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41 principles for architects to live by (was: Lets talk about this one people?)

garethace

Cyburbian
Messages
137
Points
6
Lets talk about this one people?

41 principles for architects to live by.

My favourite bit of all:

It is essential that the design schools accept the responsibility of teaching a body of knowledge, and not attempt to incite individualism. Students should be exposed to the general vernacular and not just to the very few geniuses produced by each generation. Emulation of the exceptional does not provide an adequate model for professional training.
Brian O' Hanlon.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
That article is the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I've been disappointed with Planetizen's editorials for some time now. Enlisting the thoughts of Cox and Carson for content?! Yuck! All I can say is those articles aren't very helpful for me. The most recent one with Duany is so flaccid that I've lost much respect for Planetizen. All Duany does is list his 41 principles. How empty is that? What is the basis for any of those principles? Makes me think that either the planning intelligensia or the flock of most well-intentioned planners are dim-witted and out to lunch. I hope I am wrong about the latter group. Who reads then takes that stuff to heart? I don't. To me, Planetizen's editorials are just like to cable news talking head shows - the issues are all black-and-white, some one has an axe to grind, and sensationalism is the flavor du jour.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Re: Lets talk about this one people?

garethace said:
41 principles for architects to live by.

My favourite bit of all:

It is essential that the design schools accept the responsibility of teaching a body of knowledge, and not attempt to incite individualism. Students should be exposed to the general vernacular and not just to the very few geniuses produced by each generation. Emulation of the exceptional does not provide an adequate model for professional training.

Brian O' Hanlon.

I agree with this principle. People should walk before they swim. Example; Picasso mastered life like painting before creating his own style. If he didn’t know where the body parts “really” went, his work might have been seen as crap rather than brilliance.

*No, I am not an architect, and neither am I a painter so do with my opinion what you wish.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
While I agree with some points, I just can't get past the elitism.

"It is essential that certain critics -- those who do not possess the craft and experience of building -- not be granted undue influence on the reputation of architecture and architects."

- This quote is an example of the elitist undertones that run through art and architecture. It is the attitude that the public has no idea what is good and bad architecture. Only architects are qualified to judge architecture. Ugly uninspired architecture is like pornography...I know it when I see it. Just because some clown wearing a black turtleneck and a black sportscoat tells us it is good, doesn't mean that it is.

"It is essential that architects retake responsibility for an urbanism that is currently abandoned to the statistical concerns of zoning, building codes, traffic and financing."

- Again with the elitist attitude that architecture should reign supreme. Forget those building codes and zoning regulations. Let the architects do whatever we want!

"It is essential that architects work concurrently with landscape architects in the process of design. Landscape architects must in turn abdicate their preference for autonomous layouts. The ground is not a canvas and nature is not material suitable for an installation piece."

- Ok, so you can use building materials as a canvas for your artistic expression when designing buildings, but the lowly landscape architects must not do the same.
 

garethace

Cyburbian
Messages
137
Points
6
Everything that you have said guys depends upon one simple assumption, that the clown wearing a black turtleneck and a black sportscoat, with a mobile phone and a second hand Saab are all that an Architect can ever be, and will ever be. I spent my whole life trying to be an Architect, but trying to be something else other than the character you just mentioned. Not that I honestly have anything against that character at all, I believe, the really go-getter types are just another part of the whole world we live in today.

However, I was a single student out of 50 in my class, and probably 2-3 people like myself never gradutated simply because we wished to learn a simple body of knowledge from our own professors, and didn't want to be totally individualistic. I mean, I spent my whole time in secondary school being the school hero on the football field, and loved every minute of it. But somehow, I wanted to separate all that 'sound of roaring crowds' from my chosen professional. But felt constantly being pushed back into that same arena, unwillingly, just to be a certain kind of Architect? Anyhow, I spent a full 10 years of my life trying to finish my Architecture course, and unfortunately I was just talking in a foreign language as far as the ego-addicts in the Architecture School was concerned.

Why didn't I want to score the winning goal in the last five minutes? Like us? Become the great, charismatic, Architect as hero? I said, guys.... I had all that,... who the hell, or what the hell do you think you are selling this crap to? Now I am perhaps sorry I didn't just 'go along' with it all. :-(

I have very strong reason, and observation over many years now, that young Architects in college are simply looking to extend "College BOWL" well on into their working lives. There simply isn’t any other professional out there, where you can cultivate as much of your own ego, while still getting paid to do so. I mean most rock stars and sports people quickly pass their primes. An Architect can still ‘Kick the winning goal’ at sixty! And many great Architects have, but where else are those kinds of opportunities to be found for aged men and women? I mean the Rolling Stones, probably one of the biggest bands ever, barely manage to pull it off these days.

All of these 'professionals' have more than a little bit of 'ego-ism' attached to them, of yearning to be the centre of it all, the hero. But Architecture is just one of the worst of all. At least Doctors save peoples’ lives without blinking, Lawyers put criminals into jail and have to remain calm on the exterior, but Architects mostly just nurse their own very huge but fragile egos in private and perhaps even in public. To receive at least some of the attention they never had, and rightly deserved as individuals in everyday normal life and growing up as teenagers.
Do young people nowadays become Architects to build buildings, or to facilitate their massive egos about themselves?

A film that says these things better than any words is one called 'Finding Forrester' starring Sean Connery. The movie is loosely based around a young black teenager growing up in the Bronks in NYC. It is about that young man’s relationship to a certain 'Sallinger' (Catcher in the Rye fame) type of brilliant writer/social recluse played so well by Mr. Connery. I love the part where he marches into the classroom, not having left his own apartment in the Bronks for 30 years, and casually beckons up to the wall of Booker Prize winners, “I’m that one”. (Insert Sean Connery accent please) But like in any good versus evil drama the performance of the 'baddie' is just as sheer class by the actor Ben Kingsley.

