Architecture And Nature Quotes

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I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright (Truth Against the World: Frank Lloyd Wright Speaks for an Organic Architecture)
The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.
John Adams (Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife)
As we live and as we are, Simplicity - with a capital "S" - is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.
Frank Lloyd Wright (The Natural House)
I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map…nights alone in motels in remote western towns where I know no one and no one I know knows where I am, nights with strange paintings and floral spreads and cable television that furnish a reprieve from my own biography, when in Benjamin’s terms, I have lost myself though I know where I am. Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail on vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Nature always wins. It has never lost, and I pray it never will.
Mike Ma (Harassment Architecture)
The architect had not stopped to bother about columns and porticos, proportions or interiors, or any limitation upon the epic he sought to materialize; he had simply made a servant of Nature - art can go no further.
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Dancing is surely the most basic and relevant of all forms of expression. Nothing else can so effectively give outward form to an inner experience. Poetry and music exist in time. Painting and architecture are a part of space. But only the dance lives at once in both space and time. In it the creator and the thing created, the artist and the expression, are one. Each participates completely in the other. There could be no better metaphor for an understanding of the mechanics of the cosmos.
Lyall Watson (Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia's Dancing Island)
Eiffel saw his Tower in the form of a serious object, rational, useful; men return it to him in the form of a great baroque dream which quite naturally touches on the borders of the irrational ... architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience.
Roland Barthes (The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies)
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
David McCullough (John Adams)
We must consider the building not as an object but as a collaborative system tightly linked to it's natural environment; an ecological niche.
Neri Oxman
You can neither lie to a neighbourhood park, nor reason with it. 'Artist's conceptions' and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighbourhood parks or park malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
Building becomes architecture only when the mind of man consciously takes it and tries with all his resources to make it beautiful, to put concordance, sympathy with nature, and all that into it. Then you have architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Architecture is what nature cannot make. Architecture is something unnatural but not something made up.
Louis Kahn
Unlike blowing or forming glass, resulting in smooth and continuous surfaces; the printing of glass enables high levels of control over shape and optical properties.
Neri Oxman
Imagine that nature is the single most important client in the architectural practice.
Neri Oxman
Melanin represents unity in the diversity of life on earth.
Neri Oxman
It's about enabling the generation of materials and structures designed to interact, adapt and respond to the natural environment.
Neri Oxman
For the first time in architectural history, we're approaching the resolution and complexity of the natural world by creating new technologies that will ultimately enable us to design a beam as if it were a branch or an HVAC and waste removal system as if it were a photosynthetic GI tract engineered to convert carbon into biofuel.
Neri Oxman
It is not metres, but a metre-making argument that makes a poem,—a thought so passionate and alive that like the spirit of a plant or an animal it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing. The thought and the form are equal in the order of time, but in the order of genesis the thought is prior to the form.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
We must consider the building not as an object but as a collaborative system tightly linked to it's natural environment.
Neri Oxman
To speak in nature's language, we must prioritize bio-based structural materials; biopolymers.
Neri Oxman
To speak in nature's language, we must prioritize bio-based structural materials; biopolymers. Biopolymers are natural polymers produced by the cells of living organisms.
Neri Oxman
Let's architect a future of synergy between the natural and the built environment.
Neri Oxman
All of Nature follows perfectly geometric laws. The Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Peruvian, Mayan, and Chinese cultures were well aware of this, as Phi—known as the Golden Ratio or Golden Mean—was used in the constructions of their sculptures and architecture.
Joseph P. Kauffman (The Answer Is YOU: A Guide to Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Freedom)
From a limited pallet of molecular components including cellulose, chitosan, and pectin; the very same materials found in trees, crustaceans and apple skins - natural systems embody an extensive array of functional materials that outperform human engineered ones through their resilience, sustainability and adaptability.
Neri Oxman
We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the building we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
When we're able to communicate in nature's language; when we're able to transcend the view that nature is a boundless entity; even transcending the building as the kernel of the architectural project; when we invite scientific inquiry and technological innovation, fusing atoms with bits and bits with genes - only then will the art of building enable new forms of interaction between humans and their environment. Only then will we be able to design, construct and evolve as equals.
Neri Oxman
Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance. Next, you are likely to be asked for a detailed program of how this system will be brought into existence. Historically, this is ridiculous. When has social change ever happened according to someone’s blueprint? It’s not as if a small circle of visionaries in Renaissance Florence conceived of something they called “capitalism,” figured out the details of how the stock exchange and factories would someday work, and then put in place a program to bring their visions into reality. In fact, the idea is so absurd we might well ask ourselves how it ever occurred to us to imagine this is how change happens to begin.
David Graeber
Potassium cyanide," says the talent wrangler as she leans over to pick up a paper napkin off the floor. "Found naturally in the cassava or manioc roots native to Africa, used to tint architectural blueprints in the form of the deep-blue pigment known as Prussian blue. Hence the shade 'cyan' blue.
Chuck Palahniuk (Snuff)
For centuries architects have been taught to sketch, model and build in three static dimensions - x, y and z. But the natural world offers contexts that are much more dimensionally complex and dynamic.
Neri Oxman
Let's put heterogeneity over homogeneity. We need to design materials that can restore or rewild biodiversity on the planet. When ecosystems are more diverse, they are better able to perform essential ecosystem services like carbon sequestration.
Neri Oxman (Neri Oxman: Material Ecology)
Today, when so much seems to conspire to reduce life and feeling to the most deprived and demeaning bottom line, it is more important than ever that we receive that extra dimension of dignity or delight and the elevated sense of self that the art of building can provide through the nature of the places where we live and work. What counts more than style is whether architecture improves our experience of the built world; whether it makes us wonder why we never noticed places in quite this way before.
Ada Louise Huxtable (On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change)
Since our divorce from nature with the industrial revolution, the major challenge for architecture remains a challenge of language as we replace units of growth with units of construction.
Neri Oxman
Through life and programmed decomposition - shelter becomes organism, and organism becomes shelter as it holds the potential to promote the health of natural resource cycles by such means as promoting soil micro-organisms and providing nutrients for growing buildings.
Neri Oxman
Design is a fundamental human activity, relevant and useful to everyone. Anything humans create—be it product, communication or system—is a result of the process of making inspiration real. I believe in doing what works as circumstances change: quirky or unusual solutions are often good ones. Nature bends and so should we as appropriate. Nature is always right outside our door as a reference and touch point. We should use it far more than we do.
Maggie Macnab (Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design)
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. If a writer can make people live there may be no great characters in his book, but it is possible that his book will remain as a whole; as an entity; as a novel. If the people the writer is making talk of old masters; of music; of modern painting; of letters; or of science then they should talk of those subjects in the novel. If they do not talk of these subjects and the writer makes them talk of them he is a faker, and if he talks about them himself to show how much he knows then he is showing off. No matter how good a phrase or a simile he may have if he puts it in where it is not absolutely necessary and irreplaceable he is spoiling his work for egotism. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over. For a writer to put his own intellectual musings, which he might sell for a low price as essays, into the mouths of artificially constructed characters which are more remunerative when issued as people in a novel is good economics, perhaps, but does not make literature. People in a novel, not skillfully constructed characters, must be projected from the writer’s assimilated experience, from his knowledge, from his head, from his heart and from all there is of him. If he ever has luck as well as seriousness and gets them out entire they will have more than one dimension and they will last a long time. A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men and without conscious application, and with an intelligence to accept or reject what is already presented as knowledge. There are some things which cannot be learned quickly and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave. Every novel which is truly written contributes to the total of knowledge which is there at the disposal of the next writer who comes, but the next writer must pay, always, a certain nominal percentage in experience to be able to understand and assimilate what is available as his birthright and what he must, in turn, take his departure from. If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay. And this too remember; a serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
Ernest Hemingway (Death in the Afternoon)
Babbage had most of this system sketched out by 1837, but the first true computer to use this programmable architecture didn’t appear for more than a hundred years.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation)
The creation continues incessantly through the media of man. But man does not create...he discovers. Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator. Copiers do not collaborate. Because of this, originality consists in returning to the origin.
Antoni Gaudí
When we're able to communicate in nature's language; when we're able to transcend the view that nature is a boundless entity; even transcending the building as the kernel of the architectural project; when we invite scientific inquiry and technological innovation, fusing atoms with bits and bits with genes - only then will the art of building enable new forms of interaction between humans and their environment.
