Cosmographic Origins for a New Classicism


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Virginia Tech


The spirit of the Latin 'classicus' as a broad ideology has in one sense existed through every age of modern human history. It could begin to be described as an attitude that is resistant to sudden change and is not interested in dramatic breaks with tradition or the avant garde. It embraces the methodical evolution of aesthetic and artistic values that are connected at their origin to a cosmography which is conceived within every given age. This large-scale conception of existence which encompasses all of what is known in the cosmos is a primary manifestation of every culture.

Several systems of ideas are given by 20th century theoretical physics. They are the foundation of our science and provide an explicit basis for all branches of scientific endeavor. Taken as a whole, they constitute the current understanding of our universe--our world. What emerges from the ideas given by relativity theory, quantum physics, string theory, and the mathematics of astro-physics is a profound and far reaching cosmography resembling nothing like that of the Renaissance or of classical Greece. Non-Euclidean geometry and the math of higher dimensional space begin to break free of their abstract character as these symbolic disciplines now inform and reconcile the reality of cosmic space.

It is therefore appropriate to understand the cosmography of today in relation to the new science paradigm. As cosmic space and conceptual space have always been intimately connected in architecture of the classical spirit, this new cosmography then becomes a viable basis for reestablishing a classical expression.



Architecture, cosmography, hypercube, relativity, geometry