Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Question 2: Near Architecture and "Architecture" Proper

A homeowner built a prefabricated gabled metal shed behind his house used to store lawn furniture and a work area. The shed is not painted, nor altered from the manufacturer's standard specification.

What if an identical prefabricated shed was used as a house of worship by a church who believed that the metal, reproducible shed embodied their metaphysical, cultural and religious worldview.  To the congregation the metal shed was the most, spiritual building in the world.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Question 1: Can there be two buildings, exactly the same in every aspect, but one is Architecture and one is not?

What if a homeless man built a shed for himself in an alley way out of recycled materials that he found on the street.  He built it slowly over time and had no plans or architectural designs. It had walls made from wood palettes, mis-matched windows, wood plywood for floors and a metal roof. For insulation he used bundled newspapers. Being homeless and without money, he had to build everything by himself.  He used an oil drum to collect water on the roof and used a series of hoses to supply water to a sink in the kitchen and a shower. He set plastic containers with water in the sun to heat it.  The house had no electricity and no toilet.

What if at the very same moment, an architect built a cabin for himself out of recycled materials that he found on the street and it was e x a c t l y, in every way, like the homeless man's house. The architect built his cabin based on precise dimensioned construction plans and elevations. During the design process, he used sketches and wood models to study its shape and aesthetic. He built his cabin in a plot of land in the country. It had walls made from wood palettes, mis-matched windows, wood plywood for floors and a metal roof - again every thing was exactly like the homeless man's house.  In order to understand his craft better he decided to build everything himself.  He supplied it with running water exactly as the homeless man and for environmental reasons did not include a toilet or electricity.  Once it was completed, the architect published the pictures of his cabin and won several professional awards.

At the same time two boys, again independently of the homeless man and architect,  built a tree house that was an identical copy of the architect's cabin and the homeless man's shed.  The boys built it by themselves with some help from their father, in a large oak tree behind their house.

Simultaneously, a large manufacturing corporation, Eco-fab, decided to sell, prefabricated micro houses made from recycled materials which could be delivered by flatbed trailer and installed by a team of workmen on site in 2 days.  A specific manufacturing process was developed which combined materials from hundreds of recycling and demolition companies in order to produce and deliver identical micro cabins to every customer.   The micro cabin too was exactly like the homeless man's shed, architect's cabin, and boy's tree house.