The attention of the man and architect no longer seems to be focused on the technical know-how of his collaborators and executors, but on technical know-how of the organizer in charge. The first consequence of this attitude is of a political character. Just as for a young musician of the modern era, all this makes it possible to carry out remixes (fusions) of distinct pieces of music (of elements of different disciplines) without worrying about the problem of copyright, which is linked to the world of industrial production. I am the one who decides what the design of the doors and windows will be, on the basis of the requirements of the structural elements and walls of my building. I am (even) the one who designs the door and window frames that you, industry, may put into production. Of course by “materials” are also meant here the scientific disciplines that underpin the production of the aforesaid elements (including philosophy and history, in other words the so-called humanities). Perhaps it is worth pointing out here that it was precisely out of the fusion of distinct disciplines (such as mathematics, chemistry and biology) that fundamental ideas of the modern age have come, i.e. new disciplines like applied biochemistry (metaphorically, it is perhaps a question of institutionalized catachresis, to use the terminology of -Umberto Eco).
To grasp how important these different views are it suffices to say that research in the medical field, even into terrible diseases, would be able to progress much more quickly if there were real synergies between researchers in different groups, without the obligation of following roads based on patented techniques that (to put it briefly) are only intended to solve the small problems of that particular group, and thus depriving them of a long-term and broad-ranging perspective.
The inexorable and very rapid constitution of new disciplines, each with their own paradigms and hyper-specialized vocabularies, more and more closed with respect to the outside world, inevitably generates spaces of ensembles of words, of language, that we could describe as “neutral.” Among these expressions, words like “form,” “material” and “order” are the most innocent and therefore the most ambiguous, the ones that more than any others can (could) fit into any discipline and any philosophy. In antiquity, at the time of the Greek origin of the word architect, the word form coincided for Aristotle with that of harmony, and so in it there was already the discourse of purpose, i.e. of aiming at the happy medium. This was never the arithmetical mean but the happy medium for whoever was investigating it, i.e. the right proportion. And only with the passing of time did one get a better perception of what was “right,” because life proposed many examples through the experience of this or that happy medium. As the centuries have passed, the word “form” has lost the significance of harmony and nowadays we are obliged to add other words to it, words that are intended to turn it back into what it meant originally. Today, in fact, we say “the form of ordered materials,” without considering that form was already order in itself.
Certainly, for Gregotti the treatise becomes the measure of what connects and separates the intentions from the architectural results. So his treatise is in a perennially unfinished state, as is historical thought, but at the same time is as perennial as the principle of reality (see in this connection ‘L’architettura del realismo critico’, 2004) that he identifies in support of the unavoidability of the disciplinary foundations of architecture.