Juan Miguel Otxotorena e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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Juan Miguel Otxotorena e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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We often talk from hearsay. If we were 'serious', we should admit that the usual architect's discourse is not profound, concise nor sound. It often lacks 'rigor'; revealing an extreme 'amateurism': missing systematization, methodology, and framework. It has scarce accuracy and consistency: needy of technical clearance. It reveals fickle and winky; and at times, even embarrassing. SPEAKING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE. When an architect claims that “shape does not make the project” and “the project sprouts out of the idea” he understands himself very well. However, the unaware audience will find it hard to find the meaning of ordinary concepts such as 'idea', 'make', 'shape' or 'project'. It perceives it wrapped around impetuosity, suspiciously proportioned to its ambiguity. This phenomenon is meaningful. Whoever listens something like “the opposite of a deep truth is another deep truth” will obviously experience the same feeling: it is not difficult to imagine the impact on alien ears of such emphatic statement, articulated in an implicit challenging mode. The reaction to it and its boastful grandiloquence. The foreign listener will have a hard time accepting is something more than a mere unsubstantial tautology, a boutade. The experience is generalized. Identical amazement will engulf the layperson when hearing a professional say that a construction or building 'is not architecture'. The unaware audience will wisely understand this words are used here in an accusing and sobering manner: with certain added connotations whose meaning ignores, confirming the speaker's knowledge and the additional attention that must be provided if he or she will explain them. The circle is soon completed: it all points out at the idea that if he or she talks about the 'modern regard', a 'contemporary attitude', a 'cold functionalism', the 'mystery of space', the 'built idea', the 'banality of language' or a 'superficial historicity', he or she knows very well what he or she wants to express and there are those who can follow and understand. The case of students before their professor or a prestigious author is not different. Anyhow we must detain to observe this matter: Is it such language clear and unambiguous? Is it presentable and understandable? Does it seem ripe? Does it correspond to a reliable reasoning? Does it not enclose an endless amount of rather crude, blurry and contrived statements?

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