we wake too late

“Rationalistic determinism is an inherently exclusionary doctrine, dehumanizing in its resistance to change. In reducing man to a functional part of a collective, rationalism has produced an environment hostile to the individual. When taken to their logical extreme, reason and functionality reinforce society’s relentless assault on Man’s individuality. It was perhaps inevitable that rationalism’s insistence on favoring the collective interest result in suppressing that of the individual. True social progress, however, does not subsume the individual, instead maximizing his freedom and potential.”  Mas Yendo

“The liberation of architecture will require the architect to aspire to a much larger humanist agenda, addressing the culture at large as well as architecture as a field. This demands that architecture counter the reductive, stultifying effects of rationalism by embracing the qualities of contradiction, paradox and ambiguity. Cleanth Brooks argues for the value of poetics, stating: “if the poet…must perforce dramatize the oneness of the experience, even though paying tribute to its diversity, then his use of paradox and ambiguity is seen as necessary…[Paradox provides] an insight which preserves the unity of experience, and…triumphs over the apparently contradictory and conflicting elements of experience by unifying them into a new pattern.” This insight involves struggles and hesitations for the observer, and renders his perception more concrete and vivid. Wielding the full poetic arsenal of ambiguity, paradox, irony, and indeterminacy allows the architect to nurture individual idiosyncrasy, instead of excluding it.

Experiment is architecture’s tool for diverting the reductive, monolithic tendencies of hyper-consumerism and rational determinism. Experiment is non-judgmental, open-ended, allowing it to maintain the tension between complex, contradictory and oscillating relationships that is at the heart of architecture. By nurturing its innate complexity and ambiguity, architecture can shelter idiosyncrasy from the perils of determinism run rampant. It can even reconcile the dichotomies that lie at the heart of the human condition: individual freedom vs. collective responsibility, content vs. container, idealism vs. pragmatism, interior vs. exterior, man vs. nature.”

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