Society, Politics and Architecture.

Society, Politics and Architecture.

Postby garethace » Sun Sep 14, 2003 10:56 am

Rather than build attractive sustainable, affordable Housing in our towns and cities, Bertie Ahern decides to allow more and more and more little once off houses to be built all across what is now left of our landscapes. Which are difficult to service and very inefficient by 21 Century standards from a transportation point of view. It inevitably will mean more traffic on our terrible roads at peak times and weekends. More need to spend on road building programmes. More need for two car households, the subsequent gas emissions, pollution noise and danger. The children of the nation will spend their childhoods being ferried around in Automobiles.

And their parents lives will have to practically revolve around all of that basic routine. Sound familiar to some of you? My question is, can Architecture help to achieve a solution to deal with all of that? Can it give something back to people, which they so badly crave? A reasonable quality of live, without having to risk it everyday doing 60 on the roads? I wonder is the fabric of Irish society responsible enough to accept modern Architecture or modern communities designed around properly integrated, attractive housing solutions and community services yet? I am sure you are all very much aware, the fabric of our rural towns and villages further dilapidates and gets progressively worse every day. From lack of injection of youth, culture and social diversity. It seems the people who can afford to, live out in the countryside, with two cars and the nice bungalow. Whereas only the poorest of the poor, or young single working populations are sheltered in rental estates in the cities and towns.

Indeed i know of a lot of young families and couples who have been very disappointed after buying houses in new housing estates. After a few families had bought and moved in, the remainder of the units would be sold to developers, who rent the property. This creates a vicious cycle whereby, young couples with families are hardly encouraged into town living, on the grounds of 'being part of a community'. Lets not even get started on the poor services in places like Arklow in Co. Wicklow, or several others on the Shannon River. Yes, the town is finding it difficult at the moment.

Apart from a couple of young people renting - the transient population as it has been described, is the current prospects of having decent sustainable communities in our towns and cities very dismal? It seems that our leader Mr. Ahern simply hasn't got the neck, to go out and look for an alternative to scattered once-off housing, poor quality ground water, expensive servicing of phonelines, electricity and road infrastructure. I would just love to know how much we spend maintaining the criss-cross of rural roads across this country. Yeah, the price will go up and up I am sure, whereas the value will go down and down and down. While many companies in this country just get tired of the same old same-o, and depart. While new companies looking at Ireland, say that place is going nowhere fast.

I have been studying lately the background to some of the projects built by Louis Kahn and Alvar Alto. I wasn't interested in the buildings, so much as the social climate of where they built, the relationship between the Architect and the client, and the way as professionals they dealt with the design process generally. As Des MacMahon would maintain, the only reason that Alvar Alto could build in Finland, was because the social arrangement there had changed sufficiently to accept good modern buildings, master plans and ideas.

Architects from all around the world like Mayne, van Berkel, Holl, Meier, Stirling etc, do think a lot about the site, about urban surgery and about peoples’ movement through both time and space. About the city regaining its foothold, often confronted with the difficult problem of urban sprawl. Today i see much smaller designs too, such as Art Galleries in Stuttgart and Frankfurt designed by Architects in the 1970s or 80s. In countries where the social arrangement was already in place to accept that architecture. Similarly could be said of the buildings built by those Architects in the United States etc.

There a sense that. . .

"Architecture is communication from the body of the architect directly to the body of the person who encounters the work."


In other words the Architects ability to design a scheme is linked directly to the society for which it hopes to accomodate? I think that Sinead Bourke's Introduction to Tracings 2 just tries to deal with this issue a lot too.

This volume is a forum for discussion and the overall impression is one of seeking. This volume does not profess to provide answers and none are provided. What it does give the reader however are fresh viewpoints and insights. No doubt, the aim of this series is to expand our sense of awareness of the built environment to hopefully inform and bring about a better quality environment. This series has started a much needed process, one which needs to be extended however to make its presence more felt outside the realm of architecture. Should contributions be included from sectors of the community actually building the built environment, as well as from those affected by it, a more palpable and no doubt valid discussion would ensue.


Good Architecture is also a good sign of social acceptance of Architecture perhaps. There have been the mistakes where less than savoury clients inhabited nice housing projects. Resulting in the destruction of those projects again. It is a brand new century here in Ireland, but what has changed? Perhaps a few designer labels, and perhaps the way we eat, or what we read/watch on television maybe. But the government in this country isn't helping good Architecture to survive that much. Perhaps we as the clients of modern Architecture in 2003, we the everyday people of this country aren't yet prepared for better solutions to the built environment than this rural sprawling strongly politically based ajenda?