Neri Oxman
Thus nature provides a system for proportioning the growth of plants that satisfies the three canons of architecture. All modules are isotropic and they are related to the whole structure of the plant through self-similar spirals proportioned by the golden mean.
Jay Kappraff (Connections: The Geometric Bridge Between Art and Science (2nd Edition))
[L]et us not overlook the further great fact, that not only does science underlie sculpture, painting, music, poetry, but that science is itself poetic. The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion. ... On the contrary science opens up realms of poetry where to the unscientific all is a blank. Those engaged in scientific researches constantly show us that they realize not less vividly, but more vividly, than others, the poetry of their subjects. Whoever will dip into Hugh Miller's works on geology, or read Mr. Lewes's “Seaside Studies,” will perceive that science excites poetry rather than extinguishes it. And whoever will contemplate the life of Goethe will see that the poet and the man of science can co-exist in equal activity. Is it not, indeed, an absurd and almost a sacrilegious belief that the more a man studies Nature the less he reveres it? Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is but a drop of water, loses anything in the eye of the physicist who knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake, does not suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in an ignorant mind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this rock a glacier slid a million years ago? The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded. Whoever has not in youth collected plants and insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedge-rows can assume. Whoever has not sought for fossils, has little idea of the poetical associations that surround the places where imbedded treasures were found. Whoever at the seaside has not had a microscope and aquarium, has yet to learn what the highest pleasures of the seaside are. Sad, indeed, is it to see how men occupy themselves with trivialities, and are indifferent to the grandest phenomena—care not to understand the architecture of the universe, but are deeply interested in some contemptible controversy about the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots!—are learnedly critical over a Greek ode, and pass by without a glance that grand epic... upon the strata of the Earth!
Herbert Spencer
Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men.
Richard Nickel
When strange objects shapes the landscape, we get fiction
Umair Siddiqui
Go outside, wherever you are, and appreciate each drop of water, each flower, each architectural work of art.
Amy Leigh Mercree (Joyful Living: 101 Ways to Transform Your Spirit and Revitalize Your Life)
If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture.
Oscar Wilde (Beautiful and Impossible Things - Selected Essays of Oscar Wilde)
Beneath the pleasure generated by the juxtaposition of order and complexity, we can identify the subsidiary architectural virtue of balance. Beauty is a likely outcome whenever architects skilfully mediate between any number of oppositions, including the old and the new, the natural and the man-made, the luxurious and the modest, and the masculine and the feminine.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
I’m such a negative person, and always have been. Was I born that way? I don’t know. I am constantly disgusted by reality, horrified and afraid. I cling desperately to the few things that give me some solace, that make me feel good. I hate most of humanity. Though I might be very fond of particular individuals, humanity in general fills me with contempt and despair. I hate most of what passes for civilization. I hate the modern world. For one thing there are just too Goddamn many people. I hate the hordes, the crowds in their vast cities, with all their hateful vehicles, their noise and their constant meaningless comings and goings. I hate cars. I hate modern architecture. Every building built after 1955 should be torn down! I despise modern music. Words cannot express how much it gets on my nerves – the false, pretentious, smug assertiveness of it. I hate business, having to deal with money. Money is one of the most hateful inventions of the human race. I hate the commodity culture, in which everything is bought and sold. No stone is left unturned. I hate the mass media, and how passively people suck up to it. I hate having to get up in the morning and face another day of this insanity. I hate having to eat, shit, maintain the body – I hate my body. The thought of my internal functions, the organs, digestion, the brain, the nervous system, horrify me. Nature is horrible. It’s not cute and loveable. It’s kill or be killed. It’s very dangerous out there. The natural world is filled with scary, murderous creatures and forces. I hate the whole way that nature functions. Sex is especially hateful and horrifying, the male penetrating the female, his dick goes into her hole, she’s impregnated, another being grows inside her, and then she must go through a painful ordeal as the new being pushes out of her, only to repeat the whole process in time. Reproduction – what could be more existentially repulsive? How I hate the courting ritual. I was always repelled by my own sex drive, which in my youth never left me alone. I was constantly driven by frustrated desires to do bizarre and unacceptable things with and to women. My soul was in constant conflict about it. I never was able to resolve it. Old age is the only relief. I hate the way the human psyche works, the way we are traumatized and stupidly imprinted in early childhood and have to spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome these infantile mental fixations. And we never ever fully succeed in this endeavor. I hate organized religions. I hate governments. It’s all a lot of power games played out by ambition-driven people, and foisted on the weak, the poor, and on children. Most humans are bullies. Adults pick on children. Older children pick on younger children. Men bully women. The rich bully the poor. People love to dominate. I hate the way humans worship power – one of the most disgusting of all human traits. I hate the human tendency towards revenge and vindictiveness. I hate the way humans are constantly trying to trick and deceive one another, to swindle, to cheat, and take unfair advantage of the innocent, the naïve and the ignorant. I hate the vacuous, false, banal conversation that goes on among people. Sometimes I feel suffocated; I want to flee from it. For me, to be human is, for the most part, to hate what I am. When I suddenly realize that I am one of them, I want to scream in horror.
Robert Crumb
In merging nature and culture the most successful cities combine such universal needs as maintaining or restoring contact with the cycles of nature, with specific, local characteristics.
Sally A. Kitt Chappell (Chicago's Urban Nature: A Guide to the City's Architecture + Landscape)
As John Adams famously wrote during the American Revolution, “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.” So maybe today they’re writing apps rather than studying poetry, but that’s an adjustment for the age.
Fareed Zakaria (In Defense of a Liberal Education)
Why do so many Americans say they want their children to watch less TV, yet continue to expand the opportunities for them to watch it? More important, why do so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching? The highway's edges may not be postcard perfect. But for a century, children's early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat: the empty farmhouse at the edge of the subdivision; the variety of architecture, here and there; the woods and fields and water beyond the seamy edges--all that was and still is available to the eye. This was the landscape that we watched as children. It was our drive-by movie.
Richard Louv
All but universally, human architecture values front elevations over back entrances, public spaces over private. Danny Jessup says that this aspect of architecture is also a reflection of human nature, that most people care more about their appearance than they do about their souls.
Dean Koontz (Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2))
There were so many things a tree could do: add color, provide shade, drop fruit or become a children's playground, a whole sky universe to climb and hang from; an architecture of food and pleasure, that was a tree.
Ray Bradbury
To speak in nature's language, we must prioritize bio-based structural materials; biopolymers. Biopolymers are natural polymers produced by the cells of living organisms. We're already utilizing them in products, pharma, and even in fashion. But to deploy them on the architectural scale, we need to invest in design and construction technologies that emulate their heirarchical properties by engineering real time chemical formation.
Neri Oxman
For us to deem a work of architecture elegant, it is hence not enough that it look simple: we must feel that the simplicity it displays has been hard won, that it flows from the resolution of demanding technical or natural predicament. Thus we call the Shaker staircase in Pleasant Hill elegant because we know--without ever having constructed one ourselves--that a staircase is a site complexity, and that combinations of treads, risers and banisters rarely approach the sober intelligibility of the Sharkers' work. We deem a modern Swiss house elegant because we not how seamlessly its windows have been joined to their concrete walls, and how neatly the usual clutter of construction has been resolved away. We admire starkly simple works that we intuit would, without immense effort, have appeared very complicated. (p 209)
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
[Donald] Keene observed [in a book entitled The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, 1988] that the Japanese sense of beauty has long sharply differed from its Western counterpart: it has been dominated by a love of irregularity rather than symmetry, the impermanent rather than the eternal and the simple rather than the ornate. The reason owes nothing to climate or genetics, added Keene, but is the result of the actions of writers, painters and theorists, who had actively shaped the sense of beauty of their nation. Contrary to the Romantic belief that we each settle naturally on a fitting idea of beauty, it seems that our visual and emotional faculties in fact need constant external guidance to help them decide what they should take note of and appreciate. 'Culture' is the word we have assigned to the force that assists us in identifying which of our many sensations we should focus on and apportion value to.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
The bowed frame of an old man is the settlement in the architecture of life. Nature had formed him for sadness.
