Architecture Workbook: Design through Motive
Thinking about architecture, I have rarely felt the need to detach myself from the circumstances around me – and certainly not by recourse to any system of abstraction. For this reason, most of the work discussed in this book is influenced by the episodic nature of events, by the coincidental, the referential, and is unashamedly biased. It seeks no truths but it enjoys two parallel areas of speculation: the ‘what if?’ and the ‘how could?’ that can be underscored by many instances of ‘now here’s a funny thing’.
Thus each chapter revolves around a motive – acting as a catalyst or driver of the various enthusiasms or observations, clarifying the identity of those same ‘what ifs?’ and ‘how coulds?’. In each case the motive is elaborated upon by a commentary that tries to observe the world around us and the ironies and layers of our acquired culture. This precedes the description of the work itself. Of course there are times when such observations do or do not have any direct reference to what follows: yet I would claim that they sit there all the time, an experiential or prejudicial underbelly without which the description would lose dimension.
I do have a core belief, which I introduce here as the first motive: that for me, architecture should be recognised as theatre, in the sense that architecture should have character. It should be able to respond to the inhabitant or viewer and prepare itself for their presence, spatially; in other words, it should have that magic quality of theatre, with all its emphasis on performance, spectacle and delight.
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