Sure we might have Rap music and a few labels written on our backs, but despite all of that new awareness of popular consumerism, do you still feel like some ignorant, backward, bare-footed Hill-Billy when it comes to the environment we live in? Any ideas, opinions or suggestions? I mean, while technology and industry have come to Ireland and improved the awareness and the outlook of many amongst our small population, it would appear that everyone still wants to be their very own Architect, Planner and Urbanist! Including Mr. Ahern!

Brian O' Hanlon, 14th September 2003.

P.S. Other Bertie thread here
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Postby garethace » Sun Sep 14, 2003 6:57 pm

Who will be the Dr. Do Little of the Architectural profession?

This was an introduction to a book about Architects, the environment and society at Sinead Bourke's Introduction to Tracings 2

This volume is a forum for discussion and the overall impression is one of seeking. This volume does not profess to provide answers and none are provided. What it does give the reader however are fresh viewpoints and insights. No doubt, the aim of this series is to expand our sense of awareness of the built environment to hopefully inform and bring about a better quality environment. This series has started a much needed process, one which needs to be extended however to make its presence more felt outside the realm of architecture. Should contributions be included from sectors of the community actually building the built environment, as well as from those affected by it, a more palpable and no doubt valid discussion would ensue.


I like that Eddie Murphy movie, ‘Doctor Do Little’, where he suddenly began to hear all the animals speak, and re-discovered the trill of being in medical practice for himself. This buzz, which had eluded him for so long, did somehow return. He started treating the animals and found himself giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the rats! Dr. Do Little re-discovered clients in the most unusual places. The Medical industry became really client/public oriented from the beginning. The Architecture profession can treat even its well off clients very poorly in my view.

I have even witnessed the company execs and rich house wives being practically shoved around by the Architects – not to mind the common rats. I mean the doctor is a professional, but that doesn't prevent him showing courtesy to good clients. The doctor develops a real relationship to his/her client I think, and that helps him to diagnose the problems, notice mood changes etc. On another level, the medical profession can study the changes and swings generally in health care and the community over a longer period of generations.

Architecture might change some time in the future, and become more of a fully-grown service to society, the public, the client rather than a contract supervisory sort of thing. Louis Kahn was an architect who showed us how to become deeply related to the client, rather than the building contractor. Without allowing the client to diagnose the illnesses for you that is. He managed to show us, how Modernism with a little help from Beaux Arts times could in fact be more than what Mies had shown us. An Architect worth looking at from this particular viewpoint is Malaysian Ken Yeang, who holds dual qualifications in marketing and in Architect. Ken believes strongly in Architects educating their market, and does a lot of this himself to the well off Asian clients. There is a good chapter about Ken Yeang, in the Bryan Lawson book 'How Designers Think'.

In the ‘How Designers Think’ book by Bryan Lawson, Michael Wilford who was a partner with James Stirling explains how difficult it is sometimes to deal with clients on larger master planning projects. Because sometimes the client is a large council or board, which can often change many times over the course of a longer design process. Indeed sometimes the Architect is the only remaining individual who began the process at the start. Indeed, learning to hear these clients say anything, or offer you any suggestions is really a job cut out for a Dr. Do Little. For a students final thesis here in Ireland, students are asked to develop a real relationship to a client. I remember one young man who wanted to design an Airport and took his motor bicycle out to Aer Lingus, to get a brochure from a receptionist! (Crash helmet under his arm) But at least he made an effort! Most students bypass that stage of the ordeal completely and draw, draw, draw.

I am really tired of people describing architects like Louis Kahn, as late bloomers. That Kahn never built anything in his life, and then suddenly started building all of these buildings. Perhaps Kahn had just gotten to know him self and others better at that stage? I think that Louis Kahn was sort of like the Dr. Do Little or the Architectural profession, who suddenly experienced super sonic hearing abilities. At the very moment, the Architect is like a very big hired piece of artillery, a bit more like the Panzer Four division of the German army. Something the client uses to go to war with on many different fronts.

This temperament doesn't quite suit the client, public, user relationship thing as well though. I honestly do wonder, how much of the client/Architect relationship has indeed become watered down – through this insistence upon directing the builder’s operations from an office/contract. The reason I am just curious, is mainly owing to the fact, that my architectural education has been so dogmatic about the building technology side of things.

