action of gravity (1).
Even historians tend to catalogue or classify buildings according to these rules in an act of simplification for the masses. In addition, socially, unexpected changes are not usually well taken, and breaking up with the stablished orders need time to assimilate as we tend to trust what we already know or have experienced.

In an attempt to finally surpass given orders, architects should try to conceive buildings by an “orderly disorder”, an order specifically created for each building that losses his meaning out of its own elements, circumstances and construction. Apparently, at a first glance, inhabitants of that system could not understand the organization of the space. It will take an intellectual approach to the building to discover its internal structure, its very own nature. Inhabitants will participate of buildings by a process of discovery instead of the actual promoted “inclusive architecture” that pretends to include people in the means of architecture by public voting, a voting that normally takes only to account the formal appearance of buildings. Wouldn’t be better to make people experience space in order to understand it than just simplify architecture and its formal definition to some pre-stablished rules?

To do so, it will be necessary to accept the unexpected and the idea of continuous change in order to recognise the restricted space. It is important to note the restriction concept because, as L. Mansilla and E. Tuñón explains, “restriction is no more than the other side of equality and diversity(2)” and so, the only way to perceive change is to restrict space with architecture elements: walls, columns, beams, etc.
In addition, to achieve an “orderly disordered” design, architects need to look for processes of restraint from the project and its final form. Scaling (3) , creation of diagrams of spatial structures and so on are necessary to move away from pre-conceived formal solutions in the architects’ minds.
Finally, it has to be understood that to conceive a work of architecture should not only promote an experience of the world(4), but also to stablish a form of knowledge between the world and the building itself.


(1) Salingaros, N. A. Unified Architecture Theory: Form, Language, Complexity. Portland: Sustasis Foundation, 2012.
(2) Mansilla, L. & Tuñón, E. –Editor: Capitel, A.- Musac. Seis Paisajes. Sobre arquitectura moderna y contemporánea. Una antología: 122-127. Buenos Aires: Textos de Arquitectura y diseño, 2016 –translated-
(3) Def. Scaling: a linear transformation that enlarges or diminishes objects.
Mansilla, L. & Tuñón, E. ibid.
(4) Pezo Von Ellrichshausen. Prologue. Spatial Structure: 8-13. Copenhagen: Architectural Publisher B, 2016