Victor Hugo (The Man Who Laughs)
They proved that it was possible to produce beauty in life by surrounding life with beauty. They discovered that symmetrical bodies were built by souls continuously in the presence of symmetrical bodies; that noble thoughts were produced by minds surrounded by examples of mental nobility. Conversely, if a man were forced to look upon an ignoble or asymmetrical structure it would arouse within him a sense of ignobility which would provoke him to commit ignoble deeds. If an illproportioned building were erected in the midst of a city there would be ill-proportioned children born in that community; and men and women, gazing upon the asymmetrical structure, would live inharmonious lives. Thoughtful men of antiquity realized that their great philosophers were the natural products of the æsthetic ideals of architecture, music, and art established as the standards of the cultural systems of the time.
Manly P. Hall (The Secret Teachings of All Ages)
We need – more urgently than architectural utopias, ingenious traffic disposal systems, or ecological programmes – to comprehend the nature of citizenship, to make serious imaginative assessment of that special relationship between the self and the city; its unique plasticity, its privacy and freedom.
Jonathan Raban (Soft City: A Documentary Exploration of Metropolitan Life)
I would describe the distinction between city and landscape like this: cities tend to excite and agitate me; they make me feel big or small, self-confident, proud, curious, excited, tense, annoyed... or they intimidate me. But the landscape, if I give it the chance, offers me freedom and serenity. Nature has a different sense of time. Time is big in the landscape while in the city it is condensed, just like the city's space.
Peter Zumthor (Thinking Architecture)
The gaze is a machine that can invent belief and can destroy what is tender. In this way it is like an animal or a season or a politics, or like the dark bosco of the park. Our scopic researches aligned us, we liked to think, with the great tradition of the natural philosophers, for whom seeing was indeed and irrevocably inexperienced, and wherein the admission of such inexperience served as an emblem or badge of belonging. What can we claim about the park, about the sorrows that are and were not our own? Nothing. We simply sign ourselves against silence.
Lisa Robertson (Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture)
The character of the architectural forms and spaces which all people habitually encounter are powerful agencies in determining the nature of their thoughts, their emotions and their actions, however unconscious of this they may be.
Hugh Ferriss (The Metropolis of Tomorrow)
What is needed most in architecture today is the very thing that is most needed in life- Integrity. Just as it is in a human being, so integrity is the deepest quality in a building...if we succeed, we will have done a great service to our moral nature- the psyche- of our democratic society...Stand up for integrity in your building and you stand for integrity not only in the life of those who did the building but socially a reciprocal relationship is inevitable.
Frank Lloyd Wright
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain. —John Adams
Joel Rosenberg (Guardians of the Flame: Legacy (Guardians of the Flame, #4-5))
How many understand that Nature is the essencial character of whatever is. It's something you'll find by looking not at, but in, always in. It's always inside the thing, and it makes the outside. And some day, when you get sufficiently proficient in understanding the use of the term, you can tell by the outside pretty much from what's inside. [...] But everything that's ever going to be of use to you in architecture or in life or anywhere you go or whatever you do is going to be Nature, in some of its immensely varied forms. So varied that there's no end to the variety imaginable. "Nature" September 7, 1958
Frank Lloyd Wright
In order to create a sustainable world, we need to: 1) Educate people. 2) Educate people. 3) Educate people. For every person left uneducated about the system of this sphere, the nature will make us all pay for it. Sustainability can only start in the mind.
A. Togay Koralturk
A smart city is an intelligent town that provides enormous possibilities for human growth through art, culture, social, architectural, economic, political, environmental, and scientific flowering with the optimal mix of nature, technology, humanity, and arts.
Amit Ray (Peace Bliss Beauty and Truth: Living with Positivity)
...the multitudinous substitutes for indigenous culture cannot grow. Having no roots, they can only age and decay. Studious, sincere youth retires, defeated. American youth, capable of becoming serious competent artists, under such pressure as this on every side, confused, try not to give up--or "fall in line." This is the nature of about all that can be called American education in the arts and architecture at this time. As for religion true to the teaching of the great redeemer who said "The Kingdom of God is within you"--that religion is yet to come: the concept true not only for the new reality of building but for the faith we call democracy.
Frank Lloyd Wright (A Testament)
The “natural” human tendency to respond to the stranger, the strange idea and the creative individual with fear and aggression can be more easily comprehended, once it is understood that these diverse phenomena share categorical identity with the “natural disaster.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
The edge of a leaf is not simply uneven; there is a glossary of specific words for the appearance of a leaf margin: dentate for large, coarse teeth, serrate for a sawblade edge, serrulate if the teeth are fine and even, ciliate for a fringe along the edge. A leaf folded by accordion pleats is plicate, complanate when flattened as if squashed between two pages of a book. Every nuance of moss architecture has a word.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses)
Believing then … that human life is actually worth living, one can combat one’s natural pessimism by stoicism and the refusal of illusion, while embellishing the scene with any one of the following. There are the beauties of science and the extraordinary marvels of nature. There is the consolation and irony of philosophy. There are the infinite splendors of literature and poetry, not excluding the liturgical and devotional aspects of these, such as those found in John Donne or George Herbert. There is the grand resource of art and music and architecture, again not excluding those elements that aspire to the sublime. In all of these pursuits, any one of them enough to absorb a lifetime, there may be found a sense of awe and magnificence that does not depend at all on any invocation of the supernatural. Indeed, nobody armed by art and culture and literature and philosophy is likely to be anything but bored and sickened by ghost stories, UFO tales, spiritualist experiences, or babblings from the beyond.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
When the lessons of symbolic or philosophical mathematics seen in nature, which were designed into religious architecture or art, are applied functionally (not just intellectually) to facilitate the growth and transformation of consciousness, then mathematics may rightly be called “sacred.
Michael S. Schneider (A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science)
There are countries in which the communal provision of housing, transport, education and health care is so inferior that inhabitants will naturally seek to escape involvement with the masses by barricading themselves behind solid walls. The desire for high status is never stronger than in situations where 'ordinary' life fails to answer a median need for dignity or comfort. Then there are communities—far fewer in number and typically imbued with a strong (often Protestant) Christian heritage—whose public realms exude respect in their principles and architecture, and whose citizens are therefore under less compulsion to retreat into a private domain. Indeed, we may find that some of our ambitions for personal glory fade when the public spaces and facilities to which we enjoy access are themselves glorious to behold; in such a context, ordinary citizenship may come to seem an adequate goal. In Switzerland's largest city, for instance, the need to own a car in order to avoid sharing a bus or train with strangers loses some of the urgency it has in Los Angeles or London, thanks to Zurich's superlative train network, which is clean, safe, warm and edifying in its punctuality and technical prowess. There is little reason to travel in an automotive cocoon when, for a fare of only a few francs, an efficient, stately tramway will provide transport from point A to point B at a level of comfort an emperor might have envied. One insight to be drawn from Christianity and applied to communal ethics is that, insofar as we can recover a sense of the preciousness of every human being and, even more important, legislate for spaces and manner that embody such a reverence in their makeup, then the notion of the ordinary will shed its darker associations, and, correspondingly, the desires to triumph and to be insulated will weaken, to the psychological benefit of all.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
Architecture is essentially an extension of nature into the man-made realm, providing the ground for perception and the horizon of experiencing and understanding the world. It is not an isolated and self-sufficient artifact; it directs our attention and existential experience to wider horizons. Architecture also gives a conceptual and material structure to societal institutions, as well as to the conditions of daily life. It concretises the cycle of the year, the course of the sun and the passing of the hours of the day.
Juhani Pallasmaa (The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses)
If [Architecture] blends with her surroundings, why then, [not] blend with the Cosmos. It's right there.
During those years of travel I saw that architecture is what we console ourselves with once we’ve obliterated our natural landscapes.
Tim Winton (Cloudstreet)
I must study politics and war [he wrote] that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
David McCullough (The Course of Human Events)
In Egypt, construction is male geometry, a glorification of the visible. The first clarity of intelligible form appears in Egypt, the basis of Greek Apollonianism in art and thought. Egypt discovers four-square architecture, a rigid grid laid against mother nature's melting ovals. Social order becomes a visible aesthetic, countering nature's chthonian invisibilities. Pharaonic construction is the perfection of matter in art. Fascist political power, grandiose and self-divinising, creates the hierarchical, categorical superstructure of western mind.
