This is a book that holds the intellectual wealth of our world to be elemental. Today, the classical architectonic elements of form, quantity, units, numbers, principles, foundations are all constituted by information, and by literacy. Artefacts are things whose nature consists in our intellectuality. Each one of them is engendered in its kind according to how we bundle our desires. For breath, for scope, for legitimation, for ease, for comfort, for challenge, for joy, for fear, for understanding, for communication, for sharing, for giving, for taking, for caring. Sheaves will not describe anything. It will not judge. It will bundle marks, left by acts of inception, the imprints of which we find in artifacts. There are no continuous texts in the book, but a wide range of topics are indexically concentrated so as to sheave the abounding substance of things-that-are-whatever-can-be-the-case, according to probabilities and their distributions. How to read this book? By taking its notions seriously. Search the internet, and they will lose their generalness. They will begin to speak to you, vividly. Bundle such riches with the riches of other notions, and they will activate each other. Take its pictures seriously, as well. Photograph or scan them. Use them as indexes while searching the internet. Again, you will find rich stories. Bundle those riches, concentrate them into new characterizations of identities that are interesting to you. Let yourself be inspired by the intellectual wealth of our world. You can expand it. It is an exciting adventure, demanding and optimistic.
Ludger Hovestadt is an architect and computer scientist, and, since 2000, Professor for computer-aided architectural design at the ETH Zurich. He is working at the borderline of calculability, and coined the terms “narrative infrastructures” and “serious story telling” to open up the manifold possibilities of information technology to architecture. He has founded several companies. The emphasis of his current research is on how in architecture, by a proper understanding of the nature of electricity and its relation to infrastructures, thinking might be prompted to shift from energy crisis to energy culture and its truly optimistic outlook.
Vera Bühlmann holds an MA in English Literature and Language Studies, and a PhD in media philosophy. She is founder and head of the laboratory for applied virtuality at CAAD ETH Zurich. Applied virtuality expresses the orientation of the theory lab towards how technics, artifice and literacy can constitute architectonic thought in a manner capable of cultivating the power of digital code, electricity, and information technology. Her interest is in thinking towards such architectonics in terms of a critical rationalism, mediated by an alphabetization of algebraic thingness, a “characteristica res generica”.