I just purchased this book and I’ve been reading a page or two each night like savoring a box of chocolates. (Yes, you could eat all of them in one sitting).
I can’t say this is a full book review or that the book is the focus of this post. I will admit that after reading the first 20 questions, I really enjoy and appreciate a book like this. I pre-purchased it before its release and even ArchDaily started to promote it before it was even released.
The purpose of the book, in my opinion is not to provide “the answer” or even to be a manifesto. For each of the questions there is a brief, one-line answer and then a more extended discussion. This will satisfy many searching for answers, but for me it just causes me to consider the question even more. Therefore, I’m comfortable in promoting this book and believe it even makes a great gift to any architect you know. Nevertheless, I’m more interested in the questions – not just the questions being answered by these authors, but the questions.
For me architecture is about the other 100 questions. No, I’m not interested in answering the question “What is Architecture?” I started into that with a previous post.
To be honest, I really don’t care about the answers as much as I do about asking questions. One phrase I find myself saying often (to the annoyance of someone I’m sure) is “they’re asking the wrong question.”
Asking questions is good, but discovering the correct question to ask is better.
To digress temporarily, my entire life is about questions. I have strong beliefs, feel I know a lot about a couple of things, yet am the first to admit that the more I learn, the more questions I have. As my confidence increases, my curiosity increases even more.
How can we discern between shades of gray to sift through abstract ideas to get to the critical component of an issue? How do we know what is that correct question? Is that even important? Do other people think about these things? Have we lost the ability to wonder?
Answer? To be honest, I don’t know.
I just know that books like this are honest, easy to read and get us to think.
For me, thinking is equally as important as asking questions.
What is Architecture?: And 100 Other Questions Hardcover – September 1, 2015
by Rasmus Waern (Author), Gert Windgardh (Author)
Hardcover: 224 pages, Publisher: Laurence King Publishing (September 1, 2015)