5. The Core

The root of my roots


Welcome to part one of the triple loop

‘Root of the root’[1]

I have repeated this phrase from a previous post – see page “The Guts” – as it is a fragment of an idea that has always romanced me – the idea of a journey (secret or in plain sight) that requires great effort; ending in nothing, something or surprises. Ever questioning what is the core? What does it mean? How do I hold onto it, translate it and bring it forward to the present from its overlooked resting place?

I was asked by a lecturer to define a core – for myself as a designer and future architect – he assured me that the list would most likely be short and that the items on there would become sustenance in the difficult seasons of practice ahead.

I have three, so far. They are simple, they are mine and they are consuming. I am at times outright evangelical about them; a burgeoning system of beliefs that I hold at my very core.

The first is the belief is that “Architecture Speaks”

 

This is plain, honest and true to me – it speaks – whether we listen is another matter. Whether we make an architecture that articulates plainly and intelligently (very difficult to do), or an architecture that rambles confusingly (often), an architecture that was made in an alternate dialect – planted and engaged – as alien in a foreign landscape (every building that brought change with it, that many cannot enjoy until time has passed and it becomes familiar), or an architecture so filled with stylistic trope, trend and farce that it seems to be inaudible under the heavy costume that adorns it (I’m a bit scared to offer example here…..lets just say many).

Whatever the conversation, regardless of audience, it speaks.

My greatest lament for architecture is when this opportunity to speak, to say something, to communicate is simply disregarded. Note, that even in those instances I believe the architecture still says something, it may not be purposeful, but it still speaks.

I understand that every approach is different, I respect that the world does not need to- nor should it – conform to my core beliefs. I am not that arrogant, all I am saying, is that my soul sings when I hear what the architecture is saying. I may not always understand the words and at times it is beyond my ability to engage with its intelligence, finesse and technique. Yet, even then, I delight in the murmurs I do not understand, because they are audible.

We expect to hear in large, stately buildings, we expect to hear in bespoke builds, we expect to hear in our peoples places and in locations where the world seems to invade the building at every seam with its beauty and transformations throughout the day.

There are some places I like to go a little slower and be more aware of what surrounds me; in places where people do not expect to hear. In the dense, overpowering and busy cbd, in a regular replaceable suburban street, in the fetish of a facade driven development, in a forgotten drive through only town – I believe if I can challenge myself to hear in even those places, regardless of the conversation it brings, then I win. My belief affirmed, despite reality/economy/culture/value etc. It’s talking. I hear it, I found it. The root.

 

Some architecture that is clear, clever and you might enjoy:

Architect: Steven Holl;

Project: Storefront for Architecture

http://www.stevenholl.com/project-detail.php?id=24

 

And some silliness….

a222

Author/Designer of above image regretfully unknown  ; If architecture can speak… grass can dream right?? How MAGICAL!!

wed-mc-212

Author/Designer of above image regretfully unknown  What I like to do, in the places where I live… be a better explorer here and now.

[1] Cummings Edward E, ‘I carry  your heart with me (I carry it in),www.poetryfoundation.org/poem. Accessed 03/08/2012.

 

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