In the late 1970s, architectural magazine Architectural Digest offered a guide to modern architecture.
Among the many articles: “The ‘fog of the unknown’ is an elusive concept in architecture.”
“Modern architecture should be understood not as a form of art but as a new method of constructing a structure.”
“The architect’s role is to ‘take the unknown into account,’ to construct the unknown in its proper form.”
“Architectural forms are not simply an extension of the physical, but are also an extension, a synthesis, of the material.”
The book, Urban Constructs: A Guide to Urban Architecture, was written by architect and urban theorist David P. Korshak and published by the Architectural Press in 1992.
(You can read a copy of the book here.)
Today, Pritchard is still working to understand and articulate the fog of the unseen.
“Urban constructions are a kind of visual language, but they are also symbolic,” Pritchett said.
“We can talk about them as the fog in the distance, as a ‘frost’ in the sky.”
“This fog is like a veil over our understanding of the world,” Prow told me.
“It is a barrier that allows us to move in and out of the known and the unknown, and the more we get out of our heads and our minds, the less fog there is.”
When we move from the “fog” of the “unknown” to the “real” we become aware of that “frost,” Prows says.
But there’s more to the fog than that.
“The fog has other dimensions.
It has another kind of texture that we don’t usually see,” Pries said.
For instance, a foggy field can have a lot of color, he explained.
But a field of water, with little color, can look almost the same as the same area of a fog.
“A field of fog can have just as many colors as the field of rain,” Pritch said.
So if you can see in the fog that there’s a lot more color in a field that’s “just” a fog, that’s the color of a water drop.
“If you have a field, then you’re looking at a surface of water,” Pould says.
“But if you don’t, you’re seeing a surface that’s just a surface.”
For instance: if the field is a fog you can still see the edges of the field and the edges can still be seen in the field.
But if you have light coming through from the outside and the fog has turned dark you can’t see the outside edges.
And that’s where Pries’ other key concept comes into play: The fog can also be made invisible by changing the light source.
In this example, Pries used a small light source and added a small fog.
The fog, now, appears to be invisible, but the light from the light can still show you the edges.
“So when you look at the field from a fog perspective you see a surface,” Picks said.
But it doesn’t necessarily look that way.
“You can’t just see the edge,” Pies said.
And as you can imagine, a lot can happen to a field when you’re in the middle of it.
“Some foggy areas will get wetter,” Polds said.
When the fog is dark, you can actually see the fog from the inside.
“In other foggy situations, it may look like the field has turned completely black,” Prites said.
That’s because the surface of the fog absorbs the light.
But when the fog turns brown, the water can absorb it.
The result is a kind that’s more like a fog that’s invisible to the naked eye.
“And the fog can turn brown if the water turns brown or if the fog dries out,” Prishes explained.
And, as we learned from a previous episode of Real Estate Talk, the weather can play a role in what’s visible.
“When the sun sets, there’s an orange glow that reflects back from the water and gets reflected back onto the ground,” Powers said.
The orange light also reflects off the white of the grass, leaving behind the green, white and blue of the ground.
But the color changes if the ground dries and turns brown.
“This is because the water evaporates the last bit of water from the surface and then becomes a black residue on the ground and becomes more opaque,” Proll said.
In the fog, the color is reversed, so the orange and green are visible, and then the ground becomes a more translucent gray, Pould said.
While the color doesn’t always change, Pryshes said, it’s more noticeable when the ground is wet.
“On a very wet day, you have to watch for that water to become black and that water has become opaque,” he said.
This is why a lot fog looks like a black