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#architecture

Read through the most famous quotes by topic #architecture




Can it be that the ultimate chapter of this new era of democratic freedom is going to be deformed by this growing drift toward conformity encouraged by politics and sentimental education? If so then by what name shall our national American character be justly called? Doomed to beget only curiosities or monstrosities in art, architecture and religion by artists predominant chiefly by compliance with commercial expediency? Machine standardization is apparently growing to mean little that is inspiring to the human spirit. We see the American workman himself becoming the prey of gangsterism made official. Everything as now professionalized, in time dies spiritually. Must the innate beauty of American life succumb or be destroyed? Can we save truth as beauty and beauty as truth in our country only if truth becomes the chief concern of our serious citizens and their artists, architects and men of religion, independent of established authority?


Frank Lloyd Wright


#art #architecture

[Donald] Keene observed [in a book entitled The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, 1988] that the Japanese sense of beauty has long sharply differed from its Western counterpart: it has been dominated by a love of irregularity rather than symmetry, the impermanent rather than the eternal and the simple rather than the ornate. The reason owes nothing to climate or genetics, added Keene, but is the result of the actions of writers, painters and theorists, who had actively shaped the sense of beauty of their nation. Contrary to the Romantic belief that we each settle naturally on a fitting idea of beauty, it seems that our visual and emotional faculties in fact need constant external guidance to help them decide what they should take note of and appreciate. 'Culture' is the word we have assigned to the force that assists us in identifying which of our many sensations we should focus on and apportion value to.


Alain de Botton


#design #emotional #japan #simplicity #value

How is he made? Oftentimes bitter, sometimes sweet, seldom even wide-awake, architectural criticism of "the modern" wholly lacks inspiration or any qualification because it lacks the appreciation that is love: the flame essential to profound understanding. Only as criticism is the fruit of such experience will it ever be able truly to appraise anything. Else the spirit of true criteria is lacking. That spirit is love and love alone can understand. So art criticism is usually sour and superficial today because it would seem to know all about everything but understand nothing. Usually the public prints afford no more than a kind of irresponsible journalese wholly dependent upon some form of comparison, commercialization or pseudo-personal opinion made public. Critics may have minds of their own, but what chance have they to use them when experience in creating the art they write about is rarely theirs? So whatever they may happen to learn, and you learn from them, is very likely to put over on both of you as it was put over on them. Truth is seldom in the critic; and either good or bad, what comes from him is seldom his. Current criticism is something to take always on suspicion, if taken at all.


Frank Lloyd Wright


#architecture

The human mind is only capable of absorbing a few things at a time. We see what is taking place in front of us in the here and now, and cannot envisage simultaneously a succession of processes, no matter how integrated and complementary. Our faculties of perception are consequently limited even as regards fairly simple phenomena. The fate of a single man can be rich with significance, that of a few hundred less so, but the history of thousands and millions of men does not mean anything at all, in any adequate sense of the word. The symmetriad is a million—a billion, rather—raised to the power of N: it is incomprehensible. We pass through vast halls, each with a capacity of ten Kronecker units, and creep like so many ants clinging to the folds of breathing vaults and craning to watch the flight of soaring girders, opalescent in the glare of searchlights, and elastic domes which criss-cross and balance each other unerringly, the perfection of a moment, since everything here passes and fades. The essence of this architecture is movement synchronized towards a precise objective. We observe a fraction of the process, like hearing the vibration of a single string in an orchestra of supergiants. We know, but cannot grasp, that above and below, beyond the limits of perception or imagination, thousands and millions of simultaneous transformations are at work, interlinked like a musical score by mathematical counterpoint. It has been described as a symphony in geometry, but we lack the ears to hear it.


Stanisław Lem


#the-other #architecture

The village lay in the hollow, and climbed, with very prosaic houses, the other side. Village architecture does not flourish in Scotland. The blue slates and the grey stone are sworn foes to the picturesque; and though I do not, for my own part, dislike the interior of an old-fashioned pewed and galleried church, with its little family settlements on all sides, the square box outside, with its bit of a spire like a handle to lift it by, is not an improvement to the landscape. Still, a cluster of houses on differing elevations - with scraps of garden coming in between, a hedgerow with clothes laid out to dry, the opening of a street with its rural sociability, the women at their doors, the slow waggon lumbering along - gives a centre to the landscape. It was cheerful to look at, and convenient in a hundred ways. ("The Open Door")


Margaret Oliphant


#landscape #scotland #village #architecture

Just look at the architecture," Dr Hartmann explained. Blueprint your feet, and you'll find a marvel that engineers have been trying to match for centuries. Your foot's centerpiece is the arch, the greastest weight-bearing design ever created. The beauty of any arch is the way it gets stronger under stress. The harder you push down, the tighter its parts mesh. No stonemason worth his trowel would ever stick a support under an arch; push up from underneath, and you weaken the whole structure. Buttressing the foot's arch from all sides is a high-tensile web of twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints, twelve rubbery tendons, and eighteen muscles, all stretching and flexing like an earthquake resistant suspension bridge.


