Steven Holl: Manifesto #43

Architecture = Integral Phenomena

At the beginning of the 21st century, architecture can be the most effective instrument for reconstructing the relations between our species and the earth. There is no better tool with which to redesign the link between mind-body and environment. The mind cannot be separated from its phenomenal senses via the body, which in turn should not be separated from the phenomenal aspects of architecture. The study of architecture is subjective, intuitive, psychological, and scientific.

Today’s new knowledge connects the psychological pressures of modern life with chronic stress-provoking illness. The link between mind-body and environment is now a territory of focus, and we can scientifically argue the timely importance of architecture as an integral phenomenon.

A mind-body environment focus might integrate organisms in structure or volume with complex geometric relationships. This new three-pronged vision will identify several lines of disruption of the given order. Each straight line, each curved line, each twisted line, when integral to a new order of mind-body environment linkages, becomes an active element catalysing the reformation of one reality into another. The urgent need for this new architecture can readily be felt in any reading of the Science Times (as can the urgent need to displace a corrupt fossil-fuel obsessed national leadership). Man belongs to a category of thinking and reflecting species whose behavior affects all non-reflecting species. The crucial tool, architecture, must be put in futuristic service of the new dynamic linkage of mind-body-environment.

Originally published in ICON magazine
Issue 404 | 2007

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