Between Movement and Fixity

2, April 2018

"A strip of metal, bent into a loop, offering resistance only until it is soldered.  In this, the moment of most extreme resistance, it attains its most relaxed, most natural form, and in the greatest tension, its great serenity.  And only then."

Ilse Aichinger

Nothing is fixed.  Everything is moving.  Particles, the Weather, your Thoughts and the value of Bitcoin are all in constant flux.  So why do Architects think about static spaces and label them as nouns?  Nouns describe static things but verbs predicate actions and human movement descriptions, they are the things to design for.  They describe the relationship between two things, human and architecture.  Another architect said to me recently, but at the end of the day, "it's just a kitchen."  That's the problem.  They don't realise, it's not just a kitchen, it is, in fact, a varied set of movements operated by a human to facilitate a tasty meal and the beginning of gathering.  Architects who keep up with the latest technology and social media think they're moving with the times but neglect the fundamental reasons they are an Architect, to serve to humans and give them a better experience of the world.

In ancient Greek, Hestia is the Hearth, a feminine noun linked to the verb Histemi, to set up.  The origins of the hearth, such a potent symbol of ancient gatherings and contemporary architecture [Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright] is the feminine verb to set up, I'm more interested in the process and experience of the person setting up the fire, than the fire itself.  Because if I and the Workshop members can design for a beautiful fire setting up process, the fire will automatically be beautiful.