I am just looking at analogies for Architecture as a service industry. Things like exclusive clinics where professionals pander to the clients every need. I mean there is no point in turning over millions, if you still are insolvent at the end of the day. How ‘serviceable’ can the Architecture profession actually become, before you are putting too much of what you earn back into the service to your client. Considering that a good 3DS VIZ-ualists salary might be more than what some Architects make. On the other hand, I have seen Architect saying to clients basically, you are important up to a point, but basically you will have to take whatever I give you. Or what the builder can build, and I can stand over.

Were Architects like Kahn unable to delegate, was that model of professional practice a bit like ‘in an era of tall cuisine, it was the tallest cuisine around’? Certainly Kahn did go to great pains, compared to other professionals to care about his clients/users. I just feel the debate as to how an Architect handles a client, has received altogether much less attention, than other aspects like Building Construction. Is that a mistake, or a limitation of the profession? Your guess is about as good as mine, since I have never built anything. It's easy to draw a dark shadow line on the buildings cornice, it can cost so much more to actually create it. The "Builders" very quickly reduce the cornice dimensions to typical lumber sizes or less costly profiles. In an effort to minimize costs and maximize profits, usually on the client’s behalf.

I think that the Chicago school, from what I understand of Werner Blaser’s books on the subject anyhow, was all about learning to feel the building through the weight of your pencil. To distinguish between a heavy line, or a light line and what have you. Even in the 1:20 detail profile, showing the steel sections for the builder to actually use. Mies van der Rohe, sat down one day with a young student at MIT and just looked at a drawing for an hour without saying anything. Then went out of the room, and none of the students said anything either. But they knew exactly what he meant – to look at what you are drawing! I like this quote from Cathal O’Neill, a description similar in fact to the practice of reading.

The purpose of the exercise was clear; it is, after all, the basis of every architect's work process to propose, observe, refine. But the lesson was clear: architects spend too much time proposing and rarely enough time observing and refining.

But there is another kind of Architect too, the one who develops the client relationship a lot more. Even when that client happens to be a whole entire city or suburb. I talked a lot about how VIZ or drawing can teach you to see the world around you. Louis Kahn was very aware of how people experience and use his buildings. From all points of view, like how we use a room, a corridor (or sneak passages as he called the modern equivalent in high-schools etc), how natural daylight is the giver of all presences. His many models and sketches are all excellent vehicles of his understanding about clients/sites/briefs etc. Of his attempt to understand the relationship of people with the built environment.

Someone said to me the other day, not everything in life comes to you on a plate. It is funny I didn’t actually know what that person meant by that statement and I casually brushed it off initially. That is, until I was chatting to a very knowledgeable music type of individual. He asked me to explain Architecture to him, as best as I could. I proceeded into my normal long effort of what I think Architecture is/is not. But suddenly I drew back and said, lets wait a minute here – perhaps things don’t always come handed to you on a plate. So I suggested that I e-mail him a few hyperlinks, to some of my deeper discussions about the topic.

I mean, isn’t there something in the effort of reading? Isn’t there some sense of achievement when you have finished that page, and worked yourself to understand something relevant or important? I mean if I give it straight up on a plate in a pub/cafe, to some guy who thinks he knows everything (and possibly does too) about music, did that person have to work for that? No. So my question is precisely this, why isn’t Architecture about learning how to read, to observe and to refine, AS WELL as learning how to propose?

Is information just tasty bite sized chunks now? A seudo, pre-processed version of the real thing, and are we all like puppies? Until the Architecture profession does learn to be a thinking, a probing, a questioning profession, it will perhaps never ask the right questions about itself. Not to mind find any of the right answers. And I go back to my friend Louis Kahn once more: “A good question is always much better than the best answers”.

Louis Kahn died in a toilet cubicle in some foreign airport, on the way back from Pakistan to the United States. It just explains what a great affection the man really did have for his clients, his site and the whole rich process of designing Architecture. I imagine more young architects nowadays would just say to hell with that. E-mail me over some digital photos of the site, and a schedule of accommodation – I will have something for you by Friday. That is I suppose the biggest criticism I have of projects like the Egyptian Museum one in Cairo. At least the winning entrants actually flew over and drove around the dusty roads, in some Egyptian guys Taxi!

