Diptych I 

Architecture and Diptych

Nur Çağlar

Adnan Aksu

Published Jul 16, 2020

As in the field of thought, in architecture, art, science, and culture, the tension between newly emerging objects and existing ones leads to the development of transformations based on complex relationships. For instance, today's architecture has to cope with rapidly increasing knowledge while coping with nature. Visuality gaining importance strengthens the image. This situation causes the tools of understanding and expression of architecture to evolve from linear to pictorial, from textual to visual. Thus, the relations are continually changing in architectural environments, which has lost its stability and has become increasingly dynamic.
The ongoing transformation allows us to talk about two sorts of architecture, continuing an 
emerging. These two architectures are separated from each other by its thought/discourse, action/act, image/object, landscape/texture, context/atmosphere, and materiality/materialization. These architectures, which are not similar but dwelled on the same spatial and temporal realm, continue their activities, each preserving its own identity, without interfering with each other, and simultaneously in the same medium. The differences in qualities between the materialized objects become evident, and therefore today's architectural universe turns into a heterogeneous, fragmentary, complex, and chaotic presentation.
Today's architecture exists in a realm that contains variations, continues to develop, is imperfect and incomplete. Personal experience, knowledge, and practice gain more interest than ever in this dynamic, non-hierarchical climate. Unlike the ongoing architecture, original and imaginative architectures emerge as the continuation of a new open-ended, colorful, polyphonic, multicultural world progression. The architectural environment, which is tranquil and homogeneous, is evolving into an extraordinarily dynamic and heterogeneous structure in which it interacts and copes. These unusual layered architectural means prepare the environment for a distinct materialization culture and consciousness to flourish. Therefore, it becomes impossible to explore and examine an environment that includes so many diverse architectures with conventional tools. In this context, the diptych means researching and examining new architecture, which combines materiality and materialization components that seem incompatible and strengthens as original art and craft.
Throughout history, diptych has been an object consisting of pictures inside two covers attached by hinges. It resembles a book or a backgammon box in style. It gains an artistic
expression by placing two same or different images adjacent to each other. Hence, it has no strict rules. Especially in art, the habit of placing images on hinged covers disappears. A line or space can also separate it. The relationship between two side-by-side images is not explicit, but deep and thought-provoking establishes the diptych. Therefore, a diptych is not a static and spectacular object, but a dynamic and resourceful object. Diptych thought is prone to strikingly envisioning thought, inventing meaning and knowledge in architecture and faith, literature, art, and design.
Several turning points arise with the evolution of unusual architecture situations over time and the old ones' erasing. These are often reflections of turning points in the history of thought in the humanities and social culture. The turn we experience today is considered to
be pictorial.[
i] The visual becomes strong, and image creation becomes widespread. Acknowledging that images are direct and, therefore, more robust and richer evidence of the architectural universe than texts raises the paradoxical concern about the abundance of images and visual enhancement. Human beings perceive the world by seeing it since their existence. The history of the script is only 4000 years.

Each image/visual is a created or recreated appearance. Moreover, every image/visual comprises a way of seeing. The proliferation of the image also increases the ways of seeing and thus the potential of creation. As the images proliferate and unite, communication and interaction between them increase, opportunities to blend each other and overcome their deficiencies and imperfections arrive. Therefore, diptych creates its scope of information as an object by making the abundance of images'/visuals' rich potential practical.
In this context, the diptych is not a means of seeking status and purpose in architecture for an art object but developing an instrumentality as a research and discovery method for expanding architectural knowledge, deepening its experience and practice.


[i] Richard Rorty has characterized the history of philosophy as a series of 'turns' in which 'a new set of problems emerges, and the old ones begin to fade away.' W. J. T. Mitchell claims that another shift in what philosophers talk about is happening. He wants to call this shift, "the pictorial turn." He says 'The picture now has a status somewhere between what Thomas Kuhn called a "paradigm" and an "anomaly," emerging as a central topic of discussion in the human sciences in the way that language did: that is, as a kind of model or figure for other things (including figuration itself), and as an unsolved problem, perhaps even the object of its own "science," what Erwin Panofsky called an "iconology." The simplest way to put this is to say that, in what is often characterized as an age of "spectacle" (Guy Debord), "surveillance" (Foucault), and all-pervasive image-making.'

Mitchell, W. J. T. Picture theory: essays on verbal and visual representation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1994. pp.11-13


Funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union. However, European Commission and Turkish National Agency cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Project Coordinator

TOBB University of Economics and Technology

Department of Architecture

Sögütözü Cad. No: 43 Sögütözü/Ankara


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