Friday, April 2, 2010

"Bravo!" rather than banal...

MTC by ARM

Last studio session, we had a lecture by Howard Raggatt, one of the ARM directors… his speech was really amusing, at least to me… it wasn’t a formal lecture like many would imagine, we were just basically sitting around a meeting table and listened to him talking through his slides on tv. His talk managed to keep me awake despite of being sleepless the night before... so I think that’s pretty impressive.

So, what the speech was about? Well, he was basically presenting his philosophy about architecture. If you are not in design business, you might not aware that design industry is classified into many schools of thought. That is why, you might see some architects design weird/ugly/iconic buildings and some still go with the standardized/banal/boring buildings.

When I started doing this course, I didn’t have any idea at all about this philosophical side of architecture, in fact I didn’t really know what architecture is about except that ‘architect ‘draws’ building’… but during my first year, I was brainwashed by my mentor and tutor into the adaptation of minimalism and modernism architecture and it happened many times that I was ‘accused’ of being a modernist. (modernism is a style that flourished around 50s (after WW2)… it responds to the industrial boom and internalization of tastes and focuses more on functions rather than aesthetic, many schools had evolved after modernism)

Anyway, back to Howard Raggatt’s speech, I really like the part when he was saying about ”not knowing what architecture is and keep asking “what the hell am I gonna do now?” (quoted from my note- may/may not be his exact words but something along the line)”… so I thought, hey… this is so sensible… because every time I approach design, I never knew what should I do… I need to go into a deep thinking, researching, analyzing etc. etc. before I could actually get into designing… I guess, for an architect who commits to any particular style, he would probably approach the design process by reviewing the set of rules that the school has. Let’s say, he was asked to design a house, if he is a functionalist, the first thing that he probably does is to look into the function of spaces of the house, he goes into massing the programs, rationalizing the spaces etc etc…and when he is given a school/library/office/gallery project, he would do the same, function comes first…or in another words (coined by Sullivan)“form follows function”…

BUT… some projects do need a different approach and the disparity is ambiguous. What I mean is, a house designed for Mr A might need to have function as its priority while for Mr B, aesthetic is more important than the rest, even though both houses are designed at the same period of time by the same architect. Some projects need to look clean and minimal while some demand for superfluous ornamentation. It is hard to determine what to be prioritized in every design. So, if the project has a potential to be meaningful by having extreme ornament, would a minimalist transgress his rules of clean and plain or would he go with his taste and left the project to be meaningless ?. So, a commitment in architecture is really unnecessary while the exploration of how we design is a fundamental thing. In short, architecture is a search/journey rather than a commitment to any particular school.

OK, I think, this is a long debated issue by many architects and some may disagree with me. But for me, I’m detaching myself from any commitment of any particular styles in architecture. Besides, ain’t I too young to be committed? XD

and...
the idea of meaningful architecture sounds tasty! hahaaa... I love meaningful stuffs, though sometimes they are useless or crappy... you know, that sort of sentimental kind of things...

OK, nanti ada orang 'cengey' marah tak buat kerja...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

gambar tu cantik.
*everything else written after that was lost*

"apa, dah habis kelas? sedapnya lena"

KIAMBANG said...

tak faham pun takpa... lena mmg syok =)