Architecture is not just about how to build, but why

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Historically, architects do “swirly squirrelly” things on buildings. The more evolved made shapes based on sacred geometries in order to evoke the gods; others, such as the Victorians, designed details to echo needlework and fretwork. There are numerous examples where seeming oddities had meanings relevant to the culture and metaphysics of the times. Today, modern man, in search of a soul, is asking just such questions: Why am I on the planet, and what am I looking for in my inner world? What are my myths (secular-humanist or otherwise), and how can my building be designed with them in mind?
Those questions may be asked repeatedly, and even if unanswered, will begin the first, key Socratic step. Somewhere in the asking workable answers will arise. Without inquiring, nothing arises, except perhaps someone else’s weakened answer: That’s usually when the tastefully uninspired design unfolds. When an architect or a client starts to address these questions, they open up a huge new world, one called the mythic or the metaphysical world. Architecture is not just about how to build, but why; and how do we build something that stirs us? Thinking about such considerations is the beginning of the poetry of designing diverse, meaningful architecture.” (p.28)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Travis Price (c2006) The Archaeology of Tomorrow: Architecture and the Spirit of Place. Earth Aware: San Rafael, CA

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