“BETWEEN THE LINES” – DANIEL LIBESKIND’S JEWISH EXTENSION FOR THE BERLIN MUSEUM
by Regina Vergara
with minor additions by Prof. Purissima Benitez-Johannot
Deconstructivism in art and architecture emerged as an offshoot of French philosopher, Jacques Derrida’s ideas. Derrida proposed this new strategy as a way of reading philosophical or literary texts in order to fully understand its message. To deconstruct a work, the following questions must be asked: “What do the authors do to be able to postulate unassailable truths and absolute concepts in their works? What do they do to convincingly justify and assert the basic principles or foundations on which their theories are based? And failing this: what lengths will they go, what subterfuges and simplifications are they prepared to employ, in order to arrive at philosophy that fully accords with their view of reality?” (Müller in Noever 10).
Although architecture is capable of expressing the aesthetic concept of the architect, it is still subject to scientific and technical rationality. As a product of man that has—since time immemorial– “sheltered” or “provided a cover/venue” for his activities, it simply cannot be separated from its functional purpose. The fundamental laws of physics and the time period’s technology also set the boundaries of architecture’s design development. The use of Classical design principles was never completely detached from architecture till the onset of Modernism and Post-Modernism. During the first three decades of the 20th century architecture, alongside art, was adapted to the process of social rationalization because architects desired that it express the rational advance of mankind. Deconstructivism thus aims to reduce all forms of architecture to pure geometric forms (Müller in Noever 7-12).