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Brian Massumi

The phenomenon of virtual

space is fundamental to the
way human beings relate
perceptually, behaviorally to
their world.
Virtuality is the presence of
what is not literally present,
and it thus enables the
immanence of building to be
annealed to the past and
future, analogous form, and
hypothetical possibility.
In sum, virtuality is
synonymous with
architecture proper, as
opposed to building simple.
Through the use of gesture,
the non-present is made
present and given a secret
status ruled by a nonclassical or grotesque order.

The principle of our access to the virtual is based on the act of

reading, where the movement from the actual to the virtual is
simultaneously a spatial and a philosophical transformation.
Reading is not simply the translation of phonetic or iconographic
characters into their linguistic equivalents, but a restructuring of the
space of appearance.

The origins and evolution of this space of reading are characterized

by a distinctive architecture, and the architecture of inhabitable spaces
is conditioned by this distinctive architecture: the architecture of
reading is the means of reading architecture.
The aim is to show that the phenomenon of transparency in modern
architecture, the very essence of its own production, varies in
technological advances both in its material nature and its linguistic

Throughout the twentieth

century, a line of critical
interpretation of the
mechanisms of creation of
modern architecture that
efficiently understood the
complex development of
their qualities through
conceptualizations derived
from the modes of
regarding to, on the one
hand, the emphasis on the
phenomena of perceiving
its materiality and, on the
other, understanding their
representative capacity.

This understanding can be

exposed through the
phenomenological detection of
various states of predominant
evolution that we synthesise in
four chronological sections from
that are determined by the
critical input of text and/or
buildings whose appearance on
the international scene is
participating in the complex
instrumentalisation of the
I.- From the first
conceptualisations concerning
the Modern Movement
appearing at the time of
the Manifesto of the
International Style, focused on
objective characteristics of
glass as new compositional and
lighting possibility.

II.- After the middle of the century when subjectivity was introduced
into the complex instrumentalisation of transparency, headed by
Rowes reread text and Slutzkys Transparency: Literal and
Phenomenal, considering both the perception (reality) and the
representation (virtuality) of space by the individual.
III.- In the nineties, transparency appears on stage in its hybrid and
ambiguous nature as a manifestation of its own limits and whose
critical paradigm would be identified with OMAs TGB building.
IV.- Currently, in a continuity of research on the possibilities of the
transparent, the final immersion of modernity occurs in local cultures
where the Japanese architecture of the last century, led by Toyo Ito, is
significantly proposed in the age of electronic globalisation.