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Issue 7.1

Tectonics in Equipoise

More than physical but less than ephemeral might be an excellent way to begin. Defining tectonics as the “physical and constructed elements of a building, whether necessary or figurative” supplies a hint at the problem: necessary or figurative.Footnote1 The figurative suggests there can be a rhetorical, semantic, and—riffing on the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis’ argument for autonomous creativity—a socially constructed imaginary of material assembly.Footnote2 This contradiction between material and unreal is ultimately irreconcilable: how can you have a built environment without a material something or an immaterial something without material references?

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