Christopher McDougall


#architecture

I don't know how you hear music. I imagine that if you like music at all then it has, in your head, some kind of third dimension to it, a dimension suggesting space as well as surface, depth of field as well as texture. Speaking for myself, I used to hear "buildings"... three-dimensional forms of architectural substance and tension. I did not "see" these buildings in the classic synaesthetic way so much as sense them. These forms had "floors", "walls", "roofs", "windows", "cellars". They expressed volume. Music to me has always been a handsome three-dimensional container, a vessel, as real in its way as a Scout hut or a cathedral or a ship, with an inside and an outside and subdivided internal spaces. I'm absolutely certain that this "architecture" had everything to do with why music has always exerted such a hold over me. I think music was the structure in which I learned to contain and then examine emotion.


Nick Coleman


#musicophilia #oliver-sacks #the-guardian #architecture

That was our first home. Before I felt like an island in an ocean, before Calcutta, before everything that followed. You know it wasn’t a home at first but just a shell. Nothing ostentatious but just a rented two-room affair, an unneeded corridor that ran alongside them, second hand cane furniture, cheap crockery, two leaking faucets, a dysfunctional doorbell, and a flight of stairs that led to, but ended just before the roof (one of the many idiosyncrasies of the house), secured by a sixteen garrison lock, and a balcony into which a mango tree’s branch had strayed. The house was in a building at least a hundred years old and looked out on a street and a tenement block across it. The colony, if you were to call it a colony, had no name. The house itself was seedy, decrepit, as though a safe-keeper of secrets and scandals. It had many entries and exits and it was possible to get lost in it. And in a particularly inspired stroke of whimsy architectural genius, it was almost invisible from the main road like H.G. Wells’ ‘Magic Shop’. As a result, we had great difficulty when we had to explain our address to people back home. It went somewhat like this, ‘... take the second one from the main road….and then right after turning left from Dhakeshwari, you will see a bird shop (unspecific like that, for it had no name either)… walk straight in and take the stairs at the end to go to the first floor, that’s where we dwell… but don’t press the bell, knock… and don't walk too close to the cages unless you want bird-hickeys…’’ ('Left from Dhakeshwari')


Kunal Sen


#homelessness #reminiscence #architecture

What a lucky girl you are to have this opportunity to live in one of the world's great cities at this most fascinating point in its long, rich history, they had said. Little Becky had known enough not to ask if there was going to be a Banana Republic or a Gap there, or a Tower Records or a Starbucks or a Tweeters or a Blockbuster or a Super CVS or a Saks. Her mother only mentioned museums and concert halls and churches and architecture, so Little Becky was quite sure there was no room left in Prague for anything good to be built.


Nancy Clark


#life #architecture

Stately and commanding, the house I found on Sacramento Street, in Lower Pacific Heights, was an architectural jewel; tour buses drove down the street several times a day and the guides pointed out our Victorian “painted lady” not just for its curb appeal but also for its lucky survival of the earthquake. Meticulously renovated, the house had a layout that I was sure would work perfectly: a three-room suite on the lower level with a bathroom and laundry room for my mother, living space on the next level, and, on the top floor, bedrooms for Zoë and me. The master bedroom was large enough to double as my office. Moreover, it seemed symbolic that we should find a three-story nineteenth-century Victorian, whose original intention was to house multiple generations. My mother couldn’t have been more pleased. She started calling our experiment “our year in Provence.” In the face of naysayers, I chose to embrace the reaction of a friend who was living in Beijing: “How Chinese of you!” she said upon hearing the news. When I told my mother, she was delighted. “What have the Chinese got on us?” she declared. And I agreed. The Chinese revere their elderly. If they could live happily with multiple generations under one roof, so could we.


Katie Hafner


#memoir #mother #relationships #architecture






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