Thursday, 5 December 2013

Complexity in Architecture

Straight out: complexity is not a virtue in itself, practically it can hardly be a goal. Complexity, in financial matters, brings deep anxiety, complexity, when you are trying to talk sense to Tower Hamlets Homes, brings misery, complexity, when you are a student besieged by trauma rather than space to enjoy your youthfulness, is not fun. Ergo, since architecture is both a practical and idealistic art, complexity, while we endure it (sure, life gets difficult sometimes) should not be an aim in architecture for it's own sake, since it isn't pretty. Unfortunately the toys architectural students play with these days seem entirely dedicated to mirroring or even exacerbating complexity. The results are only superficially pretty as best, on inquisition (I'm sorry Neil Spiller) they are appallingly dull.
As I suggested to students yesterday, we could have just sat back on architecture the day I was born, everything was in place, theoretically, for a fine future, but of course we have progressively fucked things up and then fucked them some more, and now we are busily fucking things up at an even faster pace. It is despairing for those who might hanker for a simple, equitable, life for all.
It's better, in my opinion,  to consider synthesis rather than complexity in an effort to reverse a rather 'sick' process, synthesis being an entirely different thing. L-C whilst designing hardly pretty buildings, embodied a synthesis of ideas which is enriching, not dulling. You are not talking product, but work. Chandigarh may look shit, but it is still wonderful, it is certainly not gratuitous, and it is not the blind product of left right left right decision making algorithms, the end of which you cannot comprehend. Even if it might involve some of that kind of thinking, L-C's brand of architecture is entirely human and flawed, and you have to lift a glass to the effort- cooling towers for the assembly of a government for newly partitioned Punjab: brilliant, and brilliant on so many levels! I peer further in to the pages of the Ouvre Complet from a world that does not even aspire to be clear, worthy, or even funny, and I find some architecture.

1 comment:

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