Since his early childhood years, Isa did become a miracle – a miracle of an outstanding stupidity and stupendous parenting gone horribly wrong. Most toddlers have occasional tantrums, but Isa was an exceptionally talented drama queen, a spoiled brat whose frequent defiance against his parent’s wishes were well worth an Oscar. Isa’s mother, Nona and father, Ati struggled with their resilient child. Throughout the first three months of his attendance in the nursery, Isa’s face was moisturised by beads of tears flowing out of his brown eyes. Every morning he pleaded with his mother not to leave him at the nursery. Then, one morning, as Nona handed a tiny grey rucksack to Isa’s teacher standing on the other side of the nursery’s entrance door, Isa firmly clenched her feet. Nona tried to explain to Isa that every child hates their kindergarten in the first days, but later will hate leaving it. “You are in the good hands of Miss Mesuese. The two of you will get on fine.”
“But, we won’t!” Alexander complained. “She’s constantly telling me what to do as if I’m one of her toys.”
“That is a cruel observation, Isa!” Nona replied firmly.“ You should apologise, right now!”
“You see! That’s exactly what she does to me, all the time.” Alexander confessed. “She constantly tells me what to do, as if she is my mother.”
Miss Mesuese was looking at him with a compassionate smile, clinching on his grey bag with her right hand. Nona stood up, and as she was about to leave, she apologised to the teacher. Nona held out her hands and bent over to forcefully engulf Isa’s tiny body into her arms. Alexander resisted and pushed her with his small grubby hands, looking down. Miss Mesuese tapped Nona’s left shoulder. After straightening her body, Nona left the entrance lobby and walked towards Ati, her husband waiting for her in his car. Nona stepped inside the car and closed the passenger door without saying a word.
After noticing Nona’s frowning face, Ati tried to reason with her. “Don’t you stress yourself over this, Nona!”
“But, I do not want to see him traumatised,” Nona confessed.
“Unless you are contemplating Isa’s premature death, there’s no escape from seeing him traumatised,” Ati concluded, and then laughed. “After all, he will eventually get married one day!”
A week later, Isa immersed himself into massacring strawberries at his nursery. Isa’s face was smeared with red juice as if he didn’t realise that fruits are for eating and not for face painting. Isa grabbed the empty plastic bowl and walked towards his teacher. Once he got within arms’ reach for her teacher, he pulled her red leather skirt.
The teacher turned around and asked. “What’s the matter, Alex?”
“Could I have some more?” Alexander asked, lifting up his yellow bowl.
“What’s the magic word?”
“Abracadabra!” Alexander replied.
What a fucking loser! I’m not making this shit up. He really said it.
The teacher laughed embarrassingly, covering her mouth with her long-slim fingers and tipped her head to the right. After she calmed down, she bowed towards Alexander. She stretched out her left index finger, holding it upwards and swinging it like a metronome pendulum.
“Did I say something wrong?” Alexander asked, glancing up at his teacher and seeking some guidance.
“No!” the teacher replied instantly, and after a brief hesitation, she added. “Your reply is ludicrously flawless, but that’s not the magic word I was looking for!”
“Hocus Pocus?” Alexander took another wild guess.
The teacher laughed again before replying. “Wrong again! It’s more like Hocus Pleasus!”
Global education platform, my arse! This kid doesn’t even know the difference between the magic word for tricking others and for attaining something. Yet, miraculously, the future of mankind depends on him. Oddly enough, the nursery was called Bright Kids Nursery.
Ati wiped his narrow lips with a napkin. He extracted a Maduro cigar out of his corded jacket’s inner pocket and set it burning with a match. He inhaled two puffs, unleashing a dense white smoke covered his face and with his eyebrows raised, glanced up towards Alexander’s curious look, and replied, “Yes, that’s true!”
He spoke in a low, flat voice, looking down at the fluid red liquid as he spun the wine glass clockwise once in a while. After grabbing a sizeable ceramic ashtray, in which he dropped the matchstick, Ati headed for the patio doors, opened them and looked up at the stars.
“Dad, will Lokin’s father be free soon?” Alexander asked.
