In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Morning Musings | Main | Another Oakeshott Quote »

September 26, 2003

Rybczynski on What's Architecture

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Friedrich --

Just to mess with all our minds for a few seconds, I want to pass along this passage from "The Most Beautiful House in the World," Witold Rybczynski's terrific small book about building his own house. What's architecture? And who's an architect?

It would be convenient if architecture could be defined as any building designed by an architect. But who is an architect? Although the Academie Royale d'Architecture in Paris was founded in 1671, formal architectural schooling did not appear until the nineteenth century. The famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts was founded in 1816; the first English language school, in London, in 1847; and the first North American university program, at MIT, was established in 1868. Despite the eixstence of professional schools, for a long time the relationship between schooling and practice remained ambiguous. Not one of the three best-known architects of the twentieth century -- Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier -- received a formal architectural education. The great Renaissance buildings, for example, were designed by a variety of non-architects: Brunelleschi was trained as a goldsmith, Michelangelo as a sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci as a painter, and Alberti as a lawyer; only Bramante, who was also a painter, had formally studied building. These men are termed architects because, among other things, they created architecture -- a tautology that explains nothing.

It's a mess, and ain't that great.

Rybczynski's book can be bought here.



posted by Michael at September 26, 2003


Which is why I always wonder where Le Corbusier got off dedicating a book "To Authority"!!!

I love to tweak the panties of the FLW/Corbu worshiping UofA Arch grads I know, it's very very easy to do (just say ANYTHING that's other than totally worshipful of them, and you'll get a rise...very intensity to suit your taste in the moment :-)

But that's when I'm feeling impish.

Posted by: David Mercer on September 29, 2003 7:20 AM

And David Mercer never, ever feels impish ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 29, 2003 8:46 AM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?