P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich), digital image, Keelung Crystal, 2013, Taiwan. Courtesy of James Vincent and Karim Moussa.
Assistant Adjunct Professor Georgina Huljich and Marcelo Spina received a 2015 Graham Foundation Grant to produce the publication Mute Icons: A Pressing Dichotomy in Contemporary Architecture.
No longer concerned with narrative excesses or with the "shock and awe" of sensation making, the mute icon has become intriguing in its deceptive indifference towards context and perplexing in its unmitigated apathy toward the body. Object and building, absolute and unstable, anticipated and strange, manifest and withdrawn: such is the dichotomy of mute icons. This project dwells in the paradox between silence and sign, and aims to debunk false parallels between critical discourse, the pursuit of formal novelty, and the attainment of social ethics. Mute Icons reaffirms the cultural need and sociopolitical relevance of the architectural image, suggesting a much-needed resolution to present conditions, but an incorrect antagonism between formal innovation, social responsibility, and economic austerity. Intersecting relevant antecedents and polemic theoretical speculations with original design concepts and provocative representations of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S’s recent work, the book aspires to stimulate authentic speculations on the real.