Perspectives - Fall 2012 - (Page 6)
I have two thoughts on ugly.
T H E F I R S T I S T H AT B E AU T Y is related to meaning. I once did a study on public hearings and found that people’s opinions of the beauty of a project almost always coincided with their opinion of the organization proposing it. Large industrial companies could do no right and non-proﬁts no wrong. Unfortunately, true beauty was usually just road kill on the highway of public opinion. To the extent that we can divorce the physical from the political, true beauty is related to more pedestrian associations: the proportions of vernacular buildings often seem right to us, occasionally new forms can express the mood of the populace and, when it is right, most people recognize it. And yes, the populace is important because architecture is a public art, a group effort. We must express the feelings of communities, not of individuals. But instead, we are teaching our young a vocabulary of outlandishness that is completely divorced from any language our fellow WE ARE TEACHING OUR YOUNG A citizens might recognize, and devoid of aspirational meaning VOCABULARY OF OUTLANDISHNESS to their lives. When they are THAT IS COMPLETELY DIVORCED not thrilled with the results, we imply that they are uneducated FROM ANY LANGUAGE OUR FELLOW and stupid. The truth is we are CITIZENS MIGHT RECOGNIZE, … offering nothing. My second thought on ugly is that it is a reﬂection of our society, with its rote following of the rules, its greed and the disconnection of labour from management, rich from poor, business from urban design. The environments societies create are always a reﬂection of their values, so if our cities are ugly it’s because we are ugly. If you agree with me, the situation is not as insurmountable as it seems. Start small. Pay attention to architectural programming and include your client’s purpose and goals in your programming requirements. Do not be embarrassed to give them meaningful aspirational buildings. And ignore the magazines. ❚
SHEENA SHARP, OAA, FRAIC, PRESIDENT
OAA PERSPECTIVES|FALL 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Fall 2012
Perspectives - Fall 2012