A diary is an ambiguous way to communicate. It is an intimate partner of the mind, but by entrusting thoughts to paper by means of written language, the content could become accessible for others.

A diary also means a structure, arranging observations, remarks, quotes, ideas, memories, … thoughts. On the long term becoming a patchwork, a puzzle, a labyrinth of thoughts. At the end pieces could fall into a completed puzzle ? Lets call it a “queeste”.
On the short term it obliges one to think over “small talk”. To catch volatile impressions passing the mind and wondering what could be of any importance.
Writing is reflecting. The diary as a manual of thoughts.

As an “architect” I was always busy in different subject areas ; lightdesign and scenography for theatre, directing musictheatre (IN VITRO), creating installations and performances, drawing architecture (no4MAD|archn.).
When I started teaching in 2007, I thought time was right to write down some of my experiences.  To share.
In my courses I tryed to link previous mentioned artistic fields, by means of (geo-)historical or socio-cultural lines, socalled red threads.
One of my favourite lines, but without visuals (about the interpretation of colours) : J.W. von Goethe (vs. Isaac Newton) – Rudolf Steiner – Ludwig Wittgenstein – Johannes Itten – Josef Albers – Mark Rothko – Romeo Castellucci.
Confronted with this method I started questioning more of what could have been the main reason and underlying motivation to be active in such different ways.
To reflect.

Considering myself as a conceptual thinker by which individual projects had to be strongly motivated, I never had questioned myself what was the red thread in all these activities. Besides being attracted by the general combination of technique and art, of craftsmanship and intuition, I never researched what could have been contentwise the underlying connecting idea, the main motive.
Of course regarding an architect as an “Homo Universalis”, one can always explain being interested in several domains and of course I believe that crossing borders between specialized activities is on itself a strong method for developing concepts (by analogy) and designing (by inspiration).
On the other hand, architecture always being on the side of “the law” and so buildings being unable to communicate a truly critical or cautionary note to society, I felt a lack in the practice of architecture as an applied profession. Even in utopian projects there is most of the time the signature of a too dominant architect, often accompanied by politicians, a dictator …

In the past years of teaching and by that reflecting and questioning, I traced a personal main guideline which I followed intuitive for years. It is my opinion that this issue, this way to approach the creative process in general, could add another interpretative layer to the thinking during “the making of” (by the maker) and the experiencing (by the observer, the user, …).
Interpretation to enrich our ways to communicate and to experience. As Susan Sontag finishes in her “Against Interpretation” (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961),) : “In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art“.

Slowing down, talking, teaching, discuss, writing. This diary is and will be part of this process. It is also a way to communicate with students who will contribute and participate in this blog.

Jan Dekeyser | Sept. 27th 2013