Quality of Character in Architecture

In my childhood, there is the very common phrase that I kept in my mind, a phrase which is written in the book titled Outliers “No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.” Malcolm Gladwell illustrated in a story which started with the culture of cultivating rice field which was different in west farming which used heavy machinery and culture different in France. One client’s said to me that if you will to work hard, you won’t be starving, your family should not be poor.

“Ninety-nine percent of all human activity described in this and other accounts (of French country life)… took place between late spring and early autumn… entire villages would essentially hibernate from the time of the first snow in November until March or April. “

then he illustrated how things situation is different in Chinese paddies field

“No food without blood and sweat.”
“Farmers are busy, where would grain to get through the winter come from ?”
“in winter, lazy man freezes to death.”

“Don’t depend on heaven for food, but on your own two hands carrying the load”
“Useless to ask about crops, it all depends on hard work and fertilizer.”
“If a man works hard, the land will not be lazy.”

It’s a basic thing, that we should be diligent on working out the problem, to have a work to do, to get income, to live. [1]

How about in architecture. I think it’s shallow to praise each other architect’s work only with the intention of cuddling each others. This cuddling is something to do with others opinion about how much quality work is. Gregorius Grassi stated in explaining his approach towards stylistic based (ism) to work illustrated in Kenneth Frampton’s book poetics of construction. “It is actually pathetic to see the architects of that “heroic” period, and the best among them, trying with difficulty to accommodate themselves to these “isms” experimenting in a perplexed manner because of their fascination with new doctrines, measuring them, only later to realize their ineffectuality.”[3]

We should praise each other character in quality of works, and there will be a rigorous process of looking through quality innovations and put critical thinking towards shaping architect’s character in every work. By doing that each work should be seen unique and representation of life which human colour nature. if somebody asked about how sustainable, how green, how sensitive the design to the climate. Then I would answer. It’s a basic, the architect should consider those. Now we are discussing at the deeper level, the question is, what is your design character? Great architecture challenges, mediocre cuddles.

[1] Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell, pp 274, 275, 278
[2] Poetics of contruction, Kenneth Framption. pp 3
cover by https://www.neuraldesigner.com/images/blog/outlier.jpg

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