Search

Idea by

Jeremy Kargon

http://www.jkargon-architect.com/

1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Jeremy Kargon is Associate Professor at Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning. A licensed architect for 27 years, Kargon has worked professionally in the US and the Middle East. His academic scholarship has explored architecture’s representation and its diverse manifestations within different cultures. Kargon’s recent publications concern the history of regional modernism after World War II.

The Architects’ Falnama: Accounts from a Book of Omens


FINAL_FINAL | First dpr-barcelona Writing Grant

The Architects’ Falnama: Accounts from a Book of Omens


FINAL_FINAL | First dpr-barcelona Writing Grant
Descriptions of Open Call projects can serve the act of architectural “bibliomancy,” the prediction of our shared environment’s future.
File under
Type of project
  • New areas of operation

Leaders of 16th century Iran turned to illuminated books for predictions of success or failure. Tools of prognostication, these volumes were called “falnamas” and represented the unity of speculative with cosmological thinking – inspired by religion, in most cases, but also by politics and culture.

Today’s architecture embodies a contemporary cosmology based on social and spatial narratives. Future Architecture, furthermore, embodies speculation. Each Open Call project divines an alternative promise of architectural success... or failure. How can such architectural omens more effectively serve the world to come?

This project will create new texts for the purpose of architectural “bibliomancy,” the forecast of our environment’s future. Graphics culled from 6 Open Call projects will inspire new, accompanying narratives. Taken together, these stories will focus readers’ attention upon the shared ethos of Future Architecture and the liberating spirit of speculation itself.


Traditional Falnama folios juxtaposed images with written auguries, set on a different page. Scriptural text might be integrated with imagery. Falnama illustrations often included abstracted architectural elements that may or may not have been allegorical.

Source: “Alexander Builds a Wall against Gog and Magog,” Topkapı Persian Falnama, 16th century. From Massumeh Farhad and Serpil Bağci, Falnama: The Book of Omens (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2009), 34 and 274

Exploring suitable candidates for inclusion in The Architects’ Falnama would be part of the writing process. All uploaded “Future Architecture” projects would be considered.

Examples of possible candidates are (left) “Punk, by Mark Harris, and (right) “Perdido,” by Julio Gotor Valcárcel.

http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/fab7e4d0-c1ac-4951-a162-f12e9802ef6b/
http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/88db3266-c2f2-4993-b81b-85c73cc8ccd3/

Other candidates for inclusion in The Architects’ Falnama might be (left) “Cross South,” by Anhelina Livia Starkova, and (right) “Performing a Language,” by Olympia Katsarou.

http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/b6425913-f436-446c-8cbc-0ef18d8c5631/
http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/0b8f5661-daf8-4533-ab08-118ec2a1c0d4/

Candidates for inclusion in The Architects’ Falnama may be also (left) “Shift,” by Dorrer, Alferov, Röing Baer, and Lavista; and (right) “Artificial Islands in the Capitalocene,” by Victor Sardenberg.

http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/e7a9d3cc-fdcb-4c94-91dd-3753e828252c/
http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/67f351ae-7a58-4be8-927e-90e474222a0d/

Imagery in "The Architect's Falnama" might be elliptical or verbose, esoteric or provocatively direct. The written counterpart of these images will surely be no different.

The Architects’ Falnama: Accounts from a Book of Omens


FINAL_FINAL | First dpr-barcelona Writing Grant

The Architects’ Falnama: Accounts from a Book of Omens


FINAL_FINAL | First dpr-barcelona Writing Grant
Descriptions of Open Call projects can serve the act of architectural “bibliomancy,” the prediction of our shared environment’s future.
File under
Type of project
  • New areas of operation

Leaders of 16th century Iran turned to illuminated books for predictions of success or failure. Tools of prognostication, these volumes were called “falnamas” and represented the unity of speculative with cosmological thinking – inspired by religion, in most cases, but also by politics and culture.

Today’s architecture embodies a contemporary cosmology based on social and spatial narratives. Future Architecture, furthermore, embodies speculation. Each Open Call project divines an alternative promise of architectural success... or failure. How can such architectural omens more effectively serve the world to come?

This project will create new texts for the purpose of architectural “bibliomancy,” the forecast of our environment’s future. Graphics culled from 6 Open Call projects will inspire new, accompanying narratives. Taken together, these stories will focus readers’ attention upon the shared ethos of Future Architecture and the liberating spirit of speculation itself.


Traditional Falnama folios juxtaposed images with written auguries, set on a different page. Scriptural text might be integrated with imagery. Falnama illustrations often included abstracted architectural elements that may or may not have been allegorical.

Source: “Alexander Builds a Wall against Gog and Magog,” Topkapı Persian Falnama, 16th century. From Massumeh Farhad and Serpil Bağci, Falnama: The Book of Omens (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2009), 34 and 274

Exploring suitable candidates for inclusion in The Architects’ Falnama would be part of the writing process. All uploaded “Future Architecture” projects would be considered.

Examples of possible candidates are (left) “Punk, by Mark Harris, and (right) “Perdido,” by Julio Gotor Valcárcel.

http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/fab7e4d0-c1ac-4951-a162-f12e9802ef6b/
http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/88db3266-c2f2-4993-b81b-85c73cc8ccd3/

Other candidates for inclusion in The Architects’ Falnama might be (left) “Cross South,” by Anhelina Livia Starkova, and (right) “Performing a Language,” by Olympia Katsarou.

http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/b6425913-f436-446c-8cbc-0ef18d8c5631/
http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/0b8f5661-daf8-4533-ab08-118ec2a1c0d4/

Candidates for inclusion in The Architects’ Falnama may be also (left) “Shift,” by Dorrer, Alferov, Röing Baer, and Lavista; and (right) “Artificial Islands in the Capitalocene,” by Victor Sardenberg.

http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/e7a9d3cc-fdcb-4c94-91dd-3753e828252c/
http://futurearchitectureplatform.org/projects/67f351ae-7a58-4be8-927e-90e474222a0d/

Imagery in "The Architect's Falnama" might be elliptical or verbose, esoteric or provocatively direct. The written counterpart of these images will surely be no different.


Idea by

Jeremy Kargon
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, Maryland
United States of America
Jeremy Kargon is Associate Professor at Morgan State University’s School of Architecture and Planning. A licensed architect for 27 years, Kargon has worked professionally in the US and the Middle East. His academic scholarship has explored architecture’s representation and its diverse manifestations within different cultures. Kargon’s recent publications concern the history of regional modernism after World War II.