Every designer should have a personal architectural manifesto. My own personal manifesto was actually a requirement for my college thesis. I’m posting it here because I want feedback. I want to know what makes you passionate about architecture, what do you hate about architecture, what would you change if you had the keys to the kingdom, so to speak? Or are you happy where you are? Is your architectural career what you always hoped it would be? For most of us, I’m thinking….NOT. So, first, mine, then I want to hear from you. Be bold, be passionate, be whatever you need to be about architecture and post your comments below.
[note: this manifesto was written almost 10 years ago at the start of my senior year in college. that’s not a defense, simply a statement.]
“Architecture connects us to daily life, clarifies our relationship with one another and to the realities of place and time. We should do the opposite – obscure and isolate – only out of neglect or indifference or error.
Among other things, architecture is about fit, revelation, and prediction. It should fit with what is there and what transpires, and it should reveal what is there and how events change. And the fit and revelation are not just now, at the start of design, but over time, in the future; thus prediction.” — Joseph Esherick, FAIA –
What Esherick is saying, and what I will say, is that architecture is no longer defined by a set of rules, regulations, or styles. Architecture is whatever we, as designers, wish to make of it. In Connected Isolation, Thom Mayne theorizes that the key issue for architecture is that “the recognition of diversity is the natural evolution of things”, and by accepting the dynamics of this diversity, rather than attempting to substitute for unified and simplistic principles we are able to tap into the vast forces inherent in all things. This is to say that through the experimentation and investigation of new thoughts, methods, and techniques our architecture will capture the essence of imagination and be bound by nothing, save gravity. In a number of today’s cities there seems to be distaste for the introduction of experimental architecture. Some in these cities seem to think that the inclusion of such experimentation will somehow diminish their identity as a community. This is simply not true. The expression of new materials and new ways of thinking is necessary to further the exploration of an identity; nothing is static. The character of a given place is not rooted within any one thing, but in the personalities and ideals of its people, and these people constantly change and grow, as any architectural expression should do.
As we continue to grow and change so does our architecture. With the progression of each year, each decade, each century, our identity, our defining characteristics change alongside them. Life is not a fixed, monotonous endeavor. It is something that molds anew with the inclusion of each new generation. Our architecture must act in the same regard, as a pliable and renewable resource. What we build today becomes our history tomorrow.