ruminations about architecture and design

Thursday, August 29, 2013

the triumph of systems

The three things pictured here are designed to deliver comfort with convenience for the occupants of a building. I don't find these pieces of machinery attractive, but that is because I am a snob and a philistine. I'm also snubbing the efforts of the design team that made an effort to make them attractive. I can't help but wonder what they would look like if the people at Apple built them.

When I speak of the triumph of systems in architecture I refer to things that are small, or in some cases invisible. We see mortar joints, and because we can see them they take on a visual significance that transcends their functionality. We do not see insulation, or wiring, or structure in many buildings. The HVAC system is assessed from the point of view of our comfort and our utility bill. Parts of a building that have been designed purely for visual delight are the first things to be cut.

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