Siteless is a book of architectural inspiration

Originally published at: Siteless is a book of architectural inspiration | Boing Boing


“forensic housing” ?


On a more serious note, the reason why such books are written by young practitioners is because the subtle ambiguities of really good architecture have yet to be revealed to them. They still don’t know how to make it or what it’s constituted of. The vast majority of the forms in this book are explained by an internal geometric logic. Once you perceive that logic, you no longer have any reason to engage them.

That which remains unexplained the longest is most likely experienced as art. This is why good architecture is so often the effort of older, wiser practitioners who understand the work to create contradictory, ambiguous aspects in what they design.


Was it David Macaulay who wrote, “the project remains unexecuted and so does the architect”?


Are there any books you would recommend for young adults who might be thinking along these lines but not yet committed?


Vitruvius’ De architectura.

No joke, it’s all in there already.


I don’t know about that but I’m a fan of forensic architecture.

(Copypasted link I put up earlier on by mistake originally)


‘Freehand’, I do not think you mean what I think that means.
Perhaps it’s a Maya (Alias Systems, now Autodesk, design) tool? On Xanax?
Yo I heard you like Chinese Traditional Roof Staging, so I put some ____ up in yo’ CTRS.


A better pursuit than books is to build the mindset of learning from great works … looking at objects/art/forms/spaces and figuring out 1) where the object tells us where it aims for clarity of form and intention, and 2) where the object confounds clarity with embedded contradictions and ambiguity of form and intention. A young designer/artist/architect should try to find the moments where the author of that work consciously did both things … and where they may have let accident or circumstance make both happen.

I had a teacher who said that artists do R&D for architects. I’d tell a young architect to go look at art and do some work.


Most students going into architecture think it is a glamorous field of creativity and design ethics. The truth is that for every person doing top design, the are 20 more filling out door and finish schedules and doing the unglamorous work of making the fantastic designs buildable and affordable. Unless you can create circles around everyone else, you’ll be better off getting a structural or electrical engineering degree. Those fields have major shortages and a skilled, creative person can shoot right to the top. My 2 cents.


Yeah, this is only architectural because the images look like they could be three dimensional forms. Without scale, material, users, construction, context, or function, this lot is sculptural at best, but because they also seem to me to lack any form of individual expression or craft, I don’t think I’d even call them that.

It’s playing with shapes, which is great fun and we should all do more of it, but I’m very suspicious of anything which intentionally removes constraints from a design discipline.


Frank Gehry

1 Like

Throw in “practicality” for this particular example.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.