ABOUT US AND ARCHITECTURE

Adnan Novalić, International Burch University, Sarajevo, BiH

The purpose of this relatively short text is not to try to redefine the nature of architecture by any means, but to try to make attempt to an insightful quest of potentially critical observations of contemporarily noticeable phenomenon of casually consequential sequences of “lost linkages” – primarily in the sense of higher education, concerning both architectural educational processes and architects as the ‘outcomes/products’ of education.

It is highly valuable to remind us of all that for a prominent writer like Victor Hugo, the history of architecture was the history of ‘writing’, according to which mankind has been consistently ‘inscribing’ properties and materialized parameters of our lifestyles into the planet Earth. Also, from the other point of view, Le Corbusier’s statement that he preferred ‘drawing to talking’ mainly for the fact that everything what is done in the name of architecture, art and design in that way remains less deceiving / “leaves less room for lies” (Until something is drawn, or done, it could be considered as untested speech/story).

In the contemporary era which is dominated by the hyper production that brought out a sequential consequence of worldwide social saturations, it is possible to state that all the professions that tend to be problem solving together with creative thinking, beside the quality works/products that are generated, results also with the social pollution or the digitalized march of ‘kitsch’ (transformed into slogan, advertised, and even sold). As a general observation, the contemporary arts seem to be in a state of unconditional exhibitionism that explores from case to case, all what is humane and animalistic in human nature under the same/merged framework, where art has been used more as a tool of simplified communication resulting with intentionally free artistic acts that are more and more separated from their deeper meanings, and, as such, reduced into vain slogans. The social risks that arise from the described conditions brings out the “possibility” that artist can become everyone, that the arts should be “accessible” to everyone in terms of its meanings / to be understandable, but also “immediately understandable “. Described goal of simplification and accessibility unconditionally leads towards certain reductional processes that are not always progressive.

Since contemporary tendencies are configured towards inclusiveness, in the frame of which higher education is an opportunity that should be accessible for everyone, the tendencies in oversimplification of arts does not seem like illogical sequence or phenomenon. The ongoing tendency of oversimplification inspires generations to be fascinated with the results/outcomes, and at the same time to despise the processes that resulted with those outcomes. The rising perception that all what was not digitalized will “slow down our life”, everything what is time consuming sequentially seems to look like a loss of time, loss of energy. As such, the contemporary setting of disappearance of processes in the lives of us – individuals/humans on daily basis gives us the feeling that we are in a significant lack of time, due which our contemporary lives seem to be “faster” then it is supposed to be.

From the point of view of Higher education, in regards of architectural education, it is possible to reflect the described tendencies in the sense of certain consequences with simple diagnosis of disappearance of ‘process’ in architectural education and profession. Architects are more and more recognized as instant drafters/drawers and idea generators. Due to that, architects became more of a “desk” professional losing the touch with the environment, sites, context in general. The ongoing layers/shades of “populistic” approaches of decontextualization and vain exhibitionism are more easily traceable in architectural practice, but more challenging to be recognized in the sense of architectural education.

Architectural education, as well as architectural profession carries out responsibility inherited from its creators – humans to preserve and maintain and adapt to the flow of passing time certain processes, since, among all other professions, architecture leaves more permanent traces on this Planet, and those ‘traces’ directly affect the future generations. Architects are more than ever supposed to be architecturally literate in the way to always prioritize the process over speeding up the time, and it is a responsibility of architectural education to teach their students more than reality gives the time for.

In contemporary circumstances from architectural education is expected, among all other, to revitalize the essential pathways of the ‘broken linkages’, and to inspire the generations of future architects to perceive architecture mainly in the means of the following idea generating processes:
   •  Architecture as the ways of thinking,
   (An inseparable process/system of activities on which architecture as a profession is founded/depending on (architect=thinker))
   •  Architecture as the ways of reading,
   (Reading more than letters, words, and sentences/to read the context/to read natural and built environment)
   •  Architecture as the ways of writing/inscribing.
   (inscribing/leaving trace/social awareness and responsibility of the consequences/)

With or without mentioned generating processes incorporated into architectural education, the built environment will keep telling the ‘truth’ to the future generations of ‘readers’ about all we inscribe into the Planet. Vain exhibitionism might save the day for some among us, but undoubtedly it will not build up the meaningful future for future generations.

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