It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That Swing: A Jazz-Based Model for the Public Space Project

  • Giovanni Maria FilindeuEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 14)


The architectural project can no longer be likened to a simple device enabling perceivable reality to be placed in a relation with the formal system organising it but is increasingly affected by the unexpected, compulsive invasion of data and requirements that are more and more articulate and hetero directed as regards this specific discipline. Better understood as the setting out and identifying of problems, than the outlining of solutions, it has shifted its reference base from noun to verb, practically abandoning once and for all the primary aim of realising spatial forms, to devote itself more to the processes that produce them. If willingness to accept change and give up the desire for some kind of final, completed form has, on the one hand, progressively brought the architectural project closer to contemporary life, on the other, it has consolidated the current crisis, which has now permeated the process of construction of objectives of the project and the pinpointing of tools to represent and monitor it. The problem needs to be faced relying on new instruments, no longer limited to the usual technical arsenal of the professional, which increasingly highlight sequential processes in which information is considered an integral part of the construction of the actual project. To know how to handle and interpret a changeable, unstable scenario means to accept and absorb elements like improvisation and indeterminacy. Jazz music is one of the forms of art that absorb and develop – to an outstanding degree – models which indeed place these elements at the centre of their reason for being. Jazz may offer itself as a decisive element for project construction in environments continuously under transformation. The organisational form of the creative process, be it based on the notation code or on the system of communication and transmission of content between musicians, closely approaches the diagrammatic form used by some contemporary architects. An unusual aspect is the extreme synthesis of the written form in respect of the quantity of data absorbable and manageable by the model to the advantage of the production of polysemic and self-generating creative situations. In this sense a significant convergence is singled out between the way a jazz band proceeds and the work of some of the most active architects on the contemporary scene.


Jazz Diagrams Unstable context Improvisation Public space Creativity Servant leadership Architectural project Architectural language 


  1. Allen S (1998) Diagram: an original scene of writing. “Any” (Architecture New York) n° 23, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Appadurai A (2001) Modernità in polvere. Meltemi Editore, RomeGoogle Scholar
  3. Braxton A (1985) Tri-Axium writings 1, 2, & 3. Tree Frog Music, HanoverGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown D (2006) Noise orders: Jazz, improvisation and architecture. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  5. Cacciari M (1990) Ethos e Metropoli. Micromega 1:39–48Google Scholar
  6. Corbellini G, ANY 23. Diagram Work. Parametro. Rivista internazionale di architettura e urbanistica, a, 34, 252–253Google Scholar
  7. Hasegawa Y (2005) Kazuyo Sejima  +  Ryue Nishizawa Sanaa. Electa, MilanGoogle Scholar
  8. Heisenberg WK (1982) Fisica e Filosofia. Il Saggiatore, MilanGoogle Scholar
  9. Ito T (1996) Diagram architecture. El croquis N° 77(I):18–24Google Scholar
  10. Lock G (1988) Forces in motion: Anthony Braxton and the meta-reality of creative music. Da Capo Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Rossi A (1995) L’Architettura della Città. Città Studi Edizioni, TurinGoogle Scholar
  12. Savonardo L (2010) Innovazione e creatività, Scholar
  13. Schutz A (1979) L’interpretazione dell’azione umana da parte del senso comune e della scienza. 1953. It. trans. in Id. Saggi sociologici. UTET, TurinGoogle Scholar
  14. Sejima K (1997) Discussion with Kazuo Shinohara and Noriaki Okabe. The Kenchiku Gijutsu, n. 4, TokioGoogle Scholar
  15. Sobrero AM (2009) Antropologia della città. Carocci Editore, RomeGoogle Scholar
  16. Sparti D (2005) Suoni inauditi. Il Mulino, BolognaGoogle Scholar
  17. Tagliagambe S (1994) La crisi delle teorie tradizionali di rappresentazione della conoscenza. In: Maciocco G (ed) La Città, la mente, il Piano. FrancoAngeli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  18. Williams R (1973) The country and the city. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Design and PlanningUniversity of SassariAlgheroItaly

Personalised recommendations