So, you're angry, Brian and you have a point, sort of, but you are not
listening to the "thousand small voices" or you don't know where to find
them. The problems you perorate about are not exclusive to
architecture and architects. They are cultural. Every discipline is up
against the monolith.
Some disciplines are further ahead in gathering alternative strength to the
established ways. Certainly, the US Department of Agriculture or Perdue
University is not the place to look for nonindustrial paradigms for
agriculture. There are established voices such as Wes Jackson's Land
There are researchers, activists, policy makers such as Wendell Berry, Marty
Strange, John Jeavons, Bill Molison, Alan Kapular, Bruce Colman, Marty
Bender, Gary Paul Nabhan, John Todd, Angus Wright and the thousands of
farmers who have made better financial and ecological choices by avoiding
the industrial agricultural paradigm.
Architecture may not be so far along but, there are voices: John Cava,
Kenneth Frampton [http://www.arcadejournal.com/v20_1johnc.html
] or the Arcade Journal
. I know guys who are
architects but don't particularly trumpet that fact. They make a living as
builders, mostly, only they've also got a lot of design smarts related to
practicalities (and design originates with need, no?). They're fed up with
what you're fed up with so they get on with it in their own small way.
There are institutions such as the whole Humboldt State University
Engineering Department http://www.humboldt.edu/~ere_dept/
The point here is not simply that "alternative" is better than
"conventional". Technology is shaped by cultural values, and the way it is
used reflects the way we treat each other. What is technologically
appropriate therefore has cultural as well as technical meaning.
You say "architects and architecture are thoroughly pathetic, on the whole.
in parts, sure, there is good stuff. but not enough..." but architects and
architecture are not in this alone. The whole culture needs revision and
that's not going to happen over night.
People should feel like shit, Brian? Be my guest. I'll opt out of that
because I'm working at what I believe in. Lead by example, Brian.
If you truly believe that thousands, millions, billions of people are
not aware that "it is time for change it is time to choose, the great
denial is underway", and that they are not working to do something
about it, however pathetically small in your estimation, then maybe
you should pull your head out of your grass.
>From: bc <human@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: Re: eHomes/M$
>Date: Sun, Dec 2, 2001, 2:57 PM
> thanks for the clarification Van. but i would contend that while
> institutions may be constituted by people, or a person, that in
> the end-game, the institution constitutes people, administering
> a certain bureacratic way of being/seeing/perceiving. it is as
> if absurd to imagine the other somehow in practice, that we are
> in control of our institutions. facts abound to the contrary. and
> wholesale degradation of something like architecture & architects,
> well, why not? bad taste? people should feel like shit. they are
> well deserving as are those who deal with it. else they can take
> the happy pills anyone would be glad to proscribble. architects
> and architecture are thoroughly pathetic, on the whole. in parts,
> sure, there is good stuff. but not enough, and to be realistic with
> the givens, i do not think it is a personal choice or mannerism in
> pursuit, but the damnation of the pursuit itself, to take it on, and
> not one or two, but all. and for that, and all that stops that from
> happening, is peoples' failure to go beyond institutional limits. i
> say why not raise a fuss, speak up, i do not hear one thousand
> small voices in architecture, that would be impressive. but there
> are none. no chorus, no chords, no harmonies. noise. the fields
>which break one in half, heart, mind, and imagination. and advice
> is muted by wisdom through experience, not age, and to get any-
> thing done, i suggest it would not be best not to listen to those who
> have got nothing to change in their tenure on this spaceship earth
> for the best guidance. it is time for change. it is time to choose.
> the great denial is underway. utopia of the past in the making.
> dressing up windows, walls, and electromagnetic lightshading.
> if no one helps, they will be held accountable in the human story.
> that's the nasty part. plenty of opinion, little knowledge. and
> an assumption that time is infinite and people are helpless to
> enact the necessary changes. it is a belief grounded in basic
> institutional assumptions. not yours maybe, but surely some.
> increments add on to what is. paradigms transform. inquisitions
> deny and destroy the future, the present, and the past. enjoy.
>>The line is from Robert Frost's "A Servant of Servants". Wholesale
>>derogation of something as diffuse as architecture and architects leaves me
>>feeling barren, bleak, and futile. You could refashion your derogation to
>>suit any profession, any way of life. People are not monolithic though
>>institutions may be. But, it is people that constitute institutions.
>>So, yes, work through with what you have, endure while you work for change,
>>allow the silent strength of a thousand small voices courageously calling
>>for rational "representational order" to pass through you.
>>>From a Frost poem about taking the long view:
>>"May my application so close
>>To so endless a repetition
>>Not make me tired and morose
>>And resentful of man's condition."
>>>From: bc <human@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>Subject: Re: eHomes/M$
>>>Date: Sun, Dec 2, 2001, 10:02 AM
>>>> >> The best way out is always, through.
>>> could you further explain this Van..? do
>>> you mean 'working through architecture'
>>> or institutions, or just enduring..? brian