Design Prose

Modern Architecture by Vincent Scully

Posted in Architecture, Books, Built Environment by designprose on January 10, 2013

51JPAtx5GLL._SL500_SS500_To understand architecture, it is important to understand forces that define and shape them. Contemporary and modern architecture of today was evolved from historical style which no longer could serve the changing times brought on by massive human movement across geographies and onset of industrialization. Modern Architecture by Professor Vincent Scully works as a thoughtful primer towards understanding what we have come to inhabit. He looks at the metaphysical force as well that humanity has never tried to explore fully quite like the modern times. Expression through architecture also encompasses this, this overthrowing of stabilities of thinking, of communities and settlements.

In all these ways, the old stabilities have been overset, and human beings, in the mass have been given an architectural environment which is an image of modern world itself, in which they do not know exactly who or where they are.

He has therefore vacillated between a frantic desire to find something comprehensible to belong to and an equally consuming passion to express his own individuality and to act on his own. He has become at once a tiny atom in a vast sea of humanity and an individual who recognizes himself as being utterly alone.

And thus, modern architecture has embedded these tensions of belonging and unbelonging at the same time and pursuit, the quest of anchoring and exploring, both at one time. Quest to find answers where have we come from and where are we going and how to express stable architecture in this impermanent state of mind.

And since, of all the cultural divisions of Western civilization, America was the one to which the future seemed most open and in which the sense of actual uprootedness was most strong, it was in America that the polarities were first swept away in terms of a new, continuous architecture order.


Some Wisdom Through Graduation Speech

Posted in Architecture, Built Environment, Uncategorized, Urban Planning by designprose on June 3, 2011

A poem by Architect Moshe Safdie, taken from graduation speech given by Chris Anderson of TED talks.

He who seeks truth shall find beauty. He who seeks beauty shall find vanity.

He who seeks order, shall find gratification. He who seeks gratification, shall be disappointed. 

He who considers himself the servant of his fellow beings shall find the joy of self-expression.
He who seeks self-expression, shall fall into the pit of arrogance.
Arrogance is incompatible with nature. Through nature, the nature
of the universe and the nature of man, we shall seek truth.  
If we seek truth, we shall find beauty.
~Moshe Safdie

Chris speaks of patterns that he has observed and speaks as an outsider (quite certainly so and that is why it makes his disparate observation and opinion valuable) to the profession of Architecture and why he believes we are heading towards exciting time for thinking architecture or architects who are thinking and applying that knowledge to this transient, transforming world. Full transcript of speech can be found here on his blog.