Quite Unlike the Pleasures of Scratching…
The Stuff of Architecture
Good architecture doesn’t come from the sketch of genius – there are most likely no geniuses – but that doesn’t matter. . . .If you know your stuff and more importantly how to use it, you will create good, possibly even great architecture.
In their seminal book Collage City, Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter drew upon the Greek fable of the Fox and the Hedgehog to define 20th century architectures most basic ethical standpoints. Architects had been compelled to be “hedgehogs” in their supremely self-confident and utopian applications of modernism. Rowe and Koetter proposed a new ethos that would surely favour the “fox”, who is an improviser, resourceful, a pluralist and, of course, highly aware of its territory. In this case – the stuff of Architecture, the technique, method or what I like to call capital ‘S’ style – the way in which something is executed. As opposed to the little s ‘style’ of design.
The Stuff is in theory, history, buildings and in the city. It has physical qualities of mass and form, the ephemeral of space and light and the subjective of idea and beauty.
The questions of Architecture have physical and material answers; great architecture is the combination of critical insight and knowledge of the problem and an intuition toward revealing the human condition through the cities we build, the creation of space, form, facades and interiors – the stuff or Architecture.
Tim Pyke is a Senior Design Architect who, in addition to being a key design leader within Baldasso Cortese, teaches Architectural Masters Studios at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. His studios and research traverse a number of key issues within contemporary Architectural discourse, such as Suburbia and the Metropolis. More info here.