Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sound Bytes from Architecture (revised)


Architecture remains an artificial creation imposed on a natural world. 

Architectural design is presently learned from experience that reduces the odds of repeating success across the entire profession. 

Opinion will remain hypothesis for architectural design – until it can be supported and defended by a foundation of knowledge. 

Opinion is instinct, intuition and hypothesis. It can lead to knowledge but dies with talent and has difficulty repeating success. 

We travel through context and survive in buildings. An architect who is forced to sacrifice context for capacity introduces intensity that is not a public benefit. 

Intensity is the measurable context of place. A single place is created by architecture. A collection of places is created by chance. Improving the odds is the goal of city design. 

Architecture has spun-off entire professions until its success now shelters its greatest challenge. 

Architectural design that considers open space a “left-over” leaves random intensity and potential over-development in its wake 

A building has its roots in the land but it will not flower while it consumes resources and discharges waste without redeeming ecologic value. 

Modern architecture theorized that form was a product of function after misreading Louis Sullivan’s organic intent. Natural function became an obstacle and form followed invention while speculation responded with sprawl. 

The Symbiotic Period began when we saw a small blue planet surrounded by an atmosphere at risk – and infinite black punctured by points of light that have always led the way.  

The Natural Domain has become an environmental asset and the Built Domain has emerged as a threat to survival. 

The Built Domain continues to expand its presence and the intuitives among us sense the presence of a threat. 

Creativity responds to a voice that is heard by intuition, interpreted by logic, answered by imagination, and memorized by those seeking knowledge. 

Fine art is intuition and imagination organized with composition and expressed with talent that cannot be memorized.  

The design components of intensity can be identified, measured, evaluated, and forecast to improve future decisions that intend to shelter activity within a limited Built Domain. 

Design excellence is currently measured with the yardstick of opinion. If a convincing explanation of public benefit is an architectural objective, a new measurement system will be required. 

Excessive shelter intensity has often been a response to land ownership limitations and free enterprise objectives. 

Architectural design excellence is not a product. It is a collection of decisions represented by a product that will successfully serve both private and public interests when the options are more thoroughly understood. 

Shelter is an essential element of survival but it consumes our source of life with the appetite of free enterprise.


A parasite consumes its host. A symbiotic parasite achieves a state of mutual benefit that ensures its continued survival. We have the power to choose the path we wish to follow and have named the decisions adaptation.   

City design is an issue of intensity and survival that is beyond the present scope of architecture, but the shelter it builds will express the city design decisions we make. 

The goal is to shelter the activities of growing populations without threatening their source of life with sprawl, or their quality of life with excessive intensity. Architectural form, function, and appearance will express the level of success achieved within sustainable geographic limits. 

We’ve been given a mind and we’re expected to use it.