If I could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Since I write about architecture, the word that first came to mind is style.
So as the discussion continues about magazines like Architectural Record and their Swimsuit Issue – Record Houses, I have had a few additional thoughts as I read the ongoing online debate. Again, I am not condemning the publishing of these particular houses outright. I am asking questions of relevance, appropriateness and net results of bringing value to the profession. My recent pondering came from a discussion with my mother in law (not an architect) who likened the portrayal of unusual houses to the frequent shock effect of the fashion industry. We have all seen the runway models strut their starved long-legged selves down the runway with the most shocking (and awfully uncomfortable) latest fashion lines. Although creative and oddly “cool”, we all know no one will ever wear these clothes, but these artistic expressions will be simplified into some one-off dress that a wealthy person will wear once before sending it to auction. The rest of us will shop online, at the mall or sadly, Wal-Mart.
I’ve been thinking lately about craft, craftsmanship and the craftsmen/craftswomen of days-gone-bye. It seems that we have all but lost this virtue in much of what we have in America today. Everybody wants everything instantly without caring how well it is made, nor do we want to spend for it. When we see great craft we are often amazed and assume how “expensive” that well crafted thing must be. So before I digress into a rant or tirade, let me say “thank you” to those few crafts-people that still exist. I appreciate your attitude in addition to you taking the appropriate time and care to make the things you make. You are a dying breed.
“There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman.” ~Emile Zola
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. …keep reading
A simple but complicated question all the same…you are wondering why ask it? Doesn’t everybody know what an architect is? Can’t we look it up on Google and move on? We draw things, design buildings and stuff like that right? We’re like Mr. Brady, Howard Roark, and Frank Lloyd Wright?