Message - Re: WTC: Humane Environment

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Posted by  Paul Malo on October 06, 2002 at 16:04:42:

In Reply to:  Re: WTC: Humane Environment posted by BRUTUS on October 06, 2002 at 12:40:01:

"Space" and "function" are aspects we can discuss rationally. But what is "spirituality"? I may sound insensitive, although I do know you mean.

But is spirituality a common language? The question is how useful it is as a concept. It may be so transcendent as to be useless--like saying that we should be "good." Of course we should be good, but what does that really mean--at least in architecture?

Was Mies "spiritual?" Some find his work to be rationally dry and devoid of emotional content, if that's what "sprituality" means to them. Are the theatrics of Gehry then more "spiritual"? Who's to say? To each his own.

The "spiritual" component is so personal as not be very applicable as a general critical consideration. You can cook a dish that seems marvelous to you, as the cook. But you'll find that some diners may share your view, while others find the dish distasteful. Are you right, and they wrong? Who's to say?

Artists have to please themselves, or they can't function. It's a mistake to suppose that your work will be validated by public appreciation.

I think you're right to suggest that the architect must have an intense perseonal conviction about the rightness of what he or she is doing. I don't think, however, that the rightness may reliably convince others. At best, we sense when work evidences an apparent conviction, even if we don't recognize the "rightness" of the work.

You or I may never want to design a Miesian building, but I, at least, sense the conviction that Mies had regarding the rightness of what he was doing.

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