Why we build. in The Edifice Complex
The very beginning of this reading it stated how architects build to be simultaneously both modern and respectfully rooted in the past,” but are we really doing that? I mean look at our site for our studio project. We are located in a historically industrial area of Brooklyn, NY but we know that the city is proposing to have new urban parks and even new residential/commercial high-rises built. So are the architects of those new proposals really taking in to account the history of the area? I don’ believe so, and I believe that they necessarily shouldn’t. We build for today and for our future not for the past.
Architecture is built to be used as a language of what is going on today. As read, architects build to show that their country is the most up to date regarding technologies, building materials, etc. We build to show off what we know and what other other countries don’t know. Architecture becomes a metaphorical means for political, social and economic issues of today. Now whether everyday people know what the true meaning of the built architecture is is another story. I don’t believe someone walking on the streets understands the conceptual/metaphorical thought behind any building. The only people that know are the architect of that building and the person who commissioned that project.
Generally, the people who want to use architecture as a means of propaganda are those who have the money to do so, and those who have the money to do so typically have the power. A lot of things are a money and political game. I find it extremely interesting how architecture falls into the money and political game more often than not. Architecture can and is used to control people by shaping the way we live. So ultimately do we build to control people and their lives? Who actually builds, the architect or the commissioner?
Power. in Framing Places: Mediating power in built form, 2nd ed.
Architecture is intertwined with power. Even in the other reading, architecture is essentially built for the wealthy and by the wealthy. While reading this I felt as though having the power to build and design with the imagination is a negative thing. By using the words such as manipulation and coercion which typically have these negative connotations make it seem as though architects are bad people. We “force” people into our own imaginations for the spaces we create by convincing them through words and promising images of the space.
No matter what, power will always be around us. Weather it’s the power of the commissioner telling the architect what they want, or the power of the architect designing the specific space, the users of that space are subject to the power of the architect and he commissioner.
I don’t agree with the fact that we manipulate, coerce, or seduce the audience we build for. We should be giving them architecture that fits their needs and not the needs of the person with the power, or the most money.