ruminations about architecture and design

Thursday, February 17, 2011

considering architectural phenomenon

When I was in architecture school I was introduced to and influenced by certain dogmas. Chief among these dogmas were simplistic equations like "density=good" and "traditional=bad" and "innovative=good" and "cars=bad." I became critical of the detached, single family home, I flirted with modernism and sculpturalism (the best term I can think of other than "blobitecture" to describe the Frank Gehry trend) and I produced a thesis project that featured high density residences in a mid-rise, mixed used builiding that overwhelmed its neighborhood.

Now, I feel like I duped myself, and am only beginning to think critically. The issue of density, and the car-dominated landscape cannot be explained through dogma or even through casual observation. Nevertheless, when I look around much of our built environment I cannot deny the gut feeling that things are not quite right. I seek refuge nostalgic settings, and other forms of refuge in academic readings and futuristic speculations.
To a greater degree than any other period in history, I remain convinced that we are in a transitional architectural period. The American landscape has a false durability, in fact, it may be at the vanguard of the end of durability as an architectural concept.

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