Some other thoughts while I am at it btw

The ego is the reward schedule, and that is how they motivate themselves, with little rewards along the way. That is why the ego is tolerated, it keeps people going, when it seems Architecture is the worst job in the world. Now here comes the cruch for me though, why don't Architects discuss, talk, ask each other? I have 5-6 thousand posts clocked up on Tech web forums, to improve that aspect of my job. I can assure you those forums are far from being easy places to sell your ideas/opinions on anything.

Advice to profession of Architecture: If necessary buy the knowledge that you require, don't be cheap when it comes to knowledge. Ask your way to success, when you have a good idea, become a negative thinker and put your idea under the scrutiny of people who will rip your idea to shreds.

Brian O' Hanlon.
 
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Messages
3
Points
0
re: Duany commentary - essential architectural styles and trailers

my fav's

"It is essential that traditional and contemporary
architectural styles have equal standing, as they represent
parallel, persistent realities. They may be used badly or
well, but their evaluation should be on the basis of their
appropriateness to context, and their quality, not to
fashion."

What if we renamed things for what they really are............ a spade is a spade and a hammer is a hammer...........

Hammer versus CAD based technologies would be more appropriate to define the actual variation and divergence of traditional and contemporary architectural styles. The 'crafts' that power construction have been traditionally for thousands of years the hammer . Wood , metal and stone could be tapped and formed with a hammer, versus the net effect of the ubiquietious .dxf replacement (sans curves modernism - mass produced manufactured componentry to be plugged in systematically thru specifying ). This is what AutoCad was invented by engineers (for engineers) to do. Cut steel, period. It became by default and right of being first born for CAD & CAM a tool for modernism because they did not factor in subtle geometry. Brilliant oversight. Someone was sleeping, and they are still hitting the snooze button dreaming of what went poof.

........... and consider that we are very weak on using the new technologies to keep the standards of the good old hammer that made graceful curves. In a computer universe that translates into for example: 70 consecutive arcs w/ long radii & short arcs (degrees) in a data exchange format, closed polyline , at 128kb or less. Multiply by 130 times as interlocking french curves subtracted from plate material and you have the aesthetic geometry of 17th & 18th century blacksmithing. It is also a cost effective, labor saving, machine part. Factor in thousands of job shops around the industrialized world where you (if you have a perfect perfect file) you can go shopping for time, price and quality.

"It is essential to engage the mobile home industry, the
prefabrication industry, and the house plan industry. These
are efficient methods to provide housing. The current low
quality of their production is the fault of non-participation
by architects."

humourous note: I prefer to think that architects are not into nature's (or God's) wholesale and perpetual recycling of aluminum in the path of tornadoes that follow low hollows (where trailer parks predominate). Planners and zoning mavens in the midwest, southern and southeast US should be forced to endure a couple of 3 unit meteorology classes. Tornadoes to not wipe clean the tops of hills. Early settlers took a clue from plains indian tribes who knew not to build in the path of the 'second biggest' hoover you ever saw coming (kuddoes to Buck Henry). I do not think that better design would spare the structures from disrespect to the predictable terrain following characteristics of twisters. Flat and hollow areas are laser sited. Truly elegant mass produced 'trailer' could follow in the tradition of a 'diner' car restaurant and be clad in VE porcelain steel (like your typical 50 kitchen stove). They might even end up on the national register of historic places as the diners have.

vat do you tink?

e-)
eileen
 

garethace

Cyburbian
Messages
137
Points
6
I have just looked at Duany's web site today. And this guy is really tailor-made for the American environment I would say. Very rarely in Ireland do we consider the environment on such a scale, and when we do, Architects are not next or near the project. Duany is making a point I think, that if more Architects made there way in the planning and urbanism professions, that perhaps more Architects would be involved in the design of the built environment.

Just read this account of things (theoretical mostly) here:

I went to college, with this young lady, who was one of the best graduates from my school of Architecture but what worries me, is she and others are trying to move into the urbanism scale of things, without much background at that level.

Brian O' Hanlon.
 

garethace

Cyburbian
Messages
137
Points
6
With flashbacks to the Glenn Murcutt lecture in DIT last year, I read this very informative account of an evening lecture at Columbia University! :)

The committee was reportedly deadlocked last spring, but the rumor mill was running free, mostly churning through the same three names--Lynn, Zaha, Libeskind; Zaha, Libeskind, Lynn--as if some privileged recitation of those five syllables might, like rubbing hands on the genie's bottle, summon an agent to deliver the school from uncertainty.

Taking pity, it would grant three wishes, one for each: a limitless supply of disposable logic for the idle generation of form (Lynn), a probe to uncloak the mysteries of taste (Zaha), and a path through geometry to the unspeakable name of God (Libeskind).
Come and sample the atmosphere, of the changing of the guard at Columbia University. Like some platonic shifting of subterranean earth masses, the tremors will be felt in Ireland I am sure.

Seems as if the winds of change in LA, are definetly changing towards, the Princes of Paper Architecture, finding ways to meet clients, overcome adversity and finally build something. Interview with a 58-year old, calmer Thom Mayne. There is after all a vast new market opening up these days in trendy culture capitals around the world for collecting Famous Architects As good design is seen as a symbol of prestige in many places, even in our very own Dublin city.

Brian O' Hanlon.
 
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