Symmetry as a compositional device is one of the most codified of all formal systems in architectural design. The interpretations that have been attached to symmetry are multiple and varied; transcendental perfection, mystical symbolism, humanistic harmony, cultural order, mathematical abstraction, academic formalism, complete banality, erotic sensuality, social domination, etc.. the list could go on. As a convention, symmetry is usually rejected or embraced based on one or more of these interpretations, but what is often ignored is how symmetry operates aesthetically as opposed to metaphorically, symbolically, epistemologically. Symmetry is aesthetically complex, but to pull out one aspect, there is a distinctly different aesthetic affect between global and local symmetries. A dominant global symmetry pulls a composition out of its ground as a figural object, it becomes a thing, an object. On the other hand, the even repetition of local symmetries produces patterns that push a composition into the background, into atmosphere.
The drawing series titled LIMA/MALI/AMIL/ILAM is a shuffling of local and global symmetries. It is created out of the repetition of multiple locally symmetrical figures. Slight differences in each figure produce clusters of independence while also eliminating the possibility of a tight fit of an overall repetitive pattern. The result lies somewhere between Piranesi's Campo Marzio, Baroque poche figuration, and flower arrangement.
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