Timeless | Adjective | org. 1550
: staying beautiful or fashionable as time passes
: lasting forever
: having no beginning or end, eternal.
: not affectetd by time
: referring or restricted to no particular time : untimely, ill-timed
: without time
Timeless is not a fashionable word. But its contested meanings can help arouse some productive disagreement on the direction of architecture. Perhaps it is time to put timeless to work. Is there such a thing as timeless architecture? If so, what is timeless? Who is timeless? For the painter, the photographer, the craftsman, the chef, the real estate executive, the sculptor, the government official, the master sandcastle designer, the mixed media designer is timelessness desirable or despicable? Are there timeless aesthetics? Timeless methods of making? Timeless forms? Timeless images? Timeless materials? Timeless tectonics? Timeless structures? Or Timeless types? Universal ideals? Or the notion of lithic origins? A timelessness that’s not forever but endlessly engaging.
What is left of architecture today in this state of constant change? Post-Modernism has come and gone and returned again, but with a different face and some new ideas. Formalists have displaced intentionality with mathematics, machinery, and biology. Those still concerned with relationality have left the conversation and partnered with planners pursuing socially just solutions. Sustainability is de facto. Modernists are still romanticizing the past. No objective methods of comparison other than the pervasive Wölfflinian art historical method exist, apparently. Others are secretly nostalgic for a time before BIM. While only a small rag-tag collection dares to discuss the importance of beauty and expressionism openly. This group of people who call themselves architects – all of those types and us included – seems to disagree about everything. This is exciting! Maybe it is time to reassess what remains.
Queen Elizabeth’s heed to Britain post Brexit may apply, that we must “stay calm and collected”. One thing hasn’t changed: the search for some essential nature, those pesky first principles of architecture continues. Whether we use or reject them is up to us.
In any case: the search for A Timeless is on.
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Room One Thousand encourages speculative dialogue about the state of contemporary architecture. We seek interdisciplinary provocative texts which would fall outside the context of most disciplinary scholarly journals. Speculative essays, design proposals, and short thought pieces about Timeless or its non-existence are all welcome. Submissions should contain previously unpublished work, including but not limited to writing and images.
We accept long form 3,000-5,000 word essays, short thought pieces of 400-500 words, and image based submissions with brief captions. There are no strict limits: we are interested in cultivating new formats of discourse.
We will review either complete submissions or submission proposals. Proposals should be 1-2 paragraphs with an image or two which clearly outline the author’s intended topic of inquiry. For design proposals please include at least one draft image and a quick description of the project’s relevancy to Timeless. All submissions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style 16th ed, unless the author has explicit, creative needs to use other formats.
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Email submissions to RoomOneThousand@gmail.com in the customary manuscript format as pdf's (double spaced, 12pt font, Times New Roman). Please append a short autobiography to the submission text pdf. Include "Submission" in the subject of the email; attach images as separate files in any ordinary format. Please keep submissions under 10 MB, if selected we will ask for print quality images.
Room One Thousand makes its selections according to a peer review process. We will make contact regarding a submission’s status within 1-2 weeks of receiving it.
All proposals are due by Midnight (PST) on November 21st, 2016. We review all submitted content and will contact those who have submitted with further information. Issue 5: Timeless will be released April 2017 in print and online format.