Design is the same way. The thought that an architect comes up with a concept and simply applies it onto a site is no longer relevant, if it ever was. Architecture that does not respond flexibly to its surroundings tends to be very weak: We do not create the world as we go along, we respond to it. Form is something we end with as the final articulation of a deeper logic.
Then there is a second sort of leader. This person listens carefully to everyone’s point of view and negotiates his way carefully toward a solution for the situation he faces, trying to do the right thing by listening very carefully, providing a hierarchy of solutions to the problems he faces, veering and swerving with his process as he proceeds. The cost of the project is too high. Adjust! The forms don’t respond to the client’s desires. Adjust! So we are talking here about evolution, not revolution.
This is not “parti” design, for the architect readers. It is an architecture of “strategies”. This kind of leadership is often messy. Yet architects need to be open to the complications of the world we live in. The world is messy and complex. Deriving a simple architectural solution from all this messiness is exceedingly difficult. As Raphael Vignoli, the architect of our convention center once said, it’s easy to represent complexity with complexity. What is truly a challenge is to represent complexity with simplicity…
New buildings will be constructed. And in my opinion these building should reflect their times. My thought is that copying the look of past buildings shows those past buildings no respect, as the copies tend to be poor. Times change, and so do our needs and our methods of construction.
Yet preserving our history is important. Although the old, it is said, must make way for the new, the city is richer if it’s history is preserved. For one thing, our preserved history is all that ties us to the past other than our memories. And our past is part of us. For another old buildings are often beautiful, and possess value as art.