In order to develop an understanding for my perspective on the pedagogy of architectural education it is constructive to approach through observations and inquiries woven through my practice and research. A few collected koans are useful to quickly biune this braid.
Being a service professional binds the architect not only to the demands of capital and client, but to the evolution of culture.
No representational process or methodological avenue has any more explicit value to the creation of impactful works of architecture to a time, people, or culture beyond its thorough investment with the honed variegation of its stakes.
The work-a-day tools for the conception of architecture or communication of its physiognomy are always subservient to the quanta of space and cost. The cultivation of a project value system can only occur in full-scale, irreducible, surrogate instances of architecture.
In relative scale the architect’s time with a building is but a blip compared to the peoples’ span of experience with it. In order to balance this inequality the architect must learn to work slow, quickly.
These fundamental concerns seem to belie a rootless futility in the individual practice of architecture. At once a pursuit requiring specificity and completeness, architecture exists as a uniquely receptive and rhetorical substrate to human experience. This paradox of cultivated openness is its most valuable characteristic, both for the practitioner and the people whose lives are shaped by and played out in and around buildings. When the architect bequeaths a building to the people it becomes theirs to complete. How then does the architect recognize the appropriateness and benefit of his or her efforts beyond mere functionality and watertightness? Beyond these basic traits, the practitioner’s influence exists primarily in the assignation of rhetorical devices like form, functional intent, and material. These simple choices diffuse into gestalt totalities in the experience of a constructed work that lack perfunctory clarity of the values that corralled them. The architect’s crisis is how to make value judgments in the face of such ultimate subjectivity. The architect must invest in relationships they can and want to control, but recognize what they cannot. By focusing rigorously on the known syntaxes of sonnet rhyme and meter, French poet and novelist Raymond Queneau constructed his ‘Cent mille milliards de poèmes.’ These ten sets of fourteen individual lines permutate into 1014 complete works that would take 200,000,000 years to consume. Similarly, the architect releases a construct that he or she has never and will never experience in its totality. It requires the aggregate experiences of all people to bring fully to life.