"Beauty is the promise
of happiness." (Stendhal)
Architecture is defined as
the art and/or science of designing buildings. As art, it has
to do with our aspirations; as science, it has to find a practical
way to build an environment for those aspirations.
A project, then, is the manifestation in design form of a person’s
or group’s physical and spiritual aspirations, and is, therefore,
a cultural act. It reveals the society’s self-image, how
it sees itself in relation to the cosmos, and its very concept
of the cosmos.
When practicing, the designer is aware of the responsibility
of rendering such cultural preoccupations by imparting to each
design a uniqueness related to the project’s user(s), and
a generality related to the concept of that user belonging to
a larger group--or to humanity itself. Each detail, then, is
conceived with such a dual requirement:
that it speaks for one person, and it explains that
place in the world.
The quality of a project is less related to the size of the budget
and more to the sustained focus of the parties involved (architect,
owner, builder) and how appropriately
the resources are used.
In this era of specialization, the architect is unique in being
a Renaissance craftsman: no specialist of any field, but a leader
of many, not unlike the orchestra conductor. Architecture, one
of the older crafts, is also unique in that most of its original
rules are still applicable today. This is not by accident, since
architecture’s preoccupation is human activity, both physical
Therefore, there will always be a roof, four walls, a chair, a
window, the light toward which we always turn, and the shadow which
reveals the space.