Principles Essential To The Renewal of Architecture

Principles Essential To The Renewal of Architecture

Postby garethace » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:10 pm

41 principles for architects to live by


By Andrés Duany
Sep 15, 2003

Some tips there for the Frank McDonalds of this world I imagine.

It is essential that architects develop an unmediated voice in the press, to explain their work themselves. (Architects should affect this demand by canceling their subscriptions to those publications that do not comply.)


And perhaps one or two for our system of Architectural education also:

It is essential that the design schools accept the responsibility of teaching a body of knowledge, and not attempt to incite individualism. Students should be exposed to the general vernacular and not just to the very few geniuses produced by each generation. Emulation of the exceptional does not provide an adequate model for professional training.


And lets not leave out the institute of Architects while we are at it, have done some good PR work, but more as good please.

It is essential that architects endeavor to publish their work in popular periodicals. How else will the people learn?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:27 pm

quote:
It is essential that architects develop an unmediated voice in the press, to explain their work themselves. (Architects should affect this demand by canceling their subscriptions to those publications that do not comply.)



I disagree, it is because architects cannot explain their work without resort to architectuese that the public distrusts architects - they feel spoken down to... a lot.

Believe me, I get it all the time. When I first started going to AAI lectures or site visits, I was completely ignored and talked over because I obviously wasn't an architect. It pissed me off no end and I stopped going to lectures and site visits. And that was why I started Archeire with the raison d'etre of allowing non-architects space to talk about architecture without being humilated by the profession. I still get spoken down to, though that tends to stop when I'm introduced to them. So obviously that is the tone and manner for dealing with the people.

An unmediated voice in the press will only widen the chasm between the public and architects.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:43 pm

It is essential that architects, like attorneys, dedicate a portion of their time without compensation to those who do not otherwise have access to professional design.


Now this would be a way of education, rather than unmediated voice in the media... but its not the easy way is it?
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Postby garethace » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:46 pm

I am a good enough writer, with years of architectural training under my belt. But I still find it difficult to write convincingly about Architecture, since verbalising many aspects is pretty much impossible, except for the very best writers. Some of SW101s responses have knocked me for 6 I will admit. I feel privileged enough though, to have met that person online, and talked frankly about views of Architecture. Just to know a student of 21 years of age, with such a high degree of sophistication and clarity of thinking is something that amazes me. Doozer was a very eloquent speaker too, and a very shrewd one, who carefully chose the debates he/she wanted to get into. But I would have loved some more time bouncing off of that poster. But what it does prove conclusively is that at least some Architects are capable of speaking about their work and their profession.

I hear what you are saying, about posters here being from a much broader cross-section that what you would get at the AAI. I am inclined to think, that everyone here, is from the AAI, but that is far from being the case. So I do accept the challenge you have laid out for yourself Paul. I came to Architecture first from an entirely artistic background and talked extremely freely with professional artists for years prior to meeting even one Architect. I suppose I did expect the same from Architects, and yeah, me experience was about the same as yours with the AAI.

Ralph Bingham is a guy I used to know in the AAI, and I had Ralph as a tutor in Bolton Street for a short while too. The only person who I could ever say to, Ralph, I don't want to draw today, so why don't we just talk about Architecture instead. So there we would sit for half an hour maybe, he sketching away as I listened to what he was saying, and I observed the way he drew constantly as he spoke ad lib, about whatever subject/topic I asked him about. Normally the tutor would sit there and LISTEN to a student talk at length about something called his concept, or developed scheme.

I feel that system rewards individualism very much, because as long as you want to talk and talk and talk, about yourself and your opinions of a design - you seem to do well. Most of the very successful graduates I know are perhaps strong individuals - this was most apparent when trying to do 1 week designs in groups - one guy, who normally did well generally in studio, would take over the entire group. The reason Architects are unwilling to talk, because the best of them have this strong individualistic character. Which doesn't sell very well in public or in the media etc.

