Recording and Projecting Architecture, A blinds library for the city of Rome - Plan by Filippo Maria Doria - TuDelft, Border Condition
This project envisions the limit of the process of dematerialization of physical culture in the case of a blinds library. For a blind, there is always an intermediate phase between the confrontation with physical reality and the formation of an internal image of space, where the function of the eye is substituted by an additional intellectual effort. Lacking the sense of vision as a spontaneous interpretation of space, the blind is constantly forced to codify the external into verbal and numerical systems in order to delineate the characteristics of his surroundings. It is therefore common practice between blinds, that of counting their steps to measure distances in the city, or relying on names and descriptions to recognise places and objects. Without sight, space loses its certainties and become a conjecture, an hypothesis.
Similarly, there is an instant of blindness at the very origin of representation, a suspension of sight which enables any speculation on space. What is drawing if not a conjecture? Just before a line is traced, the draughtsman is blind to the visible: what guides the hand is an internal image, which exactly for being invisible has the capacity of anticipating the visible.
The library has the quality of a linear drawing where the experience of architecture awakes the visionary power of the blind reader. The blinds access information in lecterns disseminated in the field and give their contribution by means of compiling and editing of existing text.
The architecture of the library borrows from Braille language its peculiar relations between number, sign and significant. The unstable field of knowledge constituting the library is organised and indexed in an hypertextual network of relations linking different topics and establishing their relations of proximity, contiguity and interconnection in space.