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Tema - Competencias
Tema - Profesión
1

In Luís Urbano, Opúsculo 6- Pequenas construções literárias sobre Arquitectura, Duplicidade e a Flânerie Contemporânea, Porto: DAFNE EDITORA, 2007

2

In Fernando Pessoa, Páginas de Estética e de Teoria Literárias (Texts selected and prefaced by Georg Rudolf Lind and Jacinto do Prado Coelho), Lisbon: Ática, 1966.

3

A book written by Keith Diaz Moore containing critical reflections on the work of Amos Rapoport.

4

“…And of all the social sciences anthropology was the least explored by architects- perhaps because the essence of that discipline is diversity, made inevitable by the comparative study of culture and values…” In Keith Diaz Moore, Culture Meaning Architecture: Critical Reflections on the Work of Amos Rapoport, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000.

The Architect, a Misunderstood Snob

The architect, a misunderstood snob

Will that be worth explaining?

(Almost a self-portrait)

Today, society  creates the “snobbish architect” while at the same time destroying the ideal public.

In view of such dissonance, which of the two are heading towards the abyss, the architect or society? Which one is right, and which one is wrong? And how far apart can those two realities get?

Meanwhile, the architect presses on and “designs” an apparently empty itinerary that’s “filled in” by what at first sight seems to be innocent observation.

The legacy of plundered architecture and art moulds architects into multitalented figures: individuals who lackadaisically air scraps of knowledge, jacks of all trades who can draw (real or pretend) inspiration from different disciplines. As a main prerequisite in their chosen profession, there therefore arises an obsession with what’s going on all around, a manifestation of interest in the outside world which actually reflects an inner world.

In the city, architects are the prototypical Baudelairean flâneurs, wandering aimlessly around the urban landscape1, uncommitted to the past and lacking in nostalgic intent: they are lost in space and time, but never lose their own identity.

Their eye is critical and sincere, their presence discreet but intense. Sometimes, their attitude is arrogant and unexpected, their comments ironic and straightforward, tangential to Fernando Pessoa’s definition2 of “dilettantism” in which simple curiosity about the surface of things goes right down to their essence. Architects are fleetingly intense and sincere with everything they see, vividly experiencing and bringing all their emotions and thoughts to bear on all aspects of illusory reality.

Time goes by and the anguish remains that all those minutes will be “pulverised” in culture. In this phase, where the distinction between architecture and life becomes blurred, there are no breaks, intermissions or time outs. Behind their black clothes, architects inhabit a space that’s very close to “discreet”, balanced madness, concealing that “darker” side which makes them shun altruistic, uncritical magnitude.

Continuing in the same vein, I “stumbled across” a book that spurred on my progress with this essay. “Culture- meaning -Architecture”3 is a priceless collection of essays that stimulate thought about the different cultural disciplines and their relationship with built form and human environmental experience4.

Just as ignorance and selflessness produce happiness, learning is a vice which, like other vices,  generates personal insatisfaction. Seeing comfort as an obstacle, the architect/artist falls into absolute intellectualisation and, if this situation is not remedied immediately, will succumb to exhaustion and lunacy.

These thoughts are made to bubble up even more by a daily increasing sense of frustration at other people’s misunderstanding and lack of interest in what architects are and what they do. Perhaps the fault lies with the architects themselves, perhaps with a naïve belief in eternal happiness, or perhaps in the rejection of the usual can’t-be-botheredness and new-found – but still-born – dedication to the world of “vintage technology”.

The arrogance-tinted snobbishness referred to in this text has its roots in a feeling of nostalgia towards something that was never experienced, built or lived in. Architects are socially ignored when they become collectors of visions, spaces and experiences, “nomadic” in time and discerning in space.

And so we return to an objective that seeks no empathy. In this context, perhaps “understanding” would be “nicer” and more appropriate: understanding of this ungodly, guileless “manifestation” which, for those of “us” who identify little with it, is the product of a society that naïvely creates architects who reject black and embrace the inevitability of what they are and what they create.

Architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe (1886-1969)


Text translated by Andrew V. Taylor
Notas de página
1

In Luís Urbano, Opúsculo 6- Pequenas construções literárias sobre Arquitectura, Duplicidade e a Flânerie Contemporânea, Porto: DAFNE EDITORA, 2007

2

In Fernando Pessoa, Páginas de Estética e de Teoria Literárias (Texts selected and prefaced by Georg Rudolf Lind and Jacinto do Prado Coelho), Lisbon: Ática, 1966.

3

A book written by Keith Diaz Moore containing critical reflections on the work of Amos Rapoport.

4

“…And of all the social sciences anthropology was the least explored by architects- perhaps because the essence of that discipline is diversity, made inevitable by the comparative study of culture and values…” In Keith Diaz Moore, Culture Meaning Architecture: Critical Reflections on the Work of Amos Rapoport, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000.

Autor:
(Figueira da Foz, 1996) Estudante na Faculdade de Arquitetura do Porto (desde 2014), com um percurso escolar dividido entre a arte, ciência e literatura, a arquitetura surge como a síntese dos três mundos. A palavra manifesta-se enquanto processo criativo, tal como o desenho em Álvaro Siza.

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