What do you think about Unwin's assertion: "Some argue that if geometry is the language by which God designed the universe, it should also be the language by which architects design their buildings"?
What is the link, according to your own understanding, between God and architecture?
On the subject of geometry, if God does design through the language of geometry then it would not be absurd to state that architects have been inspired by this. It is no secret that architects have drawn inspiration from nature time after time. With God being the creator of nature, I personally believe that as a result, architects draw inspiration from God. Just as we look at the work of other architects through precedence research, we look at the work of God too.
Do you agree with Unwin?
I think that regardless of our intentions, we all do this. It is hard not to. Where ever we look we subconsciously take in inspiration from what we see. Even the buildings of others may have been inspired by another building, which could have been inspired by a sculpture, which was inspired by landscape, which was created by God. On the other hand, ignoring the subconscious influences, the question asked SHOULD we design using geometry as well? This suggests intention.
Unfortunately I believe this to be a question which requires subjective answer. I cannot speak on behalf of the population at general as everyone has different intentions for their own designs. However, I personally enjoy designs of natural response. Therefore I believe that designing through the use geometry, if this is the way the world is designed, is something to be explored. Alternatively, sometimes contrast is needed in order to create a design which works with it's surroundings.
As someone who is still only just starting out with my architectural life, I have no definitive answer as to my agreement with Unwin's statement. However, I am certainly open to the concept of it.
Unwin also explains one of the main reasons why architects, designers and clients use ideal geometry: "It speaks of a 'higher', more perfect level of interaction with the world, where the will triumphs over the untidiness and tribulations of mundane reality".
Think about the examples shown in the lecture on urbanism, and how urban planning was trying to put order into our cities.
For example, if we left the designing of cities to chance, they would likely become untidy and unhappy places to live in. The same can be said to be true within buildings and objects too.
Do you think that ideal geometry can help us organise our lives?
Unwin goes on to say "Ideal geometry manifests human discipline and aspiration to achieve a perfection in form not found in nature".
How can you relate this idea to contemporary styles such as Deconstructivism (Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry's design)?
The works of Hadid and Gehry are very abstract and flow quite naturally in the way that they work. Their forms are inspired by natural fluidity (mainly found in the works of Zaha Hadid) and a somewhat sense of disorder (as with Frank Gehry's designs). However, the forms can quite arguably be said to mirror the concepts behind the designs found in nature.
This is different to the kind of forms found in the classical architectural designs, which follow very geometric designs. For example the 'golden ratio' has often played it's part in architecture. It is these kind of designs which more followed the ideas of human discipline and aspiration. The architects were not following nature so much as mathematical principles. It is therefore that I suggest that perhaps 'perfection' of a kind not found in nature may be classed as possible. This is because natural designs tend to work not with the kind of designs which mathematical principles produce.
However, this statement from Unwin is somewhat contradictory to his earlier statement of how architects should design using geometric language in the same way as God. If God created nature using geometric language, and if Unwin is saying that architects should use geometric language too, how can he also say that ideal geometry creates a perfection which is not found in nature?
How about your own approach to architecture? Do you prefer organic or geometrical structures? Why?
If I were to choose a generic style, I would be more inclined towards a preference in organic structures. This is because I prefer the idea of a more natural world, one which responds to the environments around us. I would like to see a natural integration of architecture and the built environment in general with the natural one.
Below are a few examples of ideal geometry within modern designs.