“I don’t know, Alexander. Most probably, he will be sent home. Lokin is a good kid, and he deserves to grow up with his father by his side.” Ati replied, after turning around with a seamlessly grave face.
“But surely a declaration of love for someone can’t be a criminal offence, Dad. Lokin’s father didn’t hurt or offend anyone else by declaring his affection for God!” Alexander objected as he raised his head, revealing his wide chestnut eyes that radiated scrupulous alertness.
“You’re right, my son. But to maintain unity and brotherhood among mankind, Communism didn’t permit any divisions among its constituents. Communism scorned God’s existence and banned people from practising their religions,” Ati replied.
His mother promptly interjected, reminding Alexander that his steak was getting cold, and then continued. “Your dad is very fond of Communism and is well-positioned under the regime. He’s a well-respected judge, earns a decent salary, and enjoys many privileges. So, his affection for Communism shouldn’t surprise you.”
“Alex, your mum is right. Eat your food while it’s warm,” Ati agreed, drinking up the wine leftovers in his glass. “But, you should never forget that communism provided free education for every human being, liberated women from the suppressive religious indoctrination, and ended the prominent hypocrisy of the individual land ownership.”
“Why is land ownership, such hypocrisy?” Nona blasted.
Ati collapsed in laughter and could not cease giggling for a while.
“Please, stop laughing and answer my question!” Nona broke out savagely.
After he managed to calm down himself and clear out his throat, Ati replied, turning towards Alexander, “Your mother is fortunate to not have married a fellow Muslim husband, who wouldn’t hesitate to turn her into a ninja, by placing a niqab over her head, because their God demands it!”
A thinly sliced potato chunk disappeared into Isa’s mouth before asking his father. “What’s the harm in believing in God?”
Ati stepped into the porch and left his cigars outside on top of the ceramic ashtray. He sat in his chair and dipped another piece of his steak into a yellow sauce. His face produced a smile of superiority visible on the muscles of his cheeks as he replied. “What matters to God is whether humankind obeys Its commandments. And though your mother might disagree with me, until Communism emerged, humans failed to fulfil God’s commandments.”
“Alex, don’t listen to your dad,” Nona intruded, adding. “This is nonsense.”
Ati reacted quickly. “Unlike any other system, Communism remained truthful to the Holy Scriptures. Communists delivered Christianity without God, whereas Capitalists delivered a God without Christianity.”
“Come on, Ati! That’s not true, and you know it,” Nona replied sharply.
Ati ceased nibbling the beef for a while and riveted an astounding stare with lifted eyebrows on Nona, expressing his discord. “But it is true, Nona. Capitalism allowed Christian believers to practice their religious rituals, but not Christianity! Communism was the only system that was coherent with the laws of Moses. For example, God forbade land ownership in perpetuity, did It not?”
“Yes, It did!” she confirmed, her voice slithering down a notch as though she were conversing with herself.
“Did the God-worshipping countries forbid the eternal ownership of land?” Ati continued his crucifixion.
Unwilling to accept Ati’s emphatic opinion, Nona sank back at her chair and replied reluctantly by lowering her head.
“You see, they didn’t. It was the God-denying Communists who put an end to the everlasting ownership of land. Didn’t God forbid giving out loans with interest?” Ati asked again.
Instead of replying, Nona retreated into herself. She mutely pierced the roast potato on her plate with her fork and cut it into four pieces before sprinkling salt onto them.
“Did the God-worshipping countries prohibit loans with interest? No, they did not! It was the Communist countries that created national banks, and instead of subjecting its citizens to interest rates, the banks charged only administrative costs!” Ati cried out, taking a handsome swig of his wine. “You see, my dear wife, Communism was the only political system which put God’s laws into practice.”
“Alright, Ati,” Nona added in a faltering, childlike voice. Her half-hearted tone indicated that she wasn’t eager to engage further into the discussion, if Ati would demand an epitome to her earlier argument. “I admit that there might have been just a couple of God’s instructions that were accomplished by the Communist syst—”
“Just a couple?” Ati interrupted sternly with unhesitating assurance. “Did you forget the one whereby God demanded that the king shall not acquire an excessive quantity of gold and silver? Unlike the current world leaders in the God-welcoming democratic countries, who became enormously wealthy, Communist leaders did not attain extreme wealth.”
