Architecture and transgression: an interview with Bernard Tschumi
The interview suggests two factions. One of them is conservative architects, who are seen as presenting the worst fears of society. The other consists of revolutionary architects, who attempt to produce the ideals of society. This is an interesting link to the previous post in which I reflected about how iconic architecture may be seen as either selfish and set apart from it's context, or whether it is capable of more social responsibility.
This reading was about transgression though, not icons. Although there are links to be had between the two. The point behind the subject of transgression in architecture is that once upon a time, functions would not cross. It would have been considered highly unusual to mix purposes. However, we now live amongst buildings which have multiple purposes. It is not strange to see a building house shops, a cinema, a theatre and accommodation all in one go. Yet that would have been considered a transgression in the past.
I think that this idea is interesting. There is a lot to be said for an architect who can successfully combine multiple purposes into one design. However, it begs the question of whether it is really necessary, even appropriate. Sometimes a piece of architecture must be more focused in order to succeed as a true work of art. Trying to achieve too much can dilute a project into generic or unneeded results. This is something to consider when designing. What is the reason behind the project? What is the purpose?
This begins to further push the ideas of what architecture is. If a design is being made to accommodate all of these functions, does it just become a building? A place to hold other places? If a design has a focus, a core belief and a reason for existing then it can become more. It can be the tailored example of exceptional embodiment for the purpose it is derived from. That is what architecture should be in my opinion, an experience, a response.