Camille Paglia
Through myth, image and geometric proportion, Schwaller de Lubicz believed, the Egyptians were able to encapsulate in their writing and architecture the basic pattern structures of the natural universe.2
R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz (Symbol and the Symbolic: Ancient Egypt, Science, and the Evolution of Consciousness)
We now know that Lamarckism cannot work because bodies are built from cakelike recipes, not architectural blueprints, and it is simply impossible to feed information back into the recipe by changing the cake.
Matt Ridley (The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature)
When the Babylonians began to chart the stars, they first of all grouped them together into constellations of lions, virgins, archers, and scorpions-shaped them into sub-assemblies, celestial holons. The first calendar-makers wove the linear thread of time into the hierarchic pattern of solar days, lunar months, stellar years, Olympic cycles. Similarly, the Greek astronomers broke up homogenous space into the hierarchy of the eight heavenly spheres, each equipped with its clockwork of epicycles. We cannot help interpreting Nature as an organisation of parts-within-parts, because all living matter and all stable inorganic systems have a part-within-part architecture, which lends them articulation, coherence, and stability; and where the structure is not inherent or discernible, the mind provides it by projecting butterflies into the ink-blot and camels into the clouds.
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
Metaphor is one of the mechanisms by which our imaginations assimilate the world. We give sense to things through comparison. We theorise about things we are trying to understand and describe by alluding to characteristics they share with other things. We create new things by emulating the familiar. The attraction of metaphor is not exclusive to our attempts to make sense of the world through words. Thousands of years ago, architectural construction originated in metaphor. Sometime in the distant past, we began consciously constructing places as lasting metaphors for those ephemeral places we make just by being in the world or adopt in our natural surroundings.
Simon Unwin (Metaphor: an exploration of the metaphorical dimensions and potential of architecture (Analysing Architecture Notebooks))
the only prospect which is really desirable or delightful, is that from the window of the breakfast-room [...] where we meet the first light of the dewy day, the first breath of the morning air, the first glance of gentle eyes; to which we descend in the very spring and elasticity of mental renovation and bodily energy, in the gathering up of our spirit for the new day, in the flush of our awakening from the darkness and the mystery of faint and inactive dreaming, in the resurrection from our daily grave, in the first tremulous sensation of the beauty of our being, in the most glorious perception of the lightning of our life; there, indeed, our expatiation of spirit, when it meets the pulse of outward sound and joy, the voice of bird and breeze and billow, does demand some power of liberty, some space for its going forth into the morning, some freedom of intercourse with the lovely and limitless energy of creature and creation.
John Ruskin (The Poetry Of Architecture: Or, The Architecture Of The Nations Of Europe Considered In Its Association With Natural Scenery And National Character)
Nature is an increasingly influential part of building design—we are being guided by trees, rather than overwhelming them. New architecture is finding innovative methods to incorporate natural landscapes into, onto, and around buildings.
Marc Kushner (The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings)
Let us then understand at once that change or variety is as much a necessity to the human heart and brain in buildings as in books; that there is no merit, though there is some occasional use, in monotony; and that we must no more expect to derive either pleasure or profit from an architecture whose ornaments are of one pattern, and whose pillars are of one proportion, than we should of a universe in which the clouds were all of one shape, and the trees all of one shape.
John Ruskin (The Nature Of Gothic)
TAMBURLAINE: Nature, that fram'd us of four elements Warring within our breasts for regiment, Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds. Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend The wondrous architecture of the world, And measure every wandering planet's course, Still climbing after knowledge infinite, And always moving as the restless spheres, Wills us to wear ourselves and never rest, Until we reach the ripest fruit of all, That perfect bliss and sole felicity, The sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
Christopher Marlowe (Tamburlaine the Great, Part 1)
I must study politics and war," wrote John Adams, "that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics, and philosophy, geography, natural history, and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain." Adams saw clearly that politics is the indispensable foundation for things elegant and beautiful. First and above all else, you must secure life, liberty and the right to pursue your own happiness.
Charles Krauthamer John Adams
Every genetic “illness” is a mismatch between an organism’s genome and its environment. In some cases, the appropriate medical intervention to mitigate a disease might be to alter the environment to make it “fit” an organismal form (building alternative architectural realms for those with dwarfism; imagining alternative educational landscapes for children with autism). In other cases, conversely, it might mean changing genes to fit environments. In yet other cases, the match may be impossible to achieve: the severest forms of genetic illnesses, such as those caused by nonfunction of essential genes, are incompatible with all environments. It is a peculiar modern fallacy to imagine that the definitive solution to illness is to change nature—i.e., genes—when the environment is often more malleable. 10.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
...but there were four things I taught Walter to consider: 1) That it was Cain who built the first City, 2) That there is a true Science in the World called Scientia Umbrarum which, as to the publick teaching of it, has been suppressed but which the proper Artificer must comprehend, 3) That Architecture aims at Eternity and must contain the Eternal Powers: not only our Altars and Sacrifices, but the Forms of our Temples, must be mysticall, 4) That the miseries (If the present Life, and the Barbarities of Mankind, the fatall disadvantages we are all under and the Hazard we run of being eternally Undone, lead the True Architect not to Harmony or to Rationall Beauty but to quite another Game. Why, do we not believe the very Infants to be the Heirs of Hell and Children of the Devil as soon as they are disclos'd to the World? I declare that I build my Churches firmly on this Dunghil Earth and with a full Conception of Degenerated Nature. I have only room to add: there is a mad-drunken Catch, Hey ho! The Devil is dead! If that be true, I have been in the wrong Suit all my Life.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
This is natural selection, plain as day: the islanders have a simple rule: if it returns from the sea intact, copy it! They may have considerable comprehension of the principles of naval architecture that retrospectively endorse their favorite designs, but it is strictly unnecessary.
Daniel C. Dennett (Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking)
I have to tell you about these things from the past, because they are so important. The really important things usually lie in the distant past. And until you know about them, if you'll forgive my saying so, you will always to some extent a mere newcomer in my life. When I was at High School my favourite pastime was walking. Or rather, loitering. If we are talking about my adolescence, it's the more accurate word. Systematically, one by one, I explored all the districts of Pest. I relished the special atmosphere of every quarter and every street. Even now I can still find the same delight in houses that I did then. In this respect I've never grown up. Houses have so much to say to me. For me, they are what Nature used to be to the poets - or rather, what the poets thought of as Nature. But best of all I loved the Castle Hill District of Buda. I never tired of its ancient streets. Even in those days old things attracted me more than new ones. For me the deepest truth was found only in things suffused with the lives of many generations, which hold the past as permanently as mason Kelemen's wife buried in the high tower of Deva.
Antal Szerb
Nothing truly beautiful without its element of strangeness, nothing whole without its own incongruity, these (Jacksonville-area pioneer house) ruins sand up from the earth in sacred conjunction. These ruins conjoin the earth and the manmade, moving from one to the other and back again. The Browards built their house out of shell and limestone, and limestone forms naturally from the shells and skeletons of miniscule sea creatures over great periods of time. The Browards shaped the earth upright toward the sky. THey shaped it with doorframes and windows and chimneys. THey shaped the earth up around them as a shelter. But shaped earth was always the earth. Now the walls fall back down and join once again the ground, taken over by roots of ferns and weeds and small trees. The house was always the ground, only contained in an upward suspension. The house was always the earth, but brought up into architecture, and now the house that was always the earth crumbles back into the earth and nourishes new green things -- dog fennel and morning glories and palmettoes and cabbage palms and cedars. A true symbol of sacredness of the earth is earth's reclaiming of human ingenuity.
Tim Gilmore
...when you build a thing you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it.
Sara Ishikawa (A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction)
He read Kolakowski on the danger, implicit in all utopian movements, that if the material of human nature proved too weak or brittle to withstand the stresses that the utopian architecture tried to impose upon it, then the architects might prefer to discard the humans rather than their precious blueprints. He
Daniel Oppenheimer (Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century)
We would prefer an architecture that is consistent with human feeling, and in which design decisions are based on observation and empirical verification. The bottom line is that buildings have to provide good, healthy environments for human beings, and to inflict the least possible damage to the Earth’s ecology.
