Deconstructive Thinking

The very existence of deconstructive thinking liaises with the actual presence of normative thinking and if the claims of its destructive nature are true then this could pose a threat to Jacques Derrida’s concept.

“But the nature of deconstructive thinking is not to set out to destroy what has been taught in the past but instead to develop and revisit those values by analysing them in detail, hence the description deconstruction. The general assumption of a house is that it is constructed of walls, floors, ceilings, living room, bathroom, and bedrooms. Deconstruction is concerned with the in-between of those already established attachments of the house more than dealing with issues that have already been established. In philosophy, the matter under the spotlight has evolved around providing generalised answers to questions troubling humanity. In the past, we were accustomed to establishing something as true or definite. Deconstructive thinking scans through those predetermined thoughts and values by challenging them to be interpreted in a new form” [Ryan, 1982: 1].

Michael Ryan’s diagnosis of the Deconstructive movement offers more insight into the subject by describing it as investigative of the dominant principles applied in the widely accepted movements. It analyses previously established macroscopic issues through microscopic lenses focusing in detail on a particular treatment of an architectural element or theory and explores modernist views that have been undermined as trivial and underrated.

Derrida’s strategy has been considered by many to be one of the destruction of the past ideologies. Deconstruction’s existence lies in the very existence of perceived absolute structures.

The very existence of deconstruction liaises with the actual presence of normative thinking and if the claims of its destructive nature are true then this could pose a threat to Derrida’s concept.

How can it pursue its interrogative discourse when, by destroying them in the process, it no longer has any scene left to investigate?

Furthermore to ascertain the non-destructive nature of deconstruction, Derrida in “Of Grammatology”, has affirmed that the deconstructive movement acknowledges certain established views. It does not carry the tendency of destructing but in looking for different ways of non-customary forms of recuperating it: “The movements of deconstruction do not destroy structure from the outside. They are not possible and effective, nor can they take accurate aim, except by inhabiting those structures. Inhabiting them in a certain way, because one always inhabits, and all the more when one does not suspect it. Operating necessarily from the inside, borrowing all the strategic and economic resources of subversion from the old structure, borrowing them structurally, that is to say without being able to isolate their elements and atoms, the enterprise of deconstruction always in certain ways falls prey to its own work” [Derrida, 1976: 24]

Derrida argues that the featured discourse inhabits the established structures in order to look for ways for it to be complemented with an improving aim.

Deconstructivism and Constructivism share a common approach that art should not be held hostage to the certain ideologies adopted collectively.

Both movements consider any predetermined means of conduct in arts to be a handicap.

The appeal by Gabo and Pevsner [Bann, 1999: 8] to free art from guidance under a certain set of rules true to a particular ideology has been confirmed by another publication in the magazine Block that was published in 1924.

The article “What Constructivism Is?” reflects the characteristics true to this movement, the Deconstructive Thinking.

Yet again it displays the fact that constructivism relies upon accepting the problems of construction but it also admits that the problem occurring rarely appear to be the same.

It also confirms that it is dedicated to life, which is, of course constantly changing, therefore, the means of tackling it needs to be adapted accordingly and not through a certain system that has been established in the past. Although since the year 1920 the constructivists were very specific in their demands to release art from the right or the wrong judgments of accomplishing it and appealed for it to evolve freely, it was not until the 70’s that their objections gathered momentum.

For five decades in its existence, the constructivist conveyance to be true to the subject and not to a certain universal methodology remained embraced only by the Eastern European academics and artists.



Auge, M., (1995): Non-Places an introduction to the anthropology of the post modernity. Verso, London.

Benjamin, A., ed. (1988): Deconstruction in Architecture. Architectural Design, 58, no. 3/4, London.

De Certeau, M., (1984): The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Rendall, University of California, Berkeley.

Derrida, J,. (1976): Of Grammatology. Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Johns Hopkins UP, Baltimore.

Eisenman, p., (1988): “Eisenmanesie”. V: Architecture + Urbanism, Vol. Extra edition, August. p.:70.

Jencks, C., ed. (1992): The Post-Modern Reader. Academy Editions, London.

Johnson P., Wigley, M., (1988): Deconstructivist Architecture. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Leach N., ed., (1997): Rethinking Architecture; A reader in Cultural Theory. Routledge, London.

Noever, P., (1999): Architecture in Transition; Between Deconstruction and New Modernism. Prestel, Munich.

Ryan, M., (1982): Marxism and Deconstruction: A Critical Articulation. Johns Hopkins UP, Baltimore.

Tschumi, B., (1996): Architecture and Disjunction. MIT Press, London.

Woods, L., (1997): Radical Reconstruction. Princeton Architectural Press, New York.




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