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AVERY\ SHORTS\  AVERY\ SHORTS
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S01 ¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.·`¯
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´·.¸¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.E23
´·.¸¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.·`¯´·Between
´·.¸¸.·`¯Character and Type
´·.¸¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.·`¯´·.¸¸.·`¯
´·.¸¸.·`¯´By Outpost Office

 
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 |                          (O)                          |
 |                          - -                          |
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 |          |         ------- -------         |          |
 |          |        -------- --------        |          |
 |          |       --------- ---------       |          |
 |          +---------------- ----------------+          |
 |                                                       |
 |                         +---+                         |
 |                         |   |                         |
 |                         |   |                         |
 |                         +---+                         |
 |                                                       |
 +------------------------ ----- ------------------------+

Fig. 1: San Cataldo Cemetery, Aldo Rossi (best viewed on mobile devices by rotating screens to landscape orientation)


 

CTRL+C
We’ve been typing drawings for the last few years; it started as a diversion and became a compulsion. We even made a book and had an exhibition of them. Amidst daily digital excesses, 8-bit architecture seemed a suitably extraneous response. We used the expected precedents: Archizoom’s No-Stop City typewriter plans, Anni Albers’s extraordinary preparatory studies for weaving, and our favorite concrete poets, like Hansjörg Mayer.


       *  *  *  *  *  *  *
                          
       *                 *
          * * * * * * *   
       *                 *
          |           |   
       *  +----   ----+  *
          |           |   
       *  |   *   *   |  *
          |           |   
       *  |   *   *   |  *
          |           |   
       *  |-----------|  *
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       *  | * * * * * |  *
          | *       * |   
       *  | *       * |  *
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       *  | *       * |  *
          | *       * |  
       *  +----   ----+  *
          |           |   
       *                 *
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       *                 *
             
       *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Fig. 2: The Partheon








           +++++++
        +++++++++++++
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   ++++               ++++

  +++  *             *  +++
 ++++                   ++++ 

 ++++*                 *++++
+++++                   +++++
 ++++*                 *++++
 ++++                   ++++
  +++  *             *  +++
   ++++               ++++ 
     +++++ *     * +++++   
       +++++     +++++
       ++ ++     ++ ++     
       +   +     +   +
       *   *     *   * 
       *   *     *   * 
       * * *  *  * * * 






Fig. 3: The Pantheon


CTRL+V
What we find compelling about ASCII drawings is the methodical transcription from source image to scaleless syntax. Notepad is a decidedly specific medium. Some drawings “copy/paste” well, and others are impossible. Rendering a drawing through ASCII involves discrete decisions about resolution, character selection, and legibility. We know these ASCII drawings are text, but how do they communicate architecturally? The ASCII drawings we make in Notepad are strings of 8-bit data, but the formatting generates a recognizable analog image. So are they images or text? Drawings or diagrams? Another way to ask the question might be: Do ASCII drawings communicate character or type?


Our growing collection of ASCII drawings can be read as diagrammatic syntax or pictorial representation. If they communicate type, then they might be read as code. There is grammar; instructions for an unseen ideal. The drawings delineate principles and rules through encoded patterns, such as our drawings of the Parthenon or Pantheon. But at other moments they reveal character. They hold immediate visual effect. They illustrate sensation and, like our ASCII drawings of the Five Orders, should be read as images. The distinction might seem myopic, but we’re intrigued by this ambiguity. Regardless of their status as image or text, ASCII drawings provide a venue to explore issues of abstraction, information, resolution, legibility, data, character, and type... all in 8-bits.

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Fig. 4: Tuscan column capital from the Five Orders
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|     |||    |||   |||~~~~
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   \========&&========/
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      @ \  /  \  / @
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     @  ~~  ~~~  ~~  @
      \  \\  |  //  /
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      @~  ~~~ ~~~  ~@
       ~} ~~~ ~~~ {~
       |{} {} {} {}|
       =============
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Fig. 5: Corinthian column capital from the Five Orders

CTRL+P
Once we generated our library, it was time to do our own writing (or our own drawing). We searched for a way to leverage the catalog. We turned to Piranesi and his Campo Marzio etchings, where he freely recombined fragments with little to no regard for historical or archaeological accuracy. We generated a code to do the same thing. The code draws from a library of plans, recombining urban fragments and synthesizing them into continuous – potentially infinite – patterns. It leverages these historical plans to suggest impossible and fantastical situations at the same time that it destabilizes the order and totality of the original fragments. Another Campo Marzio hints at the possibilities for engaging with history through code. Ultimately, it manifests the “useless machine” that Manfredo Tafuri saw in Piranesi’s etchings.

+    +-+     +-+- -+-+     +-+    +-+     +-+   +-+     +
|****| |_   _| |   | |_   _| |****| |_   _| |/ \| |_   _|
         |_|           |_|            |_|           |_|
|****| |     | |   | |     | |****| |     | |   | |     | 
+    + +-----+ +- -+ +-----+ +-  -+ +-----+ +- -+ +-----+
  _ _ _ _ _         _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _        _ _ _ _ 
|_|_|_|_|_|_|     |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|    |_|_|_|_|
* * * * * * * * * * * ][------][------][------][------]
           +-------+---+   +---+-------+         |
           |                   |       |         |
* * * * *  |   +-------------+ |       |         |
           |   |+-----------+| |       |         | 
* * * * *  |    |+---------+|  |       |       --+-----
           |     |+-------+|   |       |
* * * * *  +--    |+-----+|    +-------+
                   |+---+|
                    |+-+|
----------+--        |+|        +------+---+------------+
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 *        |                     |      |   |            |
          |   * * * * * * * * * +------+---+------------+
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          |   * * * * * * * * * |      +-+-+            +
 *        |                     |      |=|=|            |
          |   * * * * * * * * * |      |=|=|            |
 *        |                     |      +-+-+            +
          |   * * * * * * * * * |      |   |            |
 *        |                     +------+---+------------+
          |   * * * * * * * * * |      |   |            |
 *        |                     |      |   |            |
          |   * * * * * * * * * +------+---+------------+
 *        |  
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 *        |    +----+--+----------+--+----+  +-------++++
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----------+--  |    |  |          |  |    |
               |    |  |          |  |    |  |       | |
               +----+--+----------+--+----+  |       | |

Fig.6: Another Campo Marzio, part 1 (best viewed on mobile devices by rotating screens to landscape orientation). The complete drawing was created by Outpost Office with coding assistance from Oliver Popadich. 
 
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