Architecture is perhaps the most beautiful and expressive of all the arts.  Painting and sculpture, noble though they are, lack the utility of architecture and strive to interpret nature rather than to originate.  Architecture is not hampered by the necessity of reproducing something already in existence.  It may raise its spires untrammeled by any nature model; it may fling its arches gloriously across a nave and transept with no similitude in nature to hamper by suggestion.  If his genius be great enough, the architect may tell in his structure truths which may not be put in words, inspire by glories not sung in the divinest harmonies.
Carl H. Claudy (Introduction to Freemasonry II - Fellowcraft)
Architecture forms a vital link between people and their surroundings. It acts as a gentle buffer between the fragility of human existence and the vast world outside. How different people choose to build connections in their environment essentially defines those societies and their relationships to conditions around them.
Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma: Small Architecture / Natural Architecture)
It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature. I had never considered myself to be a dishonest person, hating the idea that I was capable of such mendacity and deceit, but the more I examined the architecture of my life, the more I realized how fraudulent were its foundations. The belief that I would spend the rest of my time on earth lying to people weighed heavily on me and at such times I gave serious consideration to taking my own life. Knives frightened me, nooses horrified me and guns alarmed me, but I knew that I was not a strong swimmer. Were I to head out to Howth, for example, and throw myself into the sea, the current would quickly pull me under and there would be nothing I could do to save myself. It was an option that was always at the back of my mind
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
There are many arts and sciences of which a miner should not be ignorant. First there is Philosophy, that he may discern the origin, cause, and nature of subterranean things; for then he will be able to dig out the veins easily and advantageously, and to obtain more abundant results from his mining. Secondly there is Medicine, that he may be able to look after his diggers and other workman ... Thirdly follows astronomy, that he may know the divisions of the heavens and from them judge the directions of the veins. Fourthly, there is the science of Surveying that he may be able to estimate how deep a shaft should be sunk ... Fifthly, his knowledge of Arithmetical Science should be such that he may calculate the cost to be incurred in the machinery and the working of the mine. Sixthly, his learning must comprise Architecture, that he himself may construct the various machines and timber work required underground ... Next, he must have knowledge of Drawing, that he can draw plans of his machinery. Lastly, there is the Law, especially that dealing with metals, that he may claim his own rights, that he may undertake the duty of giving others his opinion on legal matters, that he may not take another man's property and so make trouble for himself, and that he may fulfil his obligations to others according to the law.
Georgius Agricola (De Re Metallica [Translated From The First Latin Edition Of 1556])
With theology as a code of dogmas which are to be believed, or at any rate repeated, under penalty of present or future punishment, or as a storehouse of anaesthetics for those who find the pains of life too hard to bear, I have nothing to do; and, so far as it may be possible, I shall avoid the expression of any opinion as to the objective truth or falsehood of the systems of theological speculation of which I may find occasion to speak. From my present point of view, theology is regarded as a natural product of the operations of the human mind, under the conditions of its existence, just as any other branch of science, or the arts of architecture, or music, or painting are such products. Like them, theology has a history. Like them also, it is to be met with in certain simple and rudimentary forms; and these can be connected by a multitude of gradations, which exist or have existed, among people of various ages and races, with the most highly developed theologies of past and present times.
Thomas Henry Huxley (The Evolution Of Theology: An Anthropological Study)
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
John Quincy Adams
no species, ours included, possesses a purpose beyond the imperatives created by its genetic history. Species may have vast potential for material and mental progress but they lack any immanent purpose or guidance from agents beyond their immediate environment or even an evolutionary goal toward which their molecular architecture automatically steers them.
Edward O. Wilson (On Human Nature)
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. How
David McCullough (John Adams)
The highest architectural cunning could have done nothing to make Hintock House dry and salubrious; and ruthless ignorance could have done little to make it unpicturesque. It was vegetable nature's own home; a spot to inspire the painter and poet of still life—if they did not suffer too much from the relaxing atmosphere—and to draw groans from the gregariously disposed.
Thomas Hardy (The Woodlanders)
The Revolution was another of the darkest, most uncertain of times and the longest war in American history, until the Vietnam War. It lasted eight and a half years, and Adams, because of his unstinting service to his country, was separated from his family nearly all that time, much to his and their distress. In a letter from France he tried to explain to them the reason for such commitment. I must study politics and war [he wrote] that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
David McCullough (The Course of Human Events)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
It is ridiculous to lay down to people where a thing should stand, design everything for them from the lavatory pan to the ashtray. On the contrary, I like people to move their furniture so that it suits them (not me!), and it's quite natural (and I approve) when they bring the old pictures and mementos they have come to love into a new interior, irrespective of whether they are good taste or bad.
Adolf Loos
When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, he was a carpenter crafting works of wood with his hands, revealing to us the essence of his nature. The miracles he performed demonstrated that he had the power to mend and manipulate the architecture of matter, which he himself had designed. He was telling us who he was, telegraphing to the crowds that followed him, the Maker is walking in your midst.
Timothy Alberino (Birthright: The Coming Posthuman Apocalypse and the Usurpation of Adam's Dominion on Planet Earth)
A spider web is a natural structure that works by ultimate tension, and an eggshell is a structure that works by ultimate compression. Both use the minimum and the appropriate material with maximum efficiency. Just as we learn to build suspension bridges with ropes and cables in imitation of spider webs, we can learn to build domes in imitation of eggshells, building in maximum tension or compression.
Nader Khalili (Ceramic Houses and Earth Architecture: How to Build Your Own)
The world is moving into a phase when landscape design may well be recognized as the most comprehensive of the arts. Man creates around him an environment that is a projection into nature of his abstract ideas. It is only in the present century that the collective landscape has emerged as a social necessity. We are promoting a landscape art on a scale never conceived of in history (Geoffrey Jellicoe, Landscape of man)
Tom Turner
The Sumerians considered themselves destined to “clothe and feed” such gods, because they viewed themselves as the servants, in a sense, of what we would call instinctive forces, “elicited” by the “environment.” Such forces can be reasonably regarded as the Sumerians regarded them—as deities inhabiting a “supracelestial place,” extant prior to the dawn of humanity. Erotic attraction, for example—a powerful god—has a developmental history that predates the emergence of humanity, is associated with relatively “innate” releasing “stimuli” (those that characterize erotic beauty), is of terrible power, and has an existence “transcending” that of any individual who is currently “possessed.” Pan, the Greek god of nature, produced/represented fear (produced “panic”); Ares or the Roman Mars, warlike fury and aggression. We no longer personify such “instincts,” except for the purposes of literary embellishment, so we don't think of them “existing” in a “place” (like heaven, for example). But the idea that such instincts inhabit a space—and that wars occur in that space—is a metaphor of exceeding power and explanatory utility. Transpersonal motive forces do wage war with one another over vast spans of time; are each forced to come to terms with their powerful “opponents” in the intrapsychic hierarchy. The battles between the different “ways of life” (or different philosophies) that eternally characterize human societies can usefully be visualized as combat undertaken by different standards of value (and, therefore, by different hierarchies of motivation). The “forces” involved in such wars do not die, as they are “immortal”: the human beings acting as “pawns of the gods” during such times are not so fortunate.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
The moon garden of the mansion was famous, having been designed with night-blooming flowers lining the pathways and hillocks of the landscape. They stepped through open doors, went down the wide stone steps, and were greeted by the heady perfume of late-blooming autumn flowers. The pale blossoms were lit from below, setting a mood of mystery. A fountain of natural stone rose up out of a pond surrounded by terra-cotta sculptures.
Susan Wiggs (The Lost and Found Bookshop)
We therefore find that the triangles and rectangles herein described, enclose a large majority of the temples and cathedrals of the Greek and Gothic masters, for we have seen that the rectangle of the Egyptian triangle is a perfect generative medium, its ratio of five in width to eight in length 'encouraging impressions of contrast between horizontal and vertical lines' or spaces; and the same practically may be said of the Pythagorean triangle
Samuel Colman (Harmonic Proportion and Form in Nature, Art and Architecture)
...pseudo-scientific minds, like those of the scientist or the painter in love with the pictorial, both teaching as they were taught to become architects, practice a kind of building which is inevitably the result of conditioning of the mind instead of enlightenment. By this standard means also, the old conformities are appearing as new but only in another guise, more insidious because they are especially convenient to the standardizations of the modernist plan-factory and wholly ignorant of anything but public expediency. So in our big cities architecture like religion is helpless under the blows of science and the crushing weight of conformity--caused to gravitate to the masquerade in our streets in the name of "modernity." Fearfully concealing lack of initial courage or fundamental preparation or present merit: reactionary. Institutional public influences calling themselves conservative are really no more than the usual political stand-patters or social lid-sitters. As a feature of our cultural life architecture takes a backward direction, becomes less truly radical as our life itself grows more sterile, more conformist. All this in order to be safe? How soon will "we the people" awake to the fact that the philosophy of natural or intrinsic building we are here calling organic is at one with our freedom--as declared, 1776?
