Posted by Obvious on July 15, 2003 at 04:27:40:
In Reply to: Re: One owl to another posted by Mark R B on July 14, 2003 at 13:58:50:
Once upon a time,half a cenutry or so ago,Architects were still assumed to be persons of "culture",endowed by training and predilection with an understanding of Human Knowledge wider than that of the practitioners of most other professions, that understanding being necessary in the successful exercise of their calling.Sad to say, that is(for the most part) no longer the case.The language of Architecture has semantics, semiotics and syntax.Just like spoken language.Unlike Music or Art, (where the author seeks to evoque for the most part,emotions) Architecture can not dispense with articulateness, logic or coherence.In 1970 the average US College graduate possessed a vocabulary of around 70,000 words,whereas in 1990 it was 30,000 some words(see Harper's index for source) Of course,Old Farts like me fail to grasp the Miracle whereby more than half the English language has been substituted by the 40,000 different meanings of the word LIKE.(No great loss,since at 10 cents apiece All those words amount to a measely 4 grand,half the average credit card debt)
Let us go back to your Original "simple"question:"how people felt about their submissions"(your words).Are designers' FEELINGS about their own work of any import to anyone else? We may learn something if designers share their THINKING on how they approached a specific problem. (I am aware that in this HUGELY attended forum, Old Owl and me are talking essentialy to ourselves whereas you,Mark, and Per Corell hope for a polylogue rather than a quadripartite exchange. (20 cents in the above sentence) So, allright Mark has a (half) point in that there are Design considerations worthy of analisys as regards the WTC Memorial. (my previous postings were about how such considerations and judging logistics combine.
First, context: What was presented to contestants as the Memorial "site" both as site plans and images, is, in fact (as per the Libeskind schema) THE Memorial.Libeskind did not intend that ANYTHING oter than what is shown in his drawings be built on the site.(please refer to original plans and articles on the subject) It transpired that "the powers that be" were unhapy with the overall results and decided to treat Libeskind's Memorial as an empty site and put their own mark on it. Now, for us contestants, this presents an ethical problem. Do we agree with the competition organisers that something is "missing" from the original design? namely an "appropriate Memorial and submit entries, or we respect the "integrity" of Libeskind's design and decline. Well, all of us entered the competition.For one or more of the following reasons:
1: We agreed that Libeskind's Memorial is insufficient
2: We think is not for us to decide wether a program is
justified; it is the prerogative of the Owner.
3: We need or desire the exposure such a project would bring
and therefore all other considerations are secondary.
4: We are unaware of the context (Libeskind's design details and naratives.
I for one think that the best "memorial" would have been the construction of the most advanced (technologicaly, echologicaly aestheticaly) building ever as both a statement of resiliency and aspiration. Being as we are in the decadent period of American culture,the above is an utopian dream. Indeed a Deconstructionist architect was selected to construct a timid, pale replacement for a world landmark so literaly deconstructed. (So I confessed to my own motives for participating,additional tho what I allready posted)
Further, contextwise a few weeks ago "representatives" of families of wtc dead were demanding 6+ acres of memorial space on reason that 4.7 acres is incomensurate with the magnitude of their loss, and just as I am writing this I am hearing on ABC news another family "representative" commenting on a letter sent to both the current and former mayors of NY and congress Demanding that NOTHING other than a MEMORIAL be ever built on the ENTIRE (hallowed for them) extent of the site. There goes (putative) wedge of light 1700ft flagpole etc.No doubt the NY port authority will stand fast however, FEELINGS of victimised Americans being sacralized as they are compromise (a virtue in this culture) may be forthcoming. In that case quite a few designs (for the Memorial) may prove inadequate to the (expanded) task. Indeed I read an article by some luminary that argued that no design can possibly capture and/or convey the magnitude of the event and the enormity of the trauma it inflicted on the national psiche, so he proposes a "perpetual" Memorial Competition instead to be held every year for ever.
This is context. We can now discuss DESIGN. Any takers?
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