The Manhattan Transcripts

Architecture is not simply about space and form, but also about event, action, and what happens in space.

The Manhattan Transcripts differ from most architectural drawings insofar as they are neither real projects nor mere fantasies. Developed in the late '70s, they proposed to transcribe an architectural interpretation of reality. To this aim, they employed a particular structure involving photographs that either direct or "witness" events (some would call them "functions," others "programs"). At the same time, plans, sections, and diagrams outline spaces and indicate the movements of the different protagonists intruding into the architectural "stage set." The Transcripts' explicit purpose was to transcribe things normally removed from conventional architectural representation, namely the complex relationship between spaces and their use, between the set and the script, between "type" and "program," between objects and events. Their implicit purpose had to do with the 20th-century city.

Program: Theoretical