Which of them is pre-eminent between beauty and economy?

May 24 '13 32 Last Comment
julio cesarjulio cesar
May 24, 13 11:11 am

I always wondered between beauty and economy,which of them is pre-eminent.Sometimes i think beauty,but often i am obliged to consider economy.


boy in a well
May 24, 13 11:46 am
lucio ernandes
May 24, 13 11:58 am

Sorry,i don't understand.

May 24, 13 12:00 pm

i watched your video spike, and i have no idea how it relates to anything.

julio's question just leads to more questions.  are you an architect that doesn't give a shit about your clients?  then the answer is easy.  beauty.  are you paying for the building?  if so, economy will become a bit more important.  if you're paying for the building and you think you can get a good return on beauty due to the tenants or customers you will be attracting, and you can afford it, beauty still may be ahead of economy.  if a REIT or similar 'corporate' or equity entity that isn't actually human is paying for the building, and you represent that entity, and the entity wants to build something quick and turn it over fast for a quick profit, economy may lead beauty but there are actually other factors involved.  if you're an architect and you actually listen to your clients, then whether beauty or economy is preeminent may depend on their values.

Erik Evens (EKE)
May 24, 13 1:16 pm

Every project has a budget, so economy should always be important.  But beauty is why I do what I do.  If you give a shit about your clients, create beautiful things for them.

boy in a well
May 24, 13 1:36 pm

its simple curt:

learn to jam econo.

distinction disappears.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 24, 13 4:58 pm

1) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

2) Most clients think expensive is good, except when they have to pay retail.

May 25, 13 9:15 am

eke's comment is good an noble and i appreciate that.

if we were to accept miles's 2 points as reality based, especially the first one, then would eke's point be to design what the client thinks is beautiful, or what the architect thinks is beautiful?  or, more importantly, do we all think expensive is good?

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 25, 13 10:15 am

How do you define beauty?

Most clients select an architect based on a style that they imagine is the style of the social class they aspire to belong to. They are largely deficient in the kind of education and experience necessary for art appreciation or even a modest sense of aesthetics.

Regarding expense: featurization, name branding and gold plating is far more expensive than thoughtful design and careful craft. Expense should also include environmental costs, maintenance, life-cycle, etc. 

Erik Evens (EKE)
May 25, 13 6:45 pm

Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.


Erik Evens (EKE)
May 25, 13 8:00 pm

Beauty is the joy felt by the soul as it remembers Unity.


Erik Evens (EKE)
May 25, 13 8:03 pm

Beauty is the promise of happiness.

- Stendahl

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 25, 13 10:31 pm

Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.

-- Petrarch

Erik Evens (EKE)
May 26, 13 1:46 am

The good is the beautiful.


Erik Evens (EKE)
May 26, 13 2:18 am

Beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, you will nourish true virtue, to become the friend of God.


Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 26, 13 11:32 am

Beauty is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.

-- David Hume

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 26, 13 11:33 am

BAIT, n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.

-- Ambrose Bierce

Erik Evens (EKE)
May 26, 13 12:44 pm

These quotes highlight the great conundrum surrounding the subject of beauty.  Goethe and Plato believed that beauty was an objective thing, something that exists in the universe, that we can occasionally glimpse.  Hume obviously did not.

I side with Plato and Goethe. :)

May 26, 13 2:42 pm

Economy is beautiful.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
May 26, 13 9:41 pm

One school of thought says an object must first be beautiful, and only then will anyone care if it has a function. Another school of thought is that if something functions flawlessly it will therefore be beautiful.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
May 26, 13 10:49 pm

I don't care how pretty it is, if it doesn't work it's garbage. Even worse, it's a waste of time, materials and money. 

boy in a well
May 27, 13 3:09 am

Well, Hib, why don't you move your chair?

julio cesarjulio cesar
May 27, 13 12:56 pm

Jean nouvel,what do you think of virtual model?

May 27, 13 1:13 pm

Un bon architecte crée un modèle virtuel dans sa tête.

Si vous ne pouvez pas faire cela, vous n'êtes pas un architecte.

julio cesarjulio cesar
May 27, 13 1:25 pm

Etes-vous le vrai jean nouvel?

May 27, 13 1:37 pm

Je crois que ce n'est pas possible.  Le vrai Jean Nouvel a beucoup d'argent et lui n'a pas du temp pour jouer avec les "plebes" sur "archinect."

julio cesarjulio cesar
May 27, 13 1:50 pm

I'm disappointed.I think now people talk too much in french on this forum.I'm really disappointed and i will never come back on this website.Especially the way you talk to me.

May 27, 13 2:45 pm

What???  Seriously?  Only a few post in French in good fun and to joke around.  I'm not French, but I love the language.  If you are actually serious, you need a thicker skin ... especially in architecture.

May 27, 13 5:07 pm

Un architecte ne peut pas avoir une telle peau fine.

May 27, 13 6:55 pm


D'accord.  Peut etre nous avons besoin d'ecrir en Espanol pour lui ... pour maintainer la paix.

boy in a well
May 27, 13 7:50 pm

ahh c'mon Julio. I thought all the uncritical out of context philosophy quotes were offensive, but it wouldn't stop me from chatting with the one and only Jean Nouvel.

But if Leonard Nimoy were posting in french, well then i'd never come back either.

May 27, 13 9:08 pm

Ne vous inquiétez pas. Je ne suis certainement pas Leonard Nimoy.

May 27, 13 9:50 pm


Mais je suis William Shatner ... un version jeun.  Savez-vous que lui est ne' a Montreal?

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