Architecture At The Mercy Of Technology. Just Like Everything Else.

“Architecture is that great living creative spirit which from generation to generation, from age to age, proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man, and his circumstances as they change. That is really architecture.”

Frank Lloyd Wright, from In the Realm of Ideas, edited by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer and Gerald Nordland

“As a process, architecture is the activity of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures by a person or a machine, primarily to provide socially purposeful shelter.”

Wikipedia

THE WISDOM OF THE WAR ROOM

THE WISDOM OF THE WAR ROOM: U.S. Campaigning and Americanization by Margaret Scammell

There is a trend in all human work to remove any traces of the human process. The living spirit which Wright spoke of years ago is being strangled by the tools which we take on to improve the efficiency of our processes. There is a direct trajectory in our current era for technology to move from tool to framework to standard without consideration for the sacrifices along the way. There is increasingly less room for craftsmanship in a world where humans give up control to the tools they invent. A balance must be struck between technology and the creative human soul or humanity may render itself obsolete. The Avant-garde must be mindful of their quest. New does not imply better. New implies consequences, and these consequences must always be weighed against the benefit of the incorporation of the new. Efficiency has no conscience. Efficiency has no soul. Efficiency does not consider the tapestry of human evolution and achievement. Efficiency only respects the improvement of a singular moment in the continuum of constant change.

Architecture is currently in a struggle to redefine itself in light of the technologies which have developed around it. Yet, architecture’s struggle is only a manifestation of a greater epidemic. Similar symptoms are easily found across the spectrum of human professions. In a world where technology is king, the technologist has penetrated all layers of the human social system. Specialization stands to destroy tradition even if said tradition is based in the foundations of human thought and reason.

For me, the beauty of architecture has always been in the differences of shape, function, and decoration discovered when visiting new cities. The pastiche of architecture across the world speaks to the unique cultures and histories of the people who created the architecture in the first place. Efficiency stands in opposition to uniqueness and promotes the creation of a world dedicated to nothing but efficiency itself.

Mexico City, Merida, Minneapolis, Miami, Mcallen


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