Posted by Richard Haut on July 26, 2003 at 01:03:46:
In Reply to: Re: SincE YoU HavE ReaD FoR OncE posted by steveA on July 25, 2003 at 14:55:39:
"small steps" - only giants take large steps.
I completely agree with what you say. Of course architecture is derivative. It should be an evolution.
however, the failing - and perhaps the apparent feeling of a lost direction - is that the concentration has been to think of design as being self-referential, that design is for other architects or the critics.
this stifles creativity because it is an illusion. Buildings may have sculptural or fashionable aspects, but they are in themselves neither sculpture nor fashion - they are costly structures with a purpose.
the design fascination - the excitement of exploring and evolving a design - is not some ethereal jewel-like object which only sees and can only be seen in terms of itself.
that fascination should itself come from the brief, the purpose of the project. To assume, as is so often the case, that the nature and purpose of the building are an excuse for design extravagance or theory is conceit.
there are architects who transcend this divide - for example Jan Kaplicky of Future Systems - but they are very rare, and Jan's work clearly takes the brief as a challenge.
the point about Stockhausen is that however brilliant others may consider him as a composer, listening to his work is (for me and most others) a horrible experience.
Buildings must fulfill their purpose and (to quote Gehry) be "good neighbours". There is little point in young architects worrying that this is a restriction on their creativity because architecture is, by its very nature, a discipline of compromise. To compromise does not mean to "be compromised", to become an obedient little hack - nor does it mean to over-ride the wishes of the client and the purpose of the building. Great architecture is a balance, the skill is in using creativity to achieve that balance.
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