Lebbeus Woods: Slow Manifesto

The new cities demand an architecture that rises from and sinks back into fluidity, into the turbulence of a continually changing matrix of conditions, into an eternal, ceaseless flux—-architecture drawing its sinews from webbings of shifting forces, from patterns of unpredictable movements, from abrupt changes of mind, alterations of position, spontaneous disintegrations and syntheses—-architecture resisting change, even as it flows from it, struggling to crystallize and become eternal, even as it is broken and scattered—-architecture seeking nobility of presence, yet possessed of the knowledge that only the incomplete can claim nobility in a world of the gratuitous, the packaged, the promoted, the already sold—-architecture seeking persistence in a world of the eternally perishing, itself giving way to the necessity of its moment—-architecture writhing, twisted, rising, and pinioned to the uncertain moment, but not martyred, or sentimental, or pathetic, the coldness of its surfaces resisting all comfort—-architecture that moves, slowly or quickly, delicately or violently, resisting the false assurance of stability—-architecture that comforts, but only those who ask for no comfort—-architecture of gypsies, who are driven from place to place, because they have no home—-architecture of circuses, transient and unknown, but for the day and night of their departure—-architecture of migrants, fleeing the advent of night’s bitter hunger—-architecture of a philosophy of interference, the forms of which are infinitely varied, a vocabulary of words spoken only once, then forgotten—-architecture bending and bending more, in continual struggle against gravity, against time, against, against, against—-barbaric architecture, rough and insolent in its vitality and pride—-sinuous architecture, winding endlessly and through a scaffolding of reasons—-architecture caught in sudden light, then broken in a continuum of darkness—-architecture embracing the sudden shifts of its too-delicate forms, therefore indifferent to its own destruction—-architecture that destroys, but only with the coldness of profound respect—-neglected architecture, insisting that its own beauty is deeper yet—-abandoned architecture, not waiting to be filled, but serene in its transcendence—-architecture that transmits the feel of movements and shifts, resonating with every force applied to it, because it both resists and gives way—-architecture that moves, the better to gain its poise—-architecture that insults politicians, because they cannot claim it as their own—-architecture whose forms and spaces are the causes of rebellions, against them, against the world that brought them into being—-architecture drawn as though it were already built—architecture built as though it had never been drawn—



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