Another person said to me recently, “Go and build something and then you might know what Architecture is all about”. I wonder is that the problem, that Architects are in a mad rush to build something? I think that Louis Kahn has left behind him, as many UNBUILT great projects as REALISED great projects. And what he actually built seems to have this timeless quality about it. It does not look like something built in the 20th century often, and I believe he intended that to be the case too.

Yet in the current profession a design, which is un-realised is deemed to be inferior. As if most Architects actually got on planes and taxis to visit that much Architecture anyhow. As if looking at the real photography of a new building in a magazine, was any different from looking at a VIZualisation. You see the blatant hypocrisy? The traditional well-trodden path taken by Architect after Architect over the past 100 years has been this.

1. Architect meets with a client willing to build.

2. Architect builds a building for that client.

3. Architect then draws concept sketch for the building and proceeds to talk to other Architects and to post-rationalise what (s)he has done.

4. Architect then publishes their words, opinions and photographs of their work in a magazine. They expend more effort after the design has been completed attempting to imbue something rather lifeless with life and to inject it with some class.

5. Architect then becomes famous and a household name amongst circles of rich clients and other Architects.

6. Architect then perpetuates the myth of their very own celebrity.

Notice how ready-made, easy to consume, like watching a TV programme as oposed to reading a book, this whole process is? All the talking and looking normally happens when the cheques have all cleared and the Architect has some spare time to waffle and debate. Everything looks rather different in hindsight. The Architect doesn’t really discuss his/her work with the client, but with other Architects. Notice how very easy it is to summarise things now, and package them into nice tasty bite sized chunks? I find it very intriguing the way that Louis Kahn in fact, by-passed a lot of the Architecture of today, and went right back to the sourse to identify what the Architect really is, in relation to the people of this little world.

Brian O' Hanlon. 14th September 2003.
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Postby sw101 » Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:42 pm

Garethace

Is there any question in there? You contradict yourself with each new thread you start, each loosely related to the last but all without clear purpose or aim. I appreciate the fact that you might have opinions you feel the need to express, but many of your points of view seem based on the writing or philosophy of people long dead. Or worse, people whose only expertise lie in the domain of academia.

I would also urge you to show due courtesy to your fellow members in these forums. Your seeming disdain of people doesn
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Postby sw101 » Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:45 pm

do you realise your last post was 2,166 word long. and had less than one clear point? thats not a good ratio
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Postby garethace » Sun Sep 14, 2003 9:09 pm

Okay then, try this as a shortened version:

I just feel the debate as to how an Architect handles a client, has received altogether much less attention, than other aspects like Building Construction.


I would be particularly interested in how you define the client. How widely would you define the 'client', is it society, is it the person who uses the architecture or is it the government council who commissioned the architecture or the developer who stands to make a profit. How would you try to define the Architects relationship with all of this? I mean the Building Materials people, and many of the younger tutors in architectural schools would seem to have quite a wider definition of Architect/client/user/society relationships than you or I might prefer to have. Personally I find it much easier to define the client as just another individual in the design process - basically the guy with the check book. Read the part about having a large council, delegation or company as your client, which isn't nearly as straightforward. Or defining the Architect in realationship to the broader social environment as Tracings 2 tries attempts to do. Which in ways is just a bigger challenge, and probably one that is vastly unsuited to a normal Irish 10-20 person Architectural practice. I think Louis Kahn bit off a lot more than he could chew, and his practice regulary lost clients, or just couldn't keep up with the work. Very often his students at Philly would get his projects as studio exercises - I mean schemes as big as Chandigarh to do in studio in college. I got a MEGA-Project to do in 1997/98 in Fourth year in Bolton Street. And an Olympic Swimming Pool back in 1996/97 for the TS. I am leaving that open to question, the floor is all yours.
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Postby garethace » Sun Sep 14, 2003 9:29 pm

This kind of image, might explain better what i mean. The builder would hate you for all the metal casting etc. Only the OPW, like in the Botanical Gardens could get away with this, or perhaps Merrit Bucholtz in Swords. But look at how much it does mean for the people - think about buildings of Calatrava, and we do have one in Dublin too - clients, budget etc. It is a pity the Calatrava bridge wasn't put down near Temple Bar or someplace, or one as good as it. Where it is, who uses it? Who enjoys it? At the moment anyhow.
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Postby sw101 » Sun Sep 14, 2003 10:45 pm

client: (s)he who commissions the work.

clients agent: (s)he who relays ideas between the client and the architect, be the client a government, institution, or an individual.

