What is architecture? Oh, spare me the Wikipedia answer or the dictionary answer. What is it? How do you define it? Maybe this is a rookie post early in my blogging career, but sorry folks, I call them as I see them (or think them actually). This is the kind of stuff that circulates in my noggin as I drive home from teaching. I think about it.
I know how architects have begun to define it; typically in some intellectually evasive fashion. We talk about big ‘A’ and small ‘a’ architecture. I believe one could posit a difference. Is there? Do architects define it differently than people who are not architects? Do we the architects get to define it?
At what point does a building, shelter or some other man-made intervention into the natural world become architecture? Are all buildings architecture? I would argue no. Is all architecture a building? Most likely I say no as well.
So at what point does a constructed object, building, whatever become architecture? Does it transform into architecture or does it start as architecture in the mind of the designer? Is it just the idea that is architecture, or must it actually be built? What about buildings with no formal designer? You are starting to see I have many questions here.
Is it an “I’ll know it when I see it” type of thing? Does a building have to “stand the test of time” first before it graduates to architecture? What is that qualitative difference between a building and architecture? I submit there is a difference (**laugh Amy**).
I have contributed to the design of many buildings in my twenty years of practice, but I’d be a bit arrogant to say all of it is “architecture.” I wish they all were, but I am confident (fortunate) that many of them are architecture.
So is this architecture?
How about this?
If we as architects are practicing architecture, wouldn’t you think we as architects could define it?
What do you think…architects and not-so-much architects please respond? I am not baiting you; I just want to talk about it. I’ve asked at least sixteen or seventeen questions…your turn.
“All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” ~ Philip Johnson