Saturday, April 28, 2012


I go crazy just thinking about how we’ve evolved to the point of actually needing MECHANICAL SYSTEMS in architecture. We need CLIMATE CONTROL. Are we not of this Earth? Why do we put so much effort into creating these strange un-Earthly sterile synthetic interior worlds to exist inside of on a daily basis? Why do the whales not do this? Why do the buffalo not do this? Why can’t we just be content to live on this planet the way it is, and roam upon it, like all the rest of the living creatures? Are we actually a freakish insomnia-ridden impish race from some far-away universe, from some strangle little spotless planet light-years away that has no seasons, no rise or fall in temperature? No rain, no snow, no wind?

It seems like the Native American Indians were on to something, with their simple, efficient, elegant teepees. They didn’t have foundations, doors, windows, chimneys, central air. They had a structure, a skin, and a hole in the top. And it suited them just fine. And they could pack up and move whenever they wanted to. Not to mention all the smoking they did. They were the smart ones. They embraced their Earth. They worshiped their Earth and didn’t waste a single ounce of their Earth. Their Earth was their God (the only religion that actually makes a lick of sense to me). They gave back what they took. They were probably the most content and peaceful human beings to have ever existed. They were in-sync with the cycle of Nature. They GOT IT.  But unfortunately they didn’t have the guns. The stupid forefathers of MECHANICAL SYSTEMS had the guns.

BANG BANG and the stupid shall inherit the Earth.

We’re supposed to be the smartest creatures on this planet, yet we spaz out childishly and in the throes of our ridiculous lazy-lifestyle-tempter-tantrums we build these giant wasteful alien structures around us as a twisted act of rebellion against the extravagantly genius climate-already-built-into-it-world we were all born upon.

Why do we reject our wonderfully-complex Earth as though we have already finished destroying it? Why do we build as though, without our sinister climate-controlled vaults (perhaps ‘living tombs’ would be a better term for it), we would all fall to the ground, shrivel up and die?  Why are we compelled to go through all this trouble to create “perfect environments” on a planet that was arguably created specifically to accommodate our existence just the way it is in the first place? Why do we do this???


All I know is this. I would have been better off as a whale. THEY are the smarter creatures.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Architects: Must Read Mervyn Peake

Engaged in the sort of work that I am on a daily basis, I cannot help but quote the first two paragraphs from chapter 24 of Mervyn Peake's "Gormenghast":

     "The floor of the quadrangle was of a pale whitish-yellow brick, a pleasant mellow colour, soothing to the eye. The bricks had been laid so that their narrow surfaces faced upwards, a device which must have called for twice as many as would have been necessary. But what gave the floor of the quadrangle its peculiar character was the herring-bone pattern which the artificers had followed many hundred years ago.
     Blurred and worn as the yellow bricks had become, yet there was a vitality about the surface of the quadrangle, as though the notion of the man who had once, long ago, given orders that the bricks were to be laid in such and such a way was still alive. The bricks had breath in them. To walk across this quadrangle was to walk across an idea."