society: the population as a whole who will interact with the structure, who will be exposed to its aesthetics and ecological impact, who will survive the client, have to adapt to the buildings changing uses and character, and who will ultimately judge the building.

it is the duty of the architect to serve the client in terms of return on investment, and financial gain. or in the case of public projects, the exposure and character of the client to the public through the building. the clients agent (who may indeed be the client on smaller projects) must be privy to all stages of design, the mindset of the architect, and the probable course of the project. a good architect will always consider the impact of any development on society as a whole, and must strike a balance between gain and profit for the developer, and the possible negative impact on society in the form of stressed projects which generate problems for people on a local and macro scale. Planners, regulators, and councils fit into this equation in order to regulate the process to ensure no adverse reactions will occur as a result of development. This is an ideal situation and rarely runs smoothly or please everyone involved. not councils or architects or clients. and rarely all members of the public.

it is because of their important role in the process of developing the built environment that i believe architects should be privy to and learned in the various issues that could be involve in the deign process through to the impact of the building 20 or 200 years down the line. everything from the specification of non-toxic, renewable local materials, through to analysis of future growth in the area, and where their building will fit into this future fabric. this should all be part of the architects brief. it is a moral stand to take up this challenge and adopt these priciples, not law or religion. it is a personal issue for each architect to exam themselves, and make their own decisions.

As for that photo and the accompanying point; what?
Screw the casting process and the builders little niggles. If such complexity was necessary then it should happen no matter what. A poor architect would chicken out and decide to rationalise towards simplicity, two-dimensions, and round numbers. That
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Postby garethace » Sun Sep 14, 2003 11:54 pm

What is the client is a very basic question, and the trouble is really, some of these questions are rarely asked enough in practice or in college. Even though I have listened to this Site, Client and Structure tri-partite of Architectural Design for some time now.

society: the population as a whole who will interact with the structure, who will be exposed to its aesthetics and ecological impact, who will survive the client, have to adapt to the buildings changing uses and character, and who will ultimately judge the building.


When you read this, Architecture sounds like some outbreak of a disease! ALTHOUGH HAVING READ IT FIVE OR SIX TIMES NOW, AND THINKING ABOUT IT, I AM ACTUALLY BEGININNG TO LIKE IT STRANGELY ENOUGH. It must be like an REM song! :-) It is a very useful definition, since Architecture is often only looked at in Magazines that are a month old - I am guilty of this myself, and ignoring NeoClassical, NeoGothic, Vernacular....

But on the whole, I think you have left out some of the really simple things an Architect can choose to take upon him/her self. I mean, when I wake up in the morning time, that window that allows light into my bedroom, is something which i pay the Architect to design, and over many, many years the return on the original investment is huge in spiritual/mental value primarily. This is really what Louis Kahn did try to argue, and most of the good Architects alive today, have learned that lesson directly from good old Lou himself. I mean, if you want to talk about return on investment, there are some things the Architect alone can bring to the table of this business transaction. Those are the parts I am very interested in studying basically, but that is just how I personally look at Architecture.

I have a great deal of respect too, for the Master Builder concept taught to students in Bolton Street. Where you develop a really meaningful relationship to the actual process of assembling a building. That is a great managerial/organisational talent that Architects have pretty much exclusive rights upon also. But one I feel personally very strongly, has been allowed to take over, or at least dominate the Bolton Street curriculum for far too long The building construction awareness is something no amount of lessons in Kahn's use of natural light can surpass in many ways. But I like Kahn definition of the client as spiritual beings, who everyday lives are enhanced and fulfilled by dignified spaces. I mean a fifth year lecturer in Bolton Street has said for years now, that elevations/skin are not terribly interesting in the fifth year thesis projects anymore. And that using Design Technology in fourth year, we can combat this problem What is your favourite interior/exterior space? I mean isn't that a larger part of what Architects do? Surely the drawing of a skin or elevation, should come directly from an idea about space and its very spiritual value or essence. Looking for answers to that question in Design Technology, seems like drawing blood from a turnip to me anyhow You may have perhaps a sequence of spaces, or a particular walk through an urban area you experienced in Ireland or abroad. Please do share with us!

As to this:

And stop quoting tracings!! Have you nothing coherent and independent to say?!!


