Excerpt from Being There by Felix Claus and Kees Kaan ... Found this while going through the readings I have collected over the last 5 years of school....
"The will to architecturei s tedious, even irritating. All that striving after originality is fatal. WHat would architects make if they were possessed of universal knowledge? If every architect were to be programmed with the compelte history of architecture, with an encyclopaedic knowlege of everything ever conceived in architecture? Concepts can be judged purely on the basis of intelligence and utility. Knowledge renders the idle craving for originality superfluous. In the Netherlands there exists an ideal basis for architecture without originality. Dutch development of our built environment is so organized that all the parties involved had a direct say in it. The architect has no special authority as creator but its promarlity a professional adviser in a team made up of all concerned. The design is the outcome of a process for which the entire team is responsible.
We experience both the design and the building process as a necessary self punishment, but it is our firm belief that the essence of each project can only be discovered in this dueal process. We consequently see no reason to complain about something that is an immutable part of the society in which we work. We adapt and turn the culture of consensus to our advantage.
The lack of autonomy of the design can result in considerable latitutde of the designer. Freed from the compulsionto be original, an idea can assume an infitite number of outsward forms. Like beaches that changes as the tide shifts the sand, like the plants in Chance's garden. The idea remains constant, the form changes. The form is not the aim, but the outcome of an action. Beauty is contingent upon the edegree of care with which that action is performed.
This care implies a maximum degree of expertise, attention, concentration. The moment we reject the imperative of originality, a world opens up for us. What is needed is not the celebration of the latest technological development but intelligent use and command of it. Only through command of knowledge and technology can we liberate ourselves from them.
All this begins with the acceptance of our condition, our being there. We sidestep architecure as concept and simply set about making buildings and cities.
I feel a bit lighter in my step and a bit faster with my typing after that.... :)