“That might be true, but Communist leaders enjoyed many privileges,” Nona objected firmly, as she leaned back, flashing a defiant glance at her husband.
“Yes, that’s true, but they did not have millions stocked in their safes or in foreign banks. After they died, no wealth was passed on to their families. You see, Alex, the Communists were the only ones who fulfilled the laws of God and produced a system devoted to Its commandments.”
Nona observed her son timidly, refraining from engaging further. Ati angled his face towards Alexander’s and blasted out with full confidence. “In fact, Karl Marx was the Messiah who was promised by the Holy Scriptures.”
“Hahahahahaha!” Nona erupted into a fit of laughter, holding her ribs with her hands. “I have always loved your sense of humour!”
“What is so funny?” Ati asked.
“How can you claim that he was the Messiah when he denied God’s existence and rejected religions?” Nona interrogated, still laughing.
“The Holy Scriptures foresaw that the Messiah would bring new laws and unite the people, something that Marx ultimately achieved. He produced new laws and unified many different nations and races around the world, beyond territorial borders,” Ati replied before unleashing another question. “Who else has achieved this in the past?”
“But you still haven’t answered my question,” Nona persisted.
“The Messiah’s task was to unite humankind, right? Do you honestly believe that the Messiah would be able to deliver the global brotherhood if all these different religions and sects continued to exist?” Ati pursued his discourse.
“Dad, what is a Messiah?” Alex asked, in a puzzled, lost way.
“The Messiah allegedly is the one anointed by God to bring peace to the world and end all wars. According to many religious scholars, he would be sent to Earth and would implement the laws of Moses. It was the God-denying Marx who brought the laws of Moses into practice by ending land ownership in perpetuity, interest on financial loans, and creation of wealthy leaders. Not the God-worshipping capitalists in the US.” Ati replied, pouring himself more wine before passionately persisting with his rhetoric.
“Ah, I knew it. There you go again with the USA, a place whereby people enjoy the highest level of democracy and freedom. It is the richest and most developed country in the world.” Nona objected in a breathless voice.
Architecture has to constantly evolve and question its established perceptions and principles of working in order to deliver inventively and exiting architectural creativity.
If an architect is preconceived to be a designer then we should interrogate the nature of the word design. The word design derives from two French words de and Signum, which in “The Chambers Dictionary” prefix de stands for off, and the word Signum is translated as a mark.
Thereby, the word design reflects the process in which one steps off a mark which literally means taking something away from a sign.
The word designer does not stand for reproducing the sign and its essence is not for it to follow a consistent path, which in effect constitutes that the incentive of the designer, which is not in being faithful in reproducing icons from the past but instead to create new icons.
In relation to the above statement, a deconstructive architect corresponds more to the essence of the conception of design when a Classical or a Modernist architect be true to taking away the signage by actually producing a signature building true to their values constantly throughout their career?
The heterogeneous and un-repetitive buildings are without a doubt one of the principal characteristics of Deconstructive Architecture.
This associated quality in Deconstructive Architecture is what confuses when one tries to define it.
The concept of conceiving genuine and not so familiar spaces distinguishes deconstructive architecture from other movements, whereas Palladio found his professional enlightenment in symmetry contrary, to challenge their shape, mode or a way of using it?
Technology is rapidly changing in order to accommodate the challenging needs of the user yet architecture still remains a servant to the geometrical parameters of the equipment/ furniture inhabiting the space without transforming them to suit the needs of the user.
The danger of such practice is that the architect either becomes a client by ignoring the design process and knowing exactly what it would look like once the brief is read or follows the client’s vision.
This criticism by Mark Wigley in 1998 has also noted that modern with rigidity in decorative features, Mies did so in detailing of constructive materials in a non-decorative manner, therefore, both the Classicist and Modernist architects have pledged their work to certain etiquette.
