If architects, critics, historians, bloggers, professors, journalists, construction magnates, city planners, etc really want to talk about architecture, in a way that has any meaning at all for anyone who actually lives in this world (and who doesn’t teach at Columbia), then they need to talk about architecture in its every variation: whether a structure is real or not, built or not, famous or not, or even standing on the surface of the earth.
Everything is relevant to architecture – from plate tectonics and urban warfare to astronomy and the melting point of steel. There is architecture lining the streets of New York and Paris, sure – but there is architecture in the novels of Franz Kafka and WG Sebald and in The Odyssey. There is architecture on stage at the Old Vic each night, and in the paintings of de Chirico, and in the secret prisons of military superpowers. There is architecture in our dreams, poems, TV shows, ads and videogames – as well as in the toy sets of children. The suburbs are architecture; bonded warehouses are architecture; slums are architecture; NASA’s lunar base plans are architecture – as are the space stations in orbit about us.
Stop limiting the conversation.
Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007