Thursday, April 23, 2015

What are buildings for?

Most of my project work has had something to do with buildings, or groups of buildings (my wider property portfolio work).

One of my 'lecturers' in architecture was Micha Bandini, who asked the memorable question 'what is architecture'? We all fluffed around with answers. She tried to help us by asking if a chair (a 'designed thing') was 'architecture'. We thought not, but I don't think anyone explained why. I don't even recall where the discussion got to, but given MB's arty-philosphy credentials, meaning that people and society figured little in her thinking as far as I could tell, I expect that any definition excluded what buildings are really for. I say 'buildings' because that's what they are. 'Architecture' is a practice, not a thing. It doesn't come in pieces, like chocolate.

I saw a good response to the question in the blog Life of an Architect:
The title of the post reminds me of a misunderstanding of architects' work that abounds in industry and commerce: that we 'draw up' buildings, as though someone else formulates the program, designs and develops it, considers the practicalities, brings the multiple professional disciplines to realise an effective 'socially significant shelter' as well as creates the spaces and enclosing form for meaningful human activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment