In this way, large building projects of potentially major civic importance are delivered into the hands of competent but unimaginative firms. The assumption is: Anyone can do it. Just follow the guidelines.
This system is based upon the catastrophic misconception that architectural values can be objectively quantified. From this initial mistake, erroneous ideas accumulate: architecture is the production of images; discrimination among images is entirely a matter of taste; one person's taste is as good as another's; the most popular image (or as it usually works out, the least unpopular image) must be the best building.
But of course, architecture is not a matter of images. It is the relationship of visual and spatial perceptions to conceptual abstractions. Or as Frank Lloyd Wright once put it, ``Architecture is the scientific art of making structure express ideas.''
--``Don't Rebuild. Reimagine.'', The New York Times, September 8, 2002.
Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme.
-Shakespeare, Sonnets, LV
She is mine own,
And I as rich in having such a jewel
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl,
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Art attracts us only by what it
reveals of our most secret self.
Les Amis du Cinema
The most beautiful emotion we can
experience is the mystical.
Einstein, His Life and Times
Art is silence made clear.
-Jean Cocteau, La Rappel a l'Ordre
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
-John Keats, Endymion
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy gray eye glances
And where thy footstep gleams-
In what ethereal dances
By what eternal streams.
-Poe, To One in Paradise
Across the fields of yesterday
He sometimes comes to me,
A little lad just back from play-
The lad I used to be.
-T. S. Jones, Jr., Sometimes
All things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
How like a younker or a prodigal
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind!
How like the prodigal doth she return,
With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails,
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!
The Merchant of Venice
I do set my bow in the clouds,
and it shall be for a token of a covenant
between me and the earth.
-Old Testament, Genesis, IX, 13
Love is but a mist in the night,
a summer breeze, a bird in flight.
Love is a cloud floating in the sky,
the ashes in the wind, a soft anguished cry.
Love is the lonely cry of the loon,
the absence of light, the dark of the moon.
Love is the tears of the mind,
the throe of thought, the mirage of the blind.
Love is the tormented struggle to fathom the illusions,
the heart's aching pain, the soul's delusions.
-Dede, Love Is But A Mist
Poets are the hierophants of
an unapprehended inspiration;
the mirrors of the gigantic shadows
which futurity casts upon the present.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley,
A Defense of Poetry
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