March 2012


The more I study architecture the more I realize that mistakes of ones become the breeding ground for others.

Modernism battles “the styles” – wins – gains monopoly – becomes corrupt -> triggers reaction – postmodernism; postmodernism gets annoying -> gives rise to supermodernism, deconstructivism, etc… Robert Moses starts building – then building a lot – then building too much -> gives birth to the phenomenon of Jane Jacobs. Jacobs becomes too contextual and narrow-minded -> gives rise to people who think big again… The combustion engine revolutionizes our everything, pollutes environment and triggers sprawl -> triggers search for new energy resources and a return to urban density… And so on, and so on.

Of course, it is not all that linear, ever, but still.

Make mistakes, my friends – give rise to progress! Keep modernity going!

It is the birthday of Mies van der Rohe today! Hooray!

What made it special, though, was the fact that of all the things that have happened today, Mies’s birthday was the one that got commemorated and put onto their doodle page by Google! When you type http://www.google.com into your web-browser, you will see the image below:

When was the last time that a global Internet mogul celebrated an architect, or given him/her such a straight-forward public promotion/attention/recognition/whatever it is? Makes one wonder, how much architecture can really be appreciated and celebrated by the public. And in what ways.

And such a sneaky (and a bit cheesy, from the architectural point of view) way to work a Google logo into the cartoon-like picture: notice the “glass” of the facade painted in Google’s colors.

Awesome!

Happy Birthday, Mies! Thank you for keeping it up in the public domain in this digital age.

I am happy and grateful I am writing a book for my thesis! (along with coming up with a project)

Finally, I am getting a taste of the real complexity of the process of linear organization of different and sometimes vaguely related ideas into a coherent “story”. I used to think that coming up with ideas and putting them down in a controlled language was a challenge. Now I see that organizing them in a consistent fashion into a body that is “one”, “whole” and autonomous is a whole other universe!

I am also beginning to understand what Sanford Kwinter meant, when he told me that he was not interested in blogging – an accumulation of unrelated individual pieces of experience, spitted out at random; in contrast, he was interested and sensed the value in a hundred pieces of experience lived through and merged together into a “one”. Now I get it.

It’s funny how sometimes I lose myself among the lines while writing a longer blog post. Now – it is a book, and keeping up with myself, my thoughts and characters is HARD! Thus, since recently, I caught myself looking at books like “Godel Escher Bach” with a whole different understanding and a certain reverence…

I am sitting here, looking at all these beautiful images on the wall and asking myself: is this really all there is to architecture? The beauty of the image? The image, overall.. Isn’t there anything beyond it? It seems that this is as tangible as architecture gets in an architecture school – a sexy image. And thus it seems, at times, to be what this education is about: nurturing our ability to put more work towards producing an image, rather than understanding what there is beyond it. Architecture as a profession of producing images about imaginary buildings.

Is this all there is to architecture?

A very refreshing joint lecture by Shohei Shigematsu of OMA and Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG. An almost unique opportunity to see two different architects from two different offices present, discuss and critique each other’s work on a common stage – a live antithesis to Rem Koolhaas’s recent critique that there is no coherent architectural community or culture, and that all architects do lately – is compete. Bjarke humorous and lively, and Shohei quiet, critical and thoughtful – as ever. Highly recommended!

This is how my day planner looks like:

…with all the glued-in business cards, notes, motivational expressions, to-do lists and appointments… A collage of my daily life.

Pretty dense, huh?

Today I wanted to share John Szot Studio’s “Architecture and the Unspeakable”. Take a look at the two videos below. Apart from the architecture itself, which is inspirational to say the least, it is crazy to think that those are not movies of reality, but just 3D animations.. Quite a level to look up to.

 

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