David Greene: The Big Nothing

The idea of nothing, of the disappearance of substance, becomes fundamental to modern experience and provides the context for architectures impetus towards the invisible. Perhaps it is the latent backstory to Mies’ famous phrase “Less is more”. Though he meant a kind of reductive elegance with less ornament and fewer barriers, and that an absence of building might magnify architectural experience, the phrase is strangely opaque and undefined. It is a phrase that can mean almost anything you want it to mean depending upon which ‘less’ and ‘more’ you meant. If you were Buckminster Fuller ‘Less’ would mean a building that weighed less. If you were Cedric Price, it might mean that the building cost less – and that an architectural imperative was to not build any more than necessary as we see at Interact in Kentish Town. It might, if you were David Greene, ‘less’ means an architecture of almost nothing at all – a very specific kind of nothing: the nothings derived from Marconi, Marx and Freud: the invisible tides of modernity that rage around us.

Source: David Greene: The Big Nothing