chapter  10
13 Pages

Context and design

Parc de la Villette is a statement on the metaphysics of architecture and landscape. The grand object of metaphysics has always been to comprehend the nature of being. Logical positivists, in the twentieth century, argued that traditional metaphysics is meaningless, because metaphysical statements are incapable of either verification or falsification. Jacques Derrida, in Tschumi's account, casts some light on the relevance of these ideas to Parc de la Villette. Tschumi phoned him one day, explained the Villette project and asked if he would like to collaborate. In terms of design metaphysics, la Villette is a very important park. One might think that the land of la Villette, being the site of a slaughterhouse, was dead beyond the scope of ethics. The point about the land ethic highlights a fundamental weakness in the deconstructive approach to architecture and landscape. It arises from the over-hasty conversion of a theory of criticism, known as deconstruction, into a design approach.