The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Abstract Options
alibey1917
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2019 2:37:06 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2018
Posts: 157
Neurons: 3,130
"Both construction and violent erasure [of skyscrapers] also entail the use of professional and calculative power or architects and engineers. On the one hand, this power is used to push up an immense and abstract set of modernist or neomodernist towers against the forces of gravity; on the other, to ‘unbuild’ them through calculating the structural properties of the target and the capabilities of the truck bomb or the velocity and power of the impacting aircraft."

What does "abstract" mean in this context?

The source: Stephen Graham's Vertical
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2019 3:01:52 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 12,267
Neurons: 60,793
alibey1917 wrote:
"Both construction and violent erasure [of skyscrapers] also entail the use of professional and calculative power or architects and engineers. On the one hand, this power is used to push up an immense and abstract set of modernist or neomodernist towers against the forces of gravity; on the other, to ‘unbuild’ them through calculating the structural properties of the target and the capabilities of the truck bomb or the velocity and power of the impacting aircraft."

What does "abstract" mean in this context?

The source: Stephen Graham's Vertical


The buildings aren't abstract, they are real, so in this usage I think the writer wants to convey the idea that the buildings are the conceptual ideas of the architects that are brought into existence. That's why they are described as modernist, or neomodernist towers against the forces of gravity.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 3:30:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,174
Neurons: 208,218
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I agree, it's referring to the shape and design - like an "abstract sculpture".



abstract adj
6. Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than on narrative content or pictorial representation: abstract painting and sculpture.
American Heritage

4. (Art Terms) denoting art characterized by geometric, formalized, or otherwise nonrepresentational qualities Collins English Dictionary
5. emphasizing line, color, and nonrepresentational form: abstract art. Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary
thar
Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 4:13:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 20,875
Neurons: 84,483
Yes, there does seem to be an architectural fashion to try to make the base of tall buildings as insignificant as possible - a sort of "Look mum, no hands!"
But the more extracts I see from this author the more I come to think that however much he may know about buildings, he is terrible at writing about them!


This one actually has some justification, as it frees the ground level space, but others just do things like this for the wow factor.





There is a reason the pyramids are still there, though!
alibey1917
Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019 5:42:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2018
Posts: 157
Neurons: 3,130
Thank you, I got it.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.