Frank Lloyd Wright (A Testament)
All my life I have wondered about the possibility of life elsewhere. What would it be like? Of what would it be made? All living things on our planet are constructed of organic molecules—complex microscopic architectures in which the carbon atom plays a central role. There was once a time before life, when the Earth was barren and utterly desolate. Our world is now overflowing with life. How did it come about? How, in the absence of life, were carbon-based organic molecules made? How did the first living things arise? How did life evolve to produce beings as elaborate and complex as we, able to explore the mystery of our own origins? And on the countless other planets that may circle other suns, is there life also? Is extraterrestrial life, if it exists, based on the same organic molecules as life on Earth? Do the beings of other worlds look much like life on Earth? Or are they stunningly different—other adaptations to other environments? What else is possible? The nature of life on Earth and the search for life elsewhere are two sides of the same question—the search for who we are. In the great dark between the stars there are clouds of gas and dust and organic matter. Dozens of different kinds of organic molecules have been found there by radio telescopes. The abundance of these molecules suggests that the stuff of life is everywhere. Perhaps the origin and evolution of life is, given enough time, a cosmic inevitability. On some of the billions of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, life may never arise. On others, it may arise and die out, or never evolve beyond its simplest forms. And on some small fraction of worlds there may develop intelligences and civilizations more advanced than our own. Occasionally someone remarks on what a lucky coincidence it is that the Earth is perfectly suitable for life—moderate temperatures, liquid water, oxygen atmosphere, and so on. But this is, at least in part, a confusion of cause and effect. We earthlings are supremely well adapted to the environment of the Earth because we grew up here. Those earlier forms of life that were not well adapted died. We are descended from the organisms that did well. Organisms that evolve on a quite different world will doubtless sing its praises too. All life on Earth is closely related. We have a common organic chemistry and a common evolutionary heritage. As a result, our biologists are profoundly limited. They study only a single kind of biology, one lonely theme in the music of life. Is this faint and reedy tune the only voice for thousands of light-years? Or is there a kind of cosmic fugue, with themes and counterpoints, dissonances and harmonies, a billion different voices playing the life music of the Galaxy? Let
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
The literatures of Greece and Rome comprise the longest, most complete and most nearly continuous record we have of what the strange creature known as Homo sapiens has been busy about in virtually every department of spiritual, intellectual and social activity. That record covers nearly twenty-five hundred years in an unbroken stretch of this animated oddity’s operations in poetry, drama, law, agriculture, philosophy, architecture, natural history, philology, rhetoric, astronomy, logic, politics, botany, zoölogy, medicine, geography, theology,—everything, I believe, that lies in the range of human knowledge or speculation. Hence the mind which has attentively canvassed this record is much more than a disciplined mind, it is an experienced mind. It has come, as Emerson says, into a feeling of immense longevity, and it instinctively views contemporary man and his doings in the perspective set by this profound and weighty experience. Our studies were properly called formative, because beyond all others their effect was powerfully maturing. Cicero told the unvarnished truth in saying that those who have no knowledge of what has gone before them must forever remain children; and if one wished to characterise the collective mind of this present period, or indeed of any period,—the use it makes of its powers of observation, reflection, logical inference,—one would best do it by the one word immaturity.
Albert Jay Nock (Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (LvMI))
Anything that interferes with such attainment (little old ladies with canes) will be experienced as threatening and/or punishing; anything that signifies increased likelihood of success (open stretches of sidewalk) will be experienced as promising or satisfying. It is for this reason that the Buddhists believe that everything is Maya, or illusion: the motivational significance of ongoing events is clearly determined by the nature of the goal toward which behavior is devoted
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
Meanwhile the thinking person, by intellect usually left-wing but by temperament often right-wing, hovers at the gate of the Socialist fold. He is no doubt aware that he ought to be a Socialist. But he observes first the dullness of individual Socialists, then the apparent flabbiness of Socialist ideals, and veers away. Till quite recently it was natural to veer towards indinerentism. Ten years ago, even five years ago, the typical literary gent wrote books on baroque architecture and had a soul above politics. But that attitude is becoming difficult and even unfashionable. The times are growing harsher, the issues are clearer, the belief that nothing will ever change (i.e. that your dividends will always be safe) is less prevalent. The fence on which the literary gent sits, once as comfortable as the plush cushion of a cathedral-stall, is now pinching his bottom intolerably; more and more he shows a disposition to drop off on one side or the other. It is interesting to notice how many of our leading writers, who a dozen years ago were art for art's saking for all they were worth and would have considered it too vulgar for words to even vote at a general election, are now taking a definite political standpoint; while most of the younger writers, at least those of them who are not mere footlers, have been 'political' from the start. I believe that when the pinch comes there is a terrible danger that the main movement of the intelligentsia will be towards Fascism. . . . That will also be the moment when every person with any brains or decency will know in his bones that he ought to be on the Socialist side. But he will not necessarily come there of his own accord; there are too many ancient prejudices standing in the way. He will have to be persuaded, and by methods that imply an understanding of his viewpoint. Socialists cannot afford to waste any more time in preaching to the converted. Their job now is to make Socialists as rapidly as possible; instead of which, all too often, they are making Fascists.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
When we think of an institution, we can usually see it as embodied in a building: the Vatican, the Pentagon, the Sorbonne, the Treasury, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Kremlin, the Supreme Court. What we cannot see, until we become close students of the institution, are the ways in which power is maintained and transferred behind the walls and beneath the domes, the invisible understandings which guarantee that it shall reside in certain hands but not in others, that information shall be transmitted to this one but not to that one, the hidden collusions and connections with other institutions of which it is supposedly independent. When we think of the institution of motherhood, no symbolic architecture comes to mind, no visible embodiment of authority, power, or of potential or actual violence. Motherhood calls to mind the home, and we like to believe that the home is a private place. Perhaps we imagine row upon row of backyards, behind suburban or tenement houses, in each of which a woman hangs out the wash, or runs to pick up a tear-streaked two-year-old; or thousands of kitchens, in each of which children are being fed and sent off to school. Or we think of the house of our childhood, the woman who mothered us, or of ourselves. We do not think of the laws which determine how we got to these places, the penalties imposed on those of us who have tried to live our lives according to a different plan, the art which depicts us in an unnatural serenity or resignation, the medical establishment which has robbed so many women of the act of giving birth, the experts—almost all male—who have told us how, as mothers, we should behave and feel. We do not think of the Marxist intellectuals arguing as to whether we produce “surplus value” in a day of washing clothes, cooking food, and caring for children, or the psychoanalysts who are certain that the work of motherhood suits us by nature. We do not think of the power stolen from us and the power withheld from us, in the name of the institution of motherhood.
Adrienne Rich (Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution)
Paul Virilio and I, in our different ways, share an intense interest in the changes brought about by technological innovation, by cultural and social upheavals, by natural catastrophes like earthquakes and the social and architectural responses to them. I see these extreme cases as the avant-garde of a coming normality, one that we must engage creatively now, inventing new languages, rules and methods, if we are to preserve what is essential to our humanity, that is, compassion, reason, independence of thought and action.
Lebbeus Woods
The general picture was that Ymir would not be anything like the traditional idea of a spaceship, in the sense of an orderly, symmetrical piece of architecture. It would be more like a flying robotic anthill, constructed out of a natural found object. The robots crawling around on and in it had general instructions as to what they were supposed to be doing, but could make their own judgments from moment to moment to avoid collision with other robots, or from hour to hour as to when they needed to recharge their batteries.
