Architecture as Art: Good Idea or Very Bad Idea?


The analogy to film directors is very apt, since they must deals with a bazillion constraints and sundry money problems too.

Dec 9, 11 12:13 pm  · 

But I also think you can fulfill function poetically (and that could be the very definition of architecture).

Yes that is what I meant!  Architects and directors both can fulfil the story poetically, but they need to be true to the story.  Artists write the story from scratch.  Of course there is some healthy overlap like paper architecture and theory,  but for the most part built architecture purley for the sake of art fails to be architecture which in itself is a great form of art. 

Dec 9, 11 1:14 pm  · 
chatter of clouds

its an interesting debate, not really because the content of the debate is interesting..personally, i find the subject rife with regurgitated cliches- but because the understanding of art and the term art means something so specific and different now - almost exclusively defined by being besides reality- from two other understandings of arts - the archaelogical art we approach in architectural history courses and art appreciation (our view on the art of the past) and ( in close connection but still dissociated) the lost meaningful and symbolic practice of art relevant to a culture at its own time (a synchronic living art).  this last we could study as the history that engendered the archaelogy. artists  now largely  have a secular  understanding of art very different from when a face carved into stone meant something ..or when a column meant something. in my opinion, when someone asks the OP's question, they confound different understandings of art, a weird admixture of reverence and misunderstanding.

in my opinion, yes architecture and anything else for that matter can be an art if it is at the forefront of  the spirit/sensibility of  contemperanous art. i.e. the matter is highly case specific.

so whether its good or not good to present architects as artists...again in my opinion, thats a ridiculous and inane question simply because the content is vapid. what architects? and at what point of their practicing life? moreover, do we understand banal art as art? if a friend were to make a painting your foot, would that defacto imply her craft being an good and special - and in which way special- does it have to be to reach beyond craft? unlike other epochs, our global art market is somehow defined by being beyond "mere" craft.  so, more encompassing, the question is not only when does architecture become art...but, also, we can ask when does art become art.

Dec 10, 11 12:15 am  · 

let's see:

architect - something I can't legally call myself without a licence, which requires me to jump through a lot of hoops (as if four years of hoop-jumping school wasn't enough). The law prohibits me from advertising my professional creative activities as architecture.

artist - something I have been considered by my peers and society for as long as I can remember myself, and have received formal educated in for over 2/3s of my life. Art is what happens when I have time and opportunity to do things my way. 

Having said that, all I'm trying to do is make considered things, spaces, and events jive together in my projects. It doesn't matter to me at all if things are 'too artsy' to be architecture for some people or 'too pragmatic and functional' to be art for others.

Dec 10, 11 4:40 pm  · 

a case in which an architect attempts art and arrives at something neither architecture nor art?

offers some interest, and i'm usually a fan of adjaye, but this doesn't rise above 'curious exercise' for me. 

Dec 10, 11 7:24 pm  · 

This question is fairly simple, to my mind.

I still hold that art, at a fundamental level, is meant to ask questions. Even if those questions are: 'what is right for human beings to be doing all day long?' or 'where do we think we come from?' or 'blah blah here's a pretty sculpture to wrap your pretty little heads around, riddle me why I put it here."

Art asks questions. Fundamentally, it has to, by definition.

Architecture, as a subset of 'design' in general, has a mandate to provide answers to a given client. In fact, for architecture to exist there has to be a question to provide an answer to. There is no such thing as architecture without people, and hence without problems that need answering, despite what you may have heard. It has to provide an answer. If it just asks a question, then it is just plain art.

NOW, of course the two can overlap.

One could say that certain works of art are focused on architecturally related themes. Just as one could say that certain works of architecture are artfully accomplished. However the fundamental mandate remains appropriate. We all know that the best works of art tend to answer their own questions, just as the best works of architecture tend to answer the questions no one has yet thought to ask.

So what is the big to do?

Jul 7, 12 1:38 am  · 

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