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Discursive Image
The Analogue as a Critical Project
Cameron McEwan
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The following image is from a suite of 33 drawings that explore the formal and conceptual principles of Aldo Rossi’s analogical city. In particular, this drawing superimposes ten of Rossi’s drawings from the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies exhibition catalog entitled Aldo Rossi in America: 1976–1979 (1979). Rossi’s drawings are redrawn by the author together, one after the other, excluding color and shadow hatching. The aim is twofold. On one hand the drawing accumulates the material of Rossi’s analogical city as an inventory of forms and typical elements, including geometrical forms, urban types, and domestic objects. The combinational and compositional principles that underline the analogical city are figured forth and it is possible to identify the principles of frame, focus, frontality, horizon, figure, ground, series, and inventory. On the other hand, a new project is constructed. The overlaying of multiple drawings simultaneously erases Rossi’s project through the mass accumulation of form toward a new representation. A conceptual and formal dialogue is developed with the analogical city. The analogue becomes a methodological and theoretical device toward a critical project.

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