Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why Architecture, Mr. Cruz?

What if an architect were concerned not with the order of columns but with creating communities? What sort of design practice emerges from this line of thinking? Architecture can be defined not just as physical infrastructure but also as social practice. This is not to suggest dispensing with architecture per se; but rather shifting the focus of the designer's attention from the artifact to the sociopolitical context in which we build our surroundings. Architectural design on its own can never match the impact of redesigning policy.

How might an architect take up the challenge of designing the conditions from which new architecture can emerge? It is necessary to begin by redefining the problem. A reconsidered practice requires an intimacy with territory and history; with ecology and psychology; with economies and with public affairs. It is through the conflicts of interaction and negotiation that hidden values are translated into the reconstruction of paradigms.

This is a world of economic pro formas, policy frameworks, spatial tactics, and imaginative speculation. It is a world of choreography and collaboration; of investigation and experimentation. It is a world ripe with possibility.

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