Nobody talks about beauty. Nobody dares. (Or, at least, not in architecture; if you are in the soap business, then it’s another story.) If you mention beauty – meaning a universally evident beauty – people stare at you like some sort of dinosaur who forgot to acknowledge his own extinction. Actually, they also fear that just before you ac- knowledge it, you could still eat them. If you do dare to mention beauty, then some well-intentioned idiot says “beauty is subjective”, as if this indisputable truth (given that beauty is, of course, subjective) would implicitly mean that nothing subjective and shared (or universal, or common, or whatever you’d like to call it) could possibly exist; as if subjects could never agree, or could never admit their shared nature and recognize themselves in what, in the end, is nothing more than this: the sudden appearance of something that we all like, something to which we would all like to surrender ourselves (i.e., the sudden appearance of beauty). So, yes: beauty is subjective. But this is no reason to stop worrying about beauty. It seems difficult to talk about architecture without mentioning beauty. The modern idea of doing without beauty does not really seem to have worked out very well. Just randomly scan dezeen.com: Why a “circular bridge on a Uruguayan lagoon”? Why a “huge horseshoe- shaped market hall”? And why a “pre-rusted steel staircase based on the form of a single-surface Möbius strip”? What are all these buildings trying to achieve? Are they trying really hard to look efficient? Environmentally friendly? Progressive? Why all this effort? Is this just a nonsensical race towards the bizarre? Or is it, in fact, just a misunderstood search for beauty? And why don’t we want to call this thing by its name? (And wouldn’t this quest be at least slightly more successful if it had been explicit about its goal from the beginning?) Modern architecture murdered beauty, erasing it from the very core of the architectural discourse. In a few cases, the purge of beauty was an attempt to substitute the indirect politicalness of beauty with direct political action (although this remark probably only applies to Hannes Meyer’s work and that of a few others). In the vast majority of cases, however, the expunging of beauty was just the consequence of a computational/liberal paradigm according to which anything that cannot be immediately calculated should simply be made to disappear. So beauty was suddenly dead, dead as a dead dog.

Pure Beauty - editorial San Rocco 13

TAMBURELLI, PIER PAOLO
2017

Abstract

Nobody talks about beauty. Nobody dares. (Or, at least, not in architecture; if you are in the soap business, then it’s another story.) If you mention beauty – meaning a universally evident beauty – people stare at you like some sort of dinosaur who forgot to acknowledge his own extinction. Actually, they also fear that just before you ac- knowledge it, you could still eat them. If you do dare to mention beauty, then some well-intentioned idiot says “beauty is subjective”, as if this indisputable truth (given that beauty is, of course, subjective) would implicitly mean that nothing subjective and shared (or universal, or common, or whatever you’d like to call it) could possibly exist; as if subjects could never agree, or could never admit their shared nature and recognize themselves in what, in the end, is nothing more than this: the sudden appearance of something that we all like, something to which we would all like to surrender ourselves (i.e., the sudden appearance of beauty). So, yes: beauty is subjective. But this is no reason to stop worrying about beauty. It seems difficult to talk about architecture without mentioning beauty. The modern idea of doing without beauty does not really seem to have worked out very well. Just randomly scan dezeen.com: Why a “circular bridge on a Uruguayan lagoon”? Why a “huge horseshoe- shaped market hall”? And why a “pre-rusted steel staircase based on the form of a single-surface Möbius strip”? What are all these buildings trying to achieve? Are they trying really hard to look efficient? Environmentally friendly? Progressive? Why all this effort? Is this just a nonsensical race towards the bizarre? Or is it, in fact, just a misunderstood search for beauty? And why don’t we want to call this thing by its name? (And wouldn’t this quest be at least slightly more successful if it had been explicit about its goal from the beginning?) Modern architecture murdered beauty, erasing it from the very core of the architectural discourse. In a few cases, the purge of beauty was an attempt to substitute the indirect politicalness of beauty with direct political action (although this remark probably only applies to Hannes Meyer’s work and that of a few others). In the vast majority of cases, however, the expunging of beauty was just the consequence of a computational/liberal paradigm according to which anything that cannot be immediately calculated should simply be made to disappear. So beauty was suddenly dead, dead as a dead dog.
Beauty, Architecture
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1011606
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