For us – architects – it is important to somehow live out our insanity. Many of the things – in fact, most of the things our profession actually craves to do – are just not possible in the world that is trying to be rational. All the curved, angled, huge, megalomaniac stuff that many of us dream about (and the schools are promoting) is just not going to happen. In our daily practices we need to produce buildings – not boundless spatial play. So, how do live out our insanity?

Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind, Micromegas

Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas, Zeebrugge Terminal

Zaha Hadid, The Peak Leisure Club

Zaha Hadid, The Peak Leisure Club

Doing architecture, I believe, is a balancing of acting out this insanity and adhering to the needs of rationality. The more insanity we are able to incorporate into our built designs, the happier we are as professionals. Perversely, architecture – the profession of spatial play – is not able to satisfy our craving for molding space. For that we need other media – media allowing for less responsibility. And may-be that is for the better, too. Would we actually want to live in our dreams? I doubt it. Other media help us keep our denial of reality at bay, and cope with our madness. It’s not that architects “can draw, and do sculpture, too”. We have to do that in order to stay sane.

Ivan Sergejev, Utopia

Ivan Sergejev, Utopia

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City – a three-dimensional city grid

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City detail

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City detail

Ivan Sergejev, The In-between

Ivan Sergejev, The In-between

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?

I think many designers, yours truly included, are scared of pure sculptural forms.

It is a somewhat commonly accepted statement that architecture – is a “rational art”. This is one of our strongest differences from other arts, which do not – normally – make claims to rationality. We, architects, have a lot of strategies for coming up with forms for buildings and justifying them – rationally. However, exactly because there are so many “rationalistic” ways of form-making – and we are so used to using them – we are sometimes paralyzed when we are confronted with the necessity of coming up with a pure sculptural form.

If one trusts his/her instincts and inner impulses and just comes up with something, he/she risks producing something tasteless or ugly (from others’ point of view, at least) – without any means of rational justification/defense. It is incredibly easy to miss if you are shooting for a pure form as, although it can bring personal aesthetic satisfaction, it might be deemed useless by the broader society – with plenty of examples in art, Vincent van Gogh being probably the classical one. In rare cases, someone might come up with a form that is generated by pure inner aesthetic drive, but still resonates with the majority of the population (Gehry?). This is very rare – and that is why there are only that many real artists. Most of us are not like that – or at least don’t dare/trust to think of ourselves that highly. However, we are still in this profession and cannot allow ourselves to fail controlling forms. So we start inventing and post-rationalizing, running from the pure aesthetic, out-of-the-blue, sculptural form, anxious to justify/secure whatever we are doing.

Does this make any sense?

However, I would argue that, in the end, as architects – or artists – we MUST trust our aesthetic drives and learn to deal with pure form which comes from within. Because that’s the real us! Interestingly enough, this is exactly the “school” I am going  through right now – trying to come up with a form on a purely aesthetic basis, with no function or particular reason for it to be this or that. Learning to trust myself. And you know what: I never realized how hard it would be…

Check this out.

One of those really well done videos (I think). For me, another one like that would probably be Justin Timberlake’s “My love”.. With videos like this, just close your ears and enjoy the visual. Stylish. A graphic designer’s dream. Kanye at his shiniest and Rihanna at her best.. Pay attention to the importance of color and the overall “sharpness” of the visual.. There is no way a video like this could have been produced in Chicago, for example. It’s a true “Made in New York ” one.  Interesting – why? How can we sense that? It’s not the only one of its kind. Jay Z is a guy with a similar style.. Of well, he does own the record company that both Kanye and Rihanna are produced at, but still.. There something unique in it..