November 24, 2012

By Nina Rappaport
Fall Issue, 2012

You can’t describe good architecture in terms of its contexts, it always exceeds it context. Look at the white Bengal tiger. Evolution is a terrible way to understand bengal-tigerness. It is reductive, either downwards into parts or upwards into superunities, as in concepts of ecology and so on. You can’t draw forth buildings from information in general, and certainly not from vague notions of Nature or World. And by the way, buildings don’t evolve. That is why I have such a problem with contemporary architecture that is described in terms of the forces or processes that suppossedly generated it, and how architecture solves this or that problem. Animals don’t solve problems, they just are. Architecture does not exist to solve problems either, although obviously buildings do to some extent. Architecture is about freedom, imagination, and mystery. Science is about knowledge. The two are incongruent. Certainly when we talk about the discipline of architecture, we are talking about the humanities and not science.

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