architecture

architecture

"You can't make anything authentic by asking people what they want because they don't know what they want. That's what they're looking at you for."
—Thom Mayne

In last week's newsletter, I asked our readers for advice on what they'd like to see us improve here at On Being. One reader, Howard Maple, shared this pithy quotation from the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne. I appreciate Mr. Maple's honesty and reminder to trust one's creative instincts while paying attention. The onus is on us.

(7) Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.


~Bertrand Russell, from his "Ten Commandments" of the liberal outlook as it appears in his 1951 New York Times op-ed, "The Best Answer to Fanaticism—Liberalism."

See Russell's Sixth Commandment.

Few expressions of religion are as public and inescapable as buildings. It is difficult to hide temples, churches, chapels, mosques, and shrines from public view. Millions of people in all cultures enter and use them, and billions recognize them in skylines or down the block. So I assess and comment on them as part of my mission to focus on the social and cultural phenomena connected with “the sacred.”

The light and smells in places like hospitals can often depress us. And, our favorite room at home keeps us sane. But why? Immunologist Esther Sternberg explains the scientific research revealing how physical spaces create stress and make us sick — and how good design can trigger our "brain’s internal pharmacies" and help heal us.

Auburn's Rural Studio in western Alabama draws architectural students into the design and construction of homes and public spaces in some of the poorest counties. They're creating beautiful and economical structures that are not only unique but nurture sustainability of the natural world as of human dignity.

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Rita Patel offers this wonderful story from architect Christopher Alexander about a Japanese man and his fish pond that's a way of being to remember and make a habit.

Hagar AdmiWhen Hagar Admi thinks about the political future of Israel, she thinks in terms of blue prints. Admi, an architecture student at the Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education in Haifa, contests that art, specifically architecture, is inherently political.

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Training and employing unskilled laborers as apprentices and teaching "anyone with a work ethic" how to build.

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