organizational complexity

October 6, 2011

Architecture undoubtedly has a role to play in society. The question is who dictates this role. Architecture is unique in it’s dual nature, with the community and social responsibility at the heart of being an ethical architect. Sometimes it seems like the social responsibility of architects is limited to pro-bono work, necessitated by a natural disaster and the architecture that dominates is driven by capital and it’s agenda. The publics perception of an architects role is also an important factor. The architecture that is applauded by the media is that of monumentality. An ever rising skyline, glorified technological achievement, construction time and delivery. Think Dubai. 

So who is responsible for architecture as it stands. The organizational complex and architectures role out of many components has something to say. The state of the world around us impacts the prerogatives of architecture. The industrial revolution and the development of the skyscraper is just one example. You can also draw parallels to the notions of the discipline society and control societies. Control societies bears reflection on the architecture of the curtain wall. An achievement of construction techniques and the wonder of modern industrial advancement. But behind the facade is another story. The apparent transparency of the public face hides the often modular and repetitious activity behind the scenes and this is not limited to the work that is organized. 

The skyscraper is a symbol of capital, what progressive societies should aspire to. Architecture is just one aspect playing it’s part in the communication of this attitude. Although architects may not want to admit it, architecture is not solely art but in some regard a political tool. A public art to pacify the public. What is the architecture of the rebellious, of the non conformist. 

Salem

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