• lucyinthestreet

A little beauty never killed nobody

Updated: Nov 12, 2018

Walking through the streets of Vienna, the streets of Beirut, the streets of Prishtina…you name it! In our globalized times, we will always come across the 20th century credo: Form follows function.

This principle of art and architecture has shaped the world we live in: square spaces – often rather grey-brownish.

Why stick to square and brown and grey, when so much more would be possible...?

Now how does this respond to the definition of architecture as “a sublime act of poetic imagination”. (Luis Barragan)

It all makes sense when you take a look at the sun - or the moon, a spider's web or any other natural design: the functionality is undisputed, and yet it doesn't bother to produce the most spectacular outbursts of poetry and imagination.

Speaking of imagination: have you ever tried to picture all the people and stories behind the facades of a city? We can be certain of a few things: they all need sunlight, all of them have dreams and hopes and all of them can be inspired by beauty.

“Beauty. The invincible difficulty that the philosophers have in defining the meaning of this word is unequivocal proof of its ineffable mystery.” Luis Barragan.

So why not spread some inspiration? You can find a lot of it, with a little effort: you can see facades that tell fabulous stories, while others seem to be telling you just one word: function.

Don’t worry! Unlike our modern buildings, we are destined for greater things than being robots. We are destined for adventure and romance. (Chesterton)

“It is alarming that publications devoted to architecture have banished from their pages the words Beauty, Inspiration, Magic, Spellbound, Enchantment, as well as the concepts of Serenity, Silence, Intimacy and Amazement. All these have nestled in my soul, and though I am fully aware that I have not done them complete justice in my work, they have never ceased to be my guiding lights.” Luis Barragan

Let me take you for a walk and let’s study the facades of our living environments, let’s read their stories about beauty, inspiration, magic, spellbound….

How? It all starts with thinking out of the box. Literally.

+ When in Vienna or Frankfurt - I highly recommend the following most fascinating and revealing exhibition: https://www.mak.at/en_sagmeister_walsh

Manifesto on Beauty 1984: "The daily destruction of beauty has to stop."

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