I did cover this subject here before but do not underestimate the contribution you have already made to the profession Paul. It really does need more people like you, whether it is willing to admit it or not. I see the Architects using 3DS VIZ-ualists, who are completely unaware of what Architecture is - many are just people who 'know how to use a computer software'. That is just typical of the exclusive attitude of the profession to many people who may help it a great, great deal indeed. Perhaps in future I might manage narrow that gap between Architect and VIZualist, as Duane talks about:

It is essential that the techniques of graphic depiction not determine the design of the buildings. Computer-aided design must remain an instrument for the liberation of labor and not become a determinant of form. Because a shape can be easily depicted does not necessarily mean that it should be constructed.


What I mean is, to develop a meaningful relationship between the Architect and Visualisation/Information Technology. Which at the moment falls far short of that between an Architect and the clutch pencil and paper.

My Learning to see post is all to do with the VIZualist and Architects relationship The Architect learns to see the world through drawings primarily though, so VIZ-ualists need to do the same.

Brian O' Hanlon.
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Postby sw101 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:53 pm

it is essential my tiny hiney.

principles and guidelines spoken from on high are exactly what drives young architects to abandon the old-skool, concrete roots crap they are taught. and i suppose it is that reason that i can thank people like andreas duany, tired old titmouse that he is.

it is essential to be true to ones self

it is essential to ever learn to grow

it is essential to never settle on anything less than ones best

it is essential that nobody take heed of my twaffe, and everybody establish their own path through life. essentially
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Postby sw101 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:58 pm

wher do you get this CRAP garethace!!

please express one single individual thought or opinion or judgement uninfluenced by mole brady or sinead o'rourke or pooey kahn, even a phrase!??!! dammit man i despair. please lift my spirits. raise me to a place where i can see the future and the possibilities of my fall, where i can hear the winds of change whistle through the tresses of my architecty beard
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Postby garethace » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:03 am

I think I will enjoy having this very same conversation with you, when the next couple of years are behind you SW101. But meanwhile I think that your'e attitude is about right for the moment. I have been so far very impressed by the economy of your thought system, which appears to be much, much, much sounder to the core, than it would appear to most casual observers. I mean, it is firm without trying to be authoritative. I hope the discussion I have provided here over the last while has at least acted as some kind of summer season training camp for what lies ahead of you. Xmas will not be long hitting you I can imagine - know that feeling, yeah.

For my own part, I could have written more or less the exact same 41 points that Duany has written, to be my own stance about how I feel about Architecture. This one I do like a lot

It is essential that architectural history include not just the form-givers, but the masters of policy. Talented students who are not seduced by form making should be exposed to these role models. Municipal policy and administration is sorely in need of their abilities.


P.S. I am doing my driving test on Thursday for the third time, (hence my reflecting and musing) and will be working in Dublin soon. So my time here at Archiseek, as brief as it has been, has been worthwhile. I would love if my summer time work experiences had been half as exciting. But I must get back doing AutoCAD again - major withdrawl symptoms. Any ideas on fifth year projects/site/clients etc yet? Pop me an e-mail, if you need an opinion or whatever.
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Postby garethace » Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:25 am

This is from a book written by a Finish author, Helmer Stenros, a generation or two ago now:

The Functionalism and Rationalism, which dominated architecture from the thirties to the sixties, were rather uni-dimensional in their ideals, not to mention their practical applications. Construction was characterised by an abstract faith in the future and an exaggeration of the rationality and efficiency of technology.

Naturally there were exceptions (such as the Finnish architects Aalto, Blomstedt, Ervi, Revell, Ruusuvuori, and Siren) who created a profile of their own in the architecture of the fifties and sixties, giving Functionalism a more psychological and geographical direction. Though noticeable, even their finest achievements were but a fraction of total construction. Due to element and residential area building, the general trend was towards an extremely one-sided living environment.
According to Kirmo Mikkola, the architecture of the fifties and sixties is typified by a shaky self-confidence. This is seen in rapidly changing styles and the weakened role of architects. All that remains of modem architecture after a half-century of development is the rationale of efficiency.

With the technicians, businessmen and politicians are building an environment, which is at the same time destroying its own psychological and biological conditions.


Have the finest achievements in constuction of the built environment over the last while, been but a fraction of total construction? All that remains after a half-century of development is the rationale of efficiency.

Brian O' Hanlon.
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