May 3, 2008

Architecture and Discipline

It happens quite often, we’re at a cocktail party, a gathering, someone asks us what we do, we say we’re architects… and the response usually applauds the creative process. “It must be nice to do something so creative for a living” or “you must be a very creative person” or “I always wanted to do something creative like architecture”. Which is great, we’re honored to be thought of as creative and enamored that people are paying attention to the architecture around them. The irony, however, is that good architecture is less about creativity and more about discipline. Granted, schematic design requires a great amount of creativity and the design and construction process necessitates creative problem solving. But in our opinion it is discipline in architecture that generates masterful, functional, inspiring architecture. Knowing what not to do. Just because there is a good view doesn’t mean that you fill the room with windows everywhere. It is this restraint in design that is so important to a finished work. The projects that exercise discipline seem to forego fashion and grasp at a clarity of form and a timeless architecture. Such work creates a set of guiding principles and maintains an architectural thesis just as adamantly as it keeps the heat in and the rain out.
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posted by midori mizu

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