Frederick Kiesler is probably best known for his Endless House project of the 1950s or his Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem of the early 60s, which was built before his death. However, he was more than an architect whose startling innovations were so far ahead of his time that they have only recently influenced other innovative architects such as Greg Lynn. He was also deeply interested in the plastic arts and the latest developments in science and worked to bring these together with the design of space to advance human knowledge and experience. One of his efforts in the late 1930s was the design of what he called ‘a vision machine.’ He explains it in his own words, as well as it can be explained. I will only add that the machine itself, apart from its theater/gallery/museum setting, is an analog computer of the type mentioned in earlier posts—its input is described in Kiesler’s brief texts, but its output would require the interpretation of its users. The inventor wants us to “see seeing,” but, as with seeing itself, our understanding of the consequences of this phenomenon is highly personal.


Frederick Kiesler’s texts:

Kiesler’s conceptual and design sketches:

Kiesler’s plan for installation of the Vision Machine in a gallery or museum or, perhaps, a new type of building:

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