Do you want to push architecture that far ?

“This is individual task but they did it in group imagining all of them will be together supporting each other after graduated. They asked other people, (me) to complete their puzzle imagining themselves as architect. I feel honored, it is a privilege to encourage them, helping them to understand beautiful side of architecture and its profession. Actually i am learning from them and their puzzle.”

Few months, ago I rewatched again The Fountainhead movie, the movie which is directed by King Vidor. It’s based on 1943 novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand. The movie is about one architect fighting his ideal towards economic value, public perception of the style of what is beauty, being truthful on yourself like do you like the ornament, or do you want the building to be clean to express the rationalism. I did rewatch this movie because I was doing teaching of the profession in UPH. I wanted my student to proud of themselves but not ignorant to the other engineers (MEP, Structural), or any design specialist (landscape, lighting), or even the most important seeking balance of giving and taking to their clients.

Paul Segal in wrote that ” architects are called upon to master huge amounts of complex information, create solutions that are multidimensional… this is not a job that can be done by a pig-headed individualist… The Roark personality is often promoted in architecture school culture as the “true way.” This is damaging to students for many reasons. It teaches that the only desirable goal is to become hat individualistic by forcing his or her beliefs on an ignorant public. ” [1]

Being an architect, we deal with vast information from creating hand sketches in conceptual through design development and construction drawing. It takes how to manage emotions, information, creativity, rules, and put all of those into one beautiful sequence. Edward de Bono who wrote book title How To Have A Beautiful Mind. The book consists how to manage this information by wearing six modes of thinking hats. Bono wrote The white hat indicates a focus on information. The red hat gives full permission for the expression of feelings, emotions and intuition without any need to give the reasons behind the feelings. The black hat is for caution and the focus is on faults, weakness. The yellow hat the focus is on values, benefits.
The green hat sets aside time, space and expectation for creative effort. The blue hat is to do with the organisation of thinking. ” [1] In architecture profession this might include tools, information, models, mathematics, building systems.

These hats might help the architect to understand the process of making architecture which I believe might be coined again the term master builder which might be long forgotten. Kenneth Frampton took Renzo Piano’s phrase which might accentuate the hand of the architect. He stated, ” an Architect must be a craftsman. Of course any tools will fo. These days the tools might include a computer, an experimental model, and mathematics. However, it is still craftmanship – the work of someone who does not separate the work of the mind from the work of the hand. It involves a circular process that draws you from an idea to a drawing, from a drawing to an experiment, from an experiment to a construction, and from construction back to an idea again. For me, this cycle is fundamental to creative work. Unfortunately many have come to accept each of these steps as independent… Teamwork is essential if creative projects are to come about. Teamwork requires an ability to listen and engage in a dialogue. ”

Then after that what’s next, clients are happy, other parties are happy, then how about the architect?

This might be reflected of how deep our reflection in our practice. Do we want to just stay at the surface, or are you willing to push it that far? Some of the genuine example is showed in Frampton, Poetics of Construction book, in a progression of reaching wide span, and reacting to what we called style or -ism such as (cube-ism, modern-ism, or even tropical-ism) which is showing the force of outside architect.

The deepness here is shown in the corporeal metaphor, one term brought by Frampton. It’s about experiencing the space bodily. This is about how to create a space, a concept, a reality of architecture which our perception – mind, body – (five senses), and spiritual side touched by the beauty of the space which in total creates architecture in construction, built work into such beautiful tactile details.

he even continued with 3 different proposition while accentuating for us not losing our own tectonics by telling stories about 1)beauty of hand finish, means each successive touching has communicated in design 2) Shintai-paradoxes of cold concrete and warm people which we are in this world of cold, we fill it with warmness. (3) the concept of Schmarsow and Ponty about space is determined by frontalized progression of the body through space in depth which he showed in Alvaar’s Aalto work Saynatsalo town hall which its tactile contrast entrance from small space to breathtaking space.

At the end, the skill to organise the information, being social to all the parties involved, plus which the architect needs to maintain his or her own tectonics, stated again by Frampton, “The first instance the manifest necessity for architects to maintain their command over the art of building as a spatial and tectonic disciplines” and I will add up still not forgetting their character will be the ultimate answer for the progression in its architect’s life.

Bibliography :

[1] Professional Practice: A Guide to Turning Designs into Buildings, Paul Segal. pp 13,14
[2] Why Architecture Matters, Paul Goldberger
[3] How to have beautiful Mind, Edward De Bono, pp 105,106
[4] Renzo Piano Building Workshop 1964 / 1991: In Search of a balance,” Process ARchitecture(Tokyo) no 799 (1992(. pp.12,14
[5] Frampton, Studies in Tectonic Culture The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture, pp 10, pp11

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