I feel I have to reconcile how I feel about 'this strand or vein' running through Irish Architectural practice at the moment. I seem to run into it all the time in Bolton Street, and have never managed to deal with it in a very civilised fashion. I haven't made up my mind absolutely yet on how I feel about defining the Architect/society relation - Edit: Yeah, your post above does help me a lot to understand the elongated life span of Architecture in relation to peoples' average life span or how far down that road I would be willing to travel, before I start running into prime ministers etc, as obstacles to design.

However, the useful thing I did get from your post, which is unfamiliar to me personally as a concept, is the breath of 'issues etc' that the Architecture could deal with.

it is a moral stand to take up this challenge and adopt these priciples, not law or religion. it is a personal issue for each architect to exam themselves, and make their own decisions.


That is an area of understanding you seem to be quite adepth in.
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Postby GregF » Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:24 am

To put it bluntly our Taoiseach is a artless, cultureless, ignorant prick!
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Postby garethace » Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:10 am

Many good Architects have had to deal with cheque book clients who were similar. But built stuff which managed to rise above all of that. Not ideal I will admit. But I think if society respects/likes Architecture it doesn't matter what clowns are in power so much. Duncan Stewarts programme has at least marketed the notion of who Architects are to the general public. It might not be ER - The Clooney Years, I don't imagine young women across Ireland regularly curl up in sofas, with lots of choclate to get their fix fo Stewart, (I may be wrong) but I imagine it does allow the public to attach some human face to good design It is only yesterday, Architects weren't allowed to advertise in Newspapers. So it would be very difficult to launch a decent marketing campaign here in Ireland. Yet, I know the only way to beat the likes of Ahern and many others is at their own game - publicity. I mean, unlike Doctors etc, designers/architects have had far too little public exposure - good, bad or indifferent. Which is quite paradoxical really considering everyone knows the buildings they design. It would be ideal if the general populus understood even that there IS someone called an architect out there who is generally responsible for how things look/work/feel.
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Postby J. Seerski » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:02 pm

Sorry, forgive my ignorance - but such extraordinarily long posts defeat the whole point of the discussion forum. I have to agree with sw101. They quickly loose their point... zzzz.... garethace take note!!!
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Postby garethace » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:15 pm

Many good questions have remained silent for far too long. They should be an every day part of the debate - or is there any debate - are we all just suits?

Anyhow, SW101 made a point about adapting older Architecture to new uses. I was out in Dun Laoire County Council buildings last January, and I must say, that building doesn't announce itself very loudly from the outside, but has still been adapted to cater for more. I think there is a car park next door too, which leaves possiblities to expand.

Blackhall place apartment renovations too. Heuston Station, Bolton Street college extension, IFC Temple Bar. I suppose there is a lot of good working examples of SW101's defintion of society/Architect relationship around.

I tend to think of Architecture, a bit too much of just new buildings sometimes maybe. But there are good examples of cases where Irish Architects have contributed to society by re-organising old, existing places. I still think though, that the relationship between a client and developer - the one stop shop - is much easier to get ones head around than the Architect/Society one. It is a challenge.

Alot of old Victorian Bath houses in England are crumbling, cast iron etc, lottery projects. I suppose the Ivy Baths would have needed a client like the National LOTO. But I suppse the Ben Dunnes gave it to politians to build conservatories in the past. Good article in the Tribune yesterday about a sucessful Irish developer renovating shanty towns in South Africa.
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Postby J. Seerski » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:21 pm

You are not well.
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Postby garethace » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:36 pm

Not many people who had to try and cobble together a degree in Architecture while going through our schooling system have felt on top of the world either.

What is still important though, is by the time one hits senior years in an Architectural degree course, one tries to iron out the difficult things - clients, being one of them, Structure being another....

SW101 is probably looking at the prospect of doing a thesis shortly. And I certainly am intrigued in his grasp of these particular issues. Indeed, I would feel very proud and confident of myself, had i got his excellent understanding.

Not what exactly is your relationship to the understanding, design and realisation of the built environment, if indeed you do have any? Having explained mine, would you prehaps care to elaborate a little thing or two about your world?

Respectfully Sir, I am your audience. And btw, wouldn't it be a better sign of society in general, if you were to treat those who are finding things difficult, to offer some other assistance than - You are not well. That just speaks volumes about who you actually are.

Brian O' Hanlon.

P.S. This was to be my last long lecture here. No I was never in the habit of posting long posts here at all - you can look at my history of posts if you like. But at the moment, I would like to ask some of the bigger questions - I don't like it - I would rather be in front of my AutoCAD designing now, but there you are. . . .
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