Friday, May 11, 2007

What does SustainaBrazil have to do with Architecture?

What is this blog actually about? What does an architect like myself have to do with ethanol, energy, social innovation and Linux? Most of the topics discussed in SustainaBrazil don’t have a very obvious relationship with my profession. So I'll try to make it more obvious.

Goethe said once: ‘Architecture is Petrified Music’. Architecture is petrified process as well. Architecture literally provides a roof to human activity. But in order to provide a roof, or to design one, an architect has to have an understanding about underlying machinations and processes. Actually architecture primarily deals with process rather than matter. It deals with dynamics rather than space. Space and matter are only just tools. Architecture is a service, not a product.

This does not match the traditional understanding of architecture. As a matter of fact ‘design’ is a better description as it has a broader connotation. It is not just about the world of matter, but also about society, dynamics and interaction. Design is part of every aspect in life. Mitch Kapor, software architect and father of Lotus 1-2-3 said ‘Architecture is Politics’. Design is architecture as well as politics.

Architecture cannot be a job with a narrow focus on a product. Rather it has to be a profession with a preoccupation with society as a whole. If an architect does not take the responsibility to understand the motivations behind human intention, architecture becomes hollow. Architecture then will become a brand.

For more information about architecture related to process I would like to recommend the blog of my collegue Martin Smit, which is launched today: Cyclical Iterative Design Process.


Erik, Amersfoort. said...

This is an interesting view on architecture. I look forward to your future posts on this weblog.

Maurits said...

Thank you Erik for your kind reaction.