However, a deconstructive architect does not adapt his project to a common architectural formula but instead, he/she responds to the non-architectural elements, such as history, events, site context, and etc, because every deconstructivist project depicts different tangents related to its humanistic and sentimental values Deconstructive Architecture cannot be marginalized into a simple definition.
Classical architecture strived upon the production period of building ditto of the decorative ornaments.
Modernist architecture is similar; however, in opposition to the Classicist achieving purity in a building enchanted them.
Both of the aforementioned movements focused primarily on the building process. Deconstructive Architecture in comparison to the movements it bypasses dedicates its attention to the experience of a building after it becomes inhabitable.
One of the colours authentic to Deconstructive Architecture is the focus of the human experience of a space. The same consideration for the sentimental element can be traced in the writings of the Soviet Constructivists.
Constructivists maintained the perception of what the building should shelter but also invoke feelings to the user, hence a building should shelter but an architectural building should create an experience.
Another characteristic of the featured architecture is about displacement that is also identical to Constructivists’ beliefs. Displacement in itself is a condition that every progressive society absorbs.
Architecture is no exception and it cannot progress without its preconceived theories being challenged continuously.
In this respect, Deconstructivist architects have been successful in providing new insights into the theoretical aspect, whereas Modernists architects objected to the present decorative elements in the Classical architecture, Deconstructivists homologues routed their attention to the missing elements of architecture.
Whilst Modernist architects justified their purpose in successfully replacing the ornaments favoured by the Classicists, the deconstructive trajectory relies on displacement, one which, supplements architecture with additional values.
Therefore, Deconstructive Architecture cannot be mistaken for having destructive motives; a view already affirmed by Jacques Derrida should be understood as an elevating discourse.
This is done by reinscribing the established norms of architecture, another element implied by Derrida to be consistent in Deconstruction.
The process of reinscription constitutes in reinterpreting architectural elements. In the past architectural ideas were conveyed through drawings as a primary means of communication.
Deconstructivists consider verbal communication as equally as important as the graphical one in expressing their intentions, an architecture filtered through Deconstructivism no longer depends on the power of the lines but its strength is found in the interpretation of the ideas conceiving the spaces.
Due to this aspect, the image of an architect is no longer envisioned to be one of an individual with technical competence only producing working drawings. Through Deconstructive discourse, the architect’s position has changed into a literary profession.
Deconstructivists similar to Constructivists do not build buildings but rather they assemble the building’s elements together, whereby deconstructive buildings have no symmetry and do not facet ornamental values nor do they aim to provide purity.
Deconstructive architecture does not lie within a certain artistic ideology but it responds to its immediate spaces individually but is a tailored architecture, a process of obtaining a deconstructive building is parallel to producing a tailored jacket.
Deconstructive construction is similar to the tailored suits, which consist of elements that prior are sown individually and after assembled together.
The above are the characteristics of Deconstructivist Architecture but they are never applied in the same way, not even in the many works associated with an individual architect and therefore as it is constantly evolving the process true to an art form, architecture is again reconstituted to the status of art discipline.
The poignant story associated with architecture is the forty years of wait for it to become free to create, instead of copying and spreading a particular ideology obedient to a particular belief instead of architecture users, whereby Soviet constructivists and deconstructive philosophers have both played a major role in order for deconstructive architecture to surface.
The Constructivists are credited for the roots of the tree of deconstructive architecture and Derrida for securing the means under which it would flourish. Deconstruction presents a movement closer to a human being, by not defining the rules of life and conduct.
Deconstructive Architecture is not a style, but a tool that analyses a style and searches for ways to enrich it and does not serve the colonial appetite of massively spreading an ideology of a particular time or civilization. It looks for ways to help a building achieve its aims.
Deconstructive Architecture does not turn a building into a slave serving a particular style.
Deconstructive Architecture does not aim to create iconic buildings. It attempts to create memorable experiences in them.
Deconstructive Architecture does not claim which the correct way to do architecture. It only alludes to the ways it could be.
Deconstructive Architecture does not celebrate stones, brick, mortar or steel. It celebrates life in spaces confined by materials.
Deconstructive Architecture is not a closed chapter. That is why its architecture will continue to excite shock, horrify and inflict a reaction.