novel architecturale

precocious

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2003.02.08 12:16
aesthetics preferences
Paul wrote:
Architects don't generally proceed from philosophical premises, but rather rationalize their aesthetic preferences after the fact.
Steve wonders:
If this is true (and perhaps Paul can verify this himself), then is it because of the way architects are taught?
My own architectural education began in 1970, when, as a freshman in high school, I used to read Fletcher's A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method during free study hall periods. Repeated visits to the decrepit Whitemarsh Hall during the same time added 'hands-on' lessons--Whitemarsh Hall allowed me to better envision the distant Kedleston Hall, my favorite building (plan) back then (as illustrated in Fletcher--English Renaissance rocked, in my opinion). By my senior year in high school (1974) I had read Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. The summer before going to 'architecture school' (1975), I read The Fountainhead and The Architecture of Humanism, thus my aesthetic preferences were pretty well informed before my 'official' architectural education.
In retrospect, I'd say it isn't so much personal good taste that leads to good design(ing), rather it's a knowledge of (the history of) good taste that leads to good design(ing).
Strange, odd, and even funny how now, more than anything, it has, for me at least, all become virtual.

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