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The Body of Daidalos

Part 1 Dissertation 1998
Christophosor Romanos
University of East London London UK
The idea that creation always had to be either rational or irrational, Apollonian or Dionysian limited the creative process by placing its essentials in opposing camps.Within this field it seemed that only examples from the past and isolated present could be considered “good”, creations that transcended the two opposites and forged a connection. During visits to architectural sites be they the ruins of Inca fortresses or a chapel on a French hill,this dualism never interfered with the sense of sublime splendour that these buildings possessed.It was always the experience of the place that was greater than any single characteristic of the building, a sense that made it strangely alive. Furthermore on trying to apply the method of analysis I kept falling short of a full understanding: where did the usefulness of a space begin and where did its sensual “feeling” end.

The point of view went a step further when compared to mythical architecture and especially that of Daidalos whose most famous creation, the Labyrinth, relied on experiencing the maze as a path to its hidden meaning. Daidalic architecture, considered as magical and mysterious, was able to create a perception that was based more on the act of making than any finished product. Experience as a means to understand and the understanding as a means to create become important when reversed: as perception is based on the body then might not creation also have the same beginning?

Looking at architecture by taking examples from the last century that have been found to embody much that is magical in experience, the study led to an analysis of these buildings using the principle that it was through exerience derived from the Body that creation could escape its limitations. Delving into both present and past this dissertation aims to examine the possibility that the body is an underlying principle within creation , consciously or unconsciously, a Body first established by Daidalos in the mythical world of Ancient Greece.Rather than support the individual creativity of the architect the purpose is to try to fully establish what is meant by Body, what its characteristics are and where its limits, if it has any, lie.

Christophosor Romanos

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