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SANAA on Beauty

“…Think of the Venice Architecture Biennial this year, where SANAA architect Kazuyo Sejima is the director. She said, ‘When I select, I look for beauty.’ The Dutch architect Florian Idenburg, who was her project manager for the New Museum in New York, also stated in an interview with the Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant ‘The ambivalence fascinates me, I discovered the mystic side of architecture, the art of seduction. I learned the intuitive method, not with a prefabricated image but from my tummy.”

 

It seems that the diagram-loaded, ‘here’s the whole picture’ architecture of today is pushing the profession in the opposite direction of beauty.  Idenburg emphasizes the elements of mystery and seduction as tools to trigger the human emotion.  If we are given the whole picture of a project, what else is there to discover?  I keep tying these thoughts to the art field, a profession where one rarely stands in front of their work to explain every detail.  Art’s ambiguity allows for the users emotions to be triggered…and interpreted differently by different people.

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Lebbeus Woods on Beauty

Lebbeus Woods’ article is a response to the publication“Architecture and Beauty” by Yael Reisner. 
Below is a great quote regarding Frank Gehry:

“Gehry firmly rejects the notion that self-expression is a capricious act within the design process. Conversely, he believes that signature and democracy are integrally interlinked and, in fact, when an architect surpresses his or her emotions within the design process, it is an act that ‘talks down to people’ and does not allow a full engagement with architecture. Certainly, the role of self-expression and its legitimacy in architecture is a familiar issue within architectural discourse, and one that resurfaces with a sense of self-righteousness with the digital realm. As a result, Gehry’s position is consolidated by years of battling criticism that his architecture is too derivative of the art world—too sculptural and expressive. His response to this critique is clear and direct: ‘To deny the validity of self-expression is akin to not believing in democracy—it’s a basic value—if you believe in democracy then you must allow for personal expression.”

 

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Understanding Beauty in Architecture

The article, “Understanding Beauty in Architecture” touches on the notion of our brain’s response to beauty. The article suggests that there are a few universal elements of beauty found in architecture such as grids, zigzags, spirals and curves.

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Le Corbusier: Painter

Le Corbusier: Painter

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