Architect Louis Kahn (1901-1974) used to ask “What does the building want to be?” In talking about light, shadow and silence he’s also reported as saying, “Everything you make is already too thick. I would even think that a thought is also too thick.” I assume the kind of thick thinking to which Kahn refers is where … Continue reading
Are first impressions important? Architect Peter Zumthor thinks so. I enter a building, see a room, and — in a fraction of a second — have this feeling about it. Buildings inevitably impress us in some way. Many buildings stand out immediately. People make snap judgements on their beauty or lack of it, their functionality … Continue reading
The recent raid at Abbottabad has shown President Obama to be a leader capable of decisive action after all, as opposed to just an academic (ie a “dithering nerd-in-chief”), at least according to critical commentators (The Guardian, 7 May 2011, p.21). Having read Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, I’m hard-pressed to think of Obama as an intellectual … Continue reading
You can treat things as “mere objects,” but things can’t be “mere things.” Thing already carries connotations of significance, history, meaning, memory.
We live in a connected world, ie everything is, or has the potential to be, connected to everything else. The Internet makes this connectivity palpable. But the web of all things is hardly a new view of the universe.
Many people take it for granted that we occupy two worlds: the physical and the virtual. In 1997 MIT digital researchers Ishii and Ullmer stated that people potentially “live between two realms: our physical environment and cyberspace” (Ishii and Ullmer, 1997). They took on the challenge of developing digital devices that connect the two spaces together.
This blog post is derived from an article I wrote in response to a request from the Students’ Society of Architecture, Jadavpur University, India, in 2008.