Neal Stephenson (Seveneves)
We don't like inconveniences [...] Ignored inconveniences accumulate, rather than disappear. When they accumulate in sufficient numbers, they produce a catastrophe—a self-induced catastrophe, to be sure, but one that may be indistinguishable from an “act of God.” Inconveniences interfere with the integrity of our plans—so we tend to pretend that they are not there. Catastrophes, by contrast, interfere with the integrity of our whole stories, and massively dysregulate our emotions. By their nature, they are harder to ignore—although that does not stop us from trying to do so. Inconveniences are common; unfortunately, so are catastrophes—self-induced and otherwise. We are adapted to catastrophes, like inconveniences, as constant environmental features. We can resolve catastrophe, just as we can cope with inconvenience—although at higher cost. As a consequence of this adaptation, this capacity for resolution, catastrophe can rejuvenate. It can also destroy. The more ignored inconveniences in a given catastrophe, the more likely it will destroy.”.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
I must study politics and war," wrote John Adams, "that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics, and philosophy, geography, natural history, and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain." Adams saw clearly that politics is the indispensable foundation for things elegant and beautiful. First and above all else, you must secure life, liberty and the right to pursue your own happiness.
Charles Krauthammer
You've asked me what the lobster is weaving there with his golden feet? I reply, the ocean knows this. You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent bell? What is it waiting for? I tell you it is waiting for time, like you. You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms? Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know. You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal, and I reply by describing how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies. You enquire about the kingfisher's feathers, which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides? Or you've found in the cards a new question touching on the crystal architecture of the sea anemone, and you'll deal that to me now? You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean spines? The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks? The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out in the deep places like a thread in the water? I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its jewel boxes is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure, and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the petal hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl. I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead of human eyes, dead in those darknesses, of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes on the timid globe of an orange. I walked around as you do, investigating the endless star, and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked, the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.
Pablo Neruda
when modern philosophy began to devote itself to the study of logic and rationality, it gradually lost interest in psychology and lost touch with the passionate, contextualized nature of human life. It is impossible to analyze “the meaning of life” in the abstract, or in general, or for some mythical and perfectly rational being. Only by knowing the kinds of beings that we actually are, with the complex mental and emotional architecture that we happen to possess, can anyone even begin to ask about what would count as a meaningful life.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
right.” Inspired by mid-century architectural lettering of New York City, Gotham celebrates the alphabet’s most basic form. These qualities made Gotham the most popular release of recent years. It’s used everywhere, in logos, in magazines, in the very things that inspired it: signs. Gotham’s simplicity is not merely geometric — like Avenir, it feels more natural than mechanical. In fact, its lowercase shares a lot with Avenir’s, despite being much larger. But Gotham’s essence is in the caps: broad, sturdy “block” letters of very consistent
Stephen Coles (The Anatomy of Type)
And that is why I would propose that, in our teaching of the humanities, we should emphasize the enduring creations of the past. The schools should stay as far from contemporary works as possible. Because of the nature of the communications industry, our students have continuous access to the popular arts of their own times - its music, rhetoric, design, literature, architecture. Their knowledge of the form and content of these arts is by no means satisfactory. But their ignorance of the form and content of the art of the past is cavernous.
Neil Postman (Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology)
The age of centralized, command-and-control, extraction-resource-based energy sources (oil, gas, coal and nuclear) will not end because we run out of petroleum, natural gas, coal, or uranium. It will end because these energy sources, the business models they employ, and the products that sustain them will be disrupted by superior technologies, product architectures, and business models. Compelling new technologies such as solar, wind, electric vehicles, and autonomous (self-driving) cars will disrupt and sweep away the energy industry as we know it.
Tony Seba (Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030)
In the nineteenth century, a young woman named Ellen Richards, trained in chemistry and unable to work in her field, announced the foundation of a new science she called oekology, or the science of living. This was the discipline later called domestic science or home economics, involving the effort to professionalize and dignify the work of the housewife by drawing on science and technology.* A single Greek root, oekos, has wandered through changing conceptions of human living, as well as changing fashions in spelling, producing the contemporary fields of economics and ecology, which frequently seem to be at odds. It also offers the less well-known term ekistics, coined by the city planner Constantinos Doxiadis to refer to a science of human settlement that would include the architectural creation of human spaces, their social and economic integration, and their relationship with the natural environment. Each of these latter-day coinages represents an incomplete view, but together they represent a view that includes biology and architecture, kitchens and stock exchanges, the growth of meadows and children as well as the GNP.
Mary Catherine Bateson (Composing a Life)
Spirals are deeply rooted in the architecture of the universe; they are found in every size and substance. We’re always intimate with spirals yet rarely notice them. Sometimes we miss them due to familiarity, as in water whirling down the tub’s drain and in the shape of our ears. Sometimes we miss them because of their obscurity, as in the spiral “staircase” of leaves whirling around a stem. Sometimes we miss them because of their size, or distance, hurricanes or galaxies. And sometimes we miss them because of their invisibility, as in the shape of the wind and waves of emotion.
Michael S. Schneider (A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science)
Architecture without pain, art looked at in undiluted pleasure, enjoyment without anxiety, compunction, heartache: there is no beggar woman in the church door, no ragged child or sore animal in the square. The water is safe and the wallet is inside the pocket. There will be no missed plane connection. We are in a country where the curable ills are taken care of. We are in a country where the mechanics of living from transport to domestic heating (alack, poor Britain!) function imaginatively and well; where it goes without saying that the sick are looked after and secure and the young well educated and well trained; where ingenuity is used to heal delinquents and to mitigate at least the physical dependence of old age; where there is work for all and some individual seizure, and men and women have not been entirely alienated yet from their natural environment; where there is care for freedom and where the country as a whole has rounded the drive to power and prestige beyond its borders and where the will to peace is not eroded by doctrine, national self-love, and unmanageable fears; where people are kindly, honest, helpful, sane, reliable, resourceful, and cool-headed; where stranger–shyly–smiles to stranger. "Portrait Sketch of a Country: Denmark 1962
Sybille Bedford (Pleasures and Landscapes)
The community of Partageuse had drifted together like so much dust in a breeze, settling in this spot where two oceans met, because there was fresh water and a natural harbor and good soil. Its port was no rival to Albany, but convenient for locals shipping timber or sandalwood or beef. Little businesses had sprung up and clung on like lichen on a rock face, and the town had accumulated a school, a variety of churches with different hymns and architectures, a good few brick and stone houses and a lot more built of weatherboard and tin. It gradually produced various shops, a town hall, even a Dalgety's stock and station agency. And pubs. Many pubs.
M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)
But trivial as are the topics they are not utterly without a connecting thread of motive. As the reader's eye strays, with hearty relief, from these pages, it probably alights on something, a bed-post or a lamp-post, a window blind or a wall. It is a thousand to one that the reader is looking at something that he has never seen: that is, never realised. He could not write an essay on such a post or wall: he does not know what the post or wall mean. He could not even write the synopsis of an essay; as "The Bed-Post; Its Significance—Security Essential to Idea of Sleep—Night Felt as Infinite—Need of Monumental Architecture," and so on. He could not sketch in outline his theoretic attitude towards window-blinds, even in the form of a summary. "The Window-Blind—Its Analogy to the Curtain and Veil—Is Modesty Natural?—Worship of and Avoidance of the Sun, etc., etc." None of us think enough of these things on which the eye rests. But don't let us let the eye rest. Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across the landscape as plain as a painted fence. Let us be ocular athletes. Let us learn to write essays on a stray cat or a coloured cloud. I have attempted some such thing in what follows; but anyone else may do it better, if anyone else will only try.
G.K. Chesterton (Tremendous Trifles)
It’s hard to blame Representative Petri for missing the point. The value of studying fireflies is endlessly surprising. For example, before 1994, Internet engineers were vexed by spontaneous pulsations in the traffic between computers called routers, until they realized that the machines were behaving like fireflies, exchanging periodic messages that were inadvertently synchronizing them. Once the cause was identified, it became clear how to relieve the congestion. Electrical engineers devised a decentralized architecture for clocking computer circuits more efficiently, by mimicking the fireflies’ strategy for achieving synchrony at low cost and high reliability.
Steven H. Strogatz (Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life)
Natural materials always cause unforeseeable problems despite the most careful planning. They break and rot and split. Inconsistencies are both their charm and their drawback, which is precisely why the extra precaution of backing the washi paper with plastic made sense. There was no 'right way' except to admit that different views must coexist. In the end, respecting others' opinions, addressing their criticisms and acknowledging problems is the only way to get things done. If building with natural materials is to be saved, it must be accomplished with humility and hard work, not bombast and confrontation. To this day the washi paper at the Hiroshige Museum remains in good shape.
Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma: Small Architecture / Natural Architecture)
A Puritan twist in our nature makes us think that anything good for us must be twice as good if it's hard to swallow. Learning Greek and Latin used to play the role of character builder, since they were considered to be as exhausting and unrewarding as digging a trench in the morning and filling it up in the afternoon. It was what made a man, or a woman -- or more likely a robot -- of you. Now math serves that purpose in many schools: your task is to try to follow rules that make sense, perhaps, to some higher beings; and in the end to accept your failure with humbled pride. As you limp off with your aching mind and bruised soul, you know that nothing in later life will ever be as difficult. What a perverse fate for one of our kind's greatest triumphs! Think how absurd it would be were music treated this way (for math and music are both excursions into sensuous structure): suffer through playing your scales, and when you're an adult you'll never have to listen to music again. And this is mathematics we're talking about, the language in which, Galileo said, the Book of the World is written. This is mathematics, which reaches down into our deepest intuitions and outward toward the nature of the universe -- mathematics, which explains the atoms as well as the stars in their courses, and lets us see into the ways that rivers and arteries branch. For mathematics itself is the study of connections: how things ideally must and, in fact, do sort together -- beyond, around, and within us. It doesn't just help us to balance our checkbooks; it leads us to see the balances hidden in the tumble of events, and the shapes of those quiet symmetries behind the random clatter of things. At the same time, we come to savor it, like music, wholly for itself. Applied or pure, mathematics gives whoever enjoys it a matchless self-confidence, along with a sense of partaking in truths that follow neither from persuasion nor faith but stand foursquare on their own. This is why it appeals to what we will come back to again and again: our **architectural instinct** -- as deep in us as any of our urges.
Ellen Kaplan (Out of the Labyrinth: Setting Mathematics Free)
The fact is that the buildings here were not made to speak to the world as we know it, but to the citizens of the USSR. Visible from afar and unfailingly spectacular, they are effectively monuments, ideological markers endowed with an almost mystical aura by their positioning in space and expressive power. "By its incongruity, by its inhuman stature" writes the philosopher Jacques Derrida, "the monumental dimension serves to emphasize the non-representable nature of the very concept that it evokes." This concept, whether in Grodno, Kiev or Dushanbe, is might. The might of power. A power that would soon become illusory and whose crumbling is indeed manifested by the growing stylistic diversity of this architecture.
Frédéric Chaubin
Virtually all the authors of popular books on the subject assert that ADD is a heritable genetic disorder. With some notable exceptions, the genetic view also dominates much of the discussion within professional circles, a view I do not agree with. I believe that ADD can be better understood if we examine people’s lives, not only bits of DNA. Heredity does make an important contribution, but far less than usually assumed. At the same time, it would serve no purpose to set up the false opposition of environment to genetic inheritance. No such split exists in nature, or in the mind of any serious scientist. There are many biological events involving body and brain that are not directly programmed by heredity, and so to say that ADD is not primarily genetic is not in any sense to deny its biological features — either those that are inherited or those that are acquired as a result of experience. The genetic blueprints for the architecture and the workings of the human brain develop in a process of interaction with the environment. ADD does reflect biological malfunctions in certain brain centers, but many of its features — including the underlying biology itself — are also inextricably connected to a person’s physical and emotional experiences in the world. There is in ADD an inherited predisposition, but that’s very far from saying there is a genetic predetermination. A predetermination dictates that something will inevitably happen. A predisposition only makes it more likely that it may happen, depending on circumstances. The actual outcome is influenced by many other factors.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Life, a miracle of nature, an evolved molecule of matter, blossomed in the vast expanse of oceans. Methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water vapor When joined under the radio-active sun, The molecules of non living matter underwent massive changes and became live. It's this accident that made the molecule of protein, Which even Stanley Miller reproduced in lab. Evolution went on, and on and changed , from amoeba to dinosaurs, from ape to man, It was an amazing architecture of nature , Which still continue improving human brain. The amazing creation nature, the man, kept on exploring the mysteries of nature, and succeeded in duplicating nature's marvel through his latest invention - the cloning, and succeeded in decoding even the genetic code. Still we have to salute the mother nature, which has many more mysteries in store!.
V.A. Menon
VANNBRUGGHE. (Spitting upon the floor) But the bounds of the Mind are yet unknown: we form our Judgments too much on what has been done without knowing what might be done. Originals must soar into the region of Liberty. DYER. And then fall down, since they have Wings made only of Wax. Why prostrate your Reason to meer Nature? We live off the Past: it is in our Words and our Syllables. It is reverberant in our Streets and Courts, so that we can scarce walk across the Stones without being reminded of those who walked there before us; the Ages before our own are like an Eclipse which blots out the Clocks and Watches of our present Artificers and, in that Darkness, the Generations jostle one another. It is the dark of Time from which we come and to which we will return. VANNBRUGGHE. (Aside) What is this stuff about Time? (To Dyer) This is well said, but this Age of ours is quite new. The World was never more active or youthful than it is now, and all this Imitation of the past is but the Death's Head of Writing as it is of Architecture.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
The octopus, although an invertebrate—with no thalamus or cortex to speak of—behaves in ways that utterly belie its primitive label. It has around 500 million neurons, not too far from the numbers in a cat. But the octopus brain is decidedly unusual, with an exceptionally parallel architecture—almost always a positive quality when you are talking about brains. The majority of octopus neurons are to be found not in its brain, but in its arms. In effect, if you include the neuronal bundles in its limbs, the octopus has nine semi-independent brains, making it unique in the animal kingdom. The octopus is also a genius among ocean creatures. It has highly developed memory and attentional systems. In nature, this allows these invertebrates to take on a wide range of shapes to mimic other animals, rocks, or even plants. In the lab, octopuses can distinguish shapes and colors, navigate through a maze, open a jar with a screw-on lid, and even learn by observing the behavior of another octopus—an ability thought previously only to exist in highly social animals.
Daniel Bor (The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning)
Christianity has been the means of reducing more languages to writing than have all other factors combined. It has created more schools, more theories of education, and more systems than has any other one force. More than any other power in history it has impelled men to fight suffering, whether that suffering has come from disease, war or natural disasters. It has built thousands of hospitals, inspired the emergence of the nursing and medical professions, and furthered movement for public health and the relief and prevention of famine. Although explorations and conquests which were in part its outgrowth led to the enslavement of Africans for the plantations of the Americas, men and women whose consciences were awakened by Christianity and whose wills it nerved brought about the abolition of slavery (in England and America). Men and women similarly moved and sustained wrote into the laws of Spain and Portugal provisions to alleviate the ruthless exploitation of the Indians of the New World. Wars have often been waged in the name of Christianity. They have attained their most colossal dimensions through weapons and large–scale organization initiated in (nominal) Christendom. Yet from no other source have there come as many and as strong movements to eliminate or regulate war and to ease the suffering brought by war. From its first centuries, the Christian faith has caused many of its adherents to be uneasy about war. It has led minorities to refuse to have any part in it. It has impelled others to seek to limit war by defining what, in their judgment, from the Christian standpoint is a "just war." In the turbulent Middle Ages of Europe it gave rise to the Truce of God and the Peace of God. In a later era it was the main impulse in the formulation of international law. But for it, the League of Nations and the United Nations would not have been. By its name and symbol, the most extensive organization ever created for the relief of the suffering caused by war, the Red Cross, bears witness to its Christian origin. The list might go on indefinitely. It includes many another humanitarian projects and movements, ideals in government, the reform of prisons and the emergence of criminology, great art and architecture, and outstanding literature.
Kenneth Scott Latourette
The Cistercian monks built simple and harmonious buildings out of the local limestone, with plain colours and few ornaments. The plans involved regular repetitions: the doors, windows and roof vaults wouldn’t vary much, so that the eye would easily find points of reference. Everything felt solid and enduring. Our natural human frailty was to contrast with the immemorial tone of the masonry. The monks were particularly keen on cloisters: covered walkways opening onto a quiet central square around which one could take de-stressing walks even on a rainy afternoon. The abbey at Cîteaux was just one of thousands built with similar intentions over a period of hundreds of years. It’s not an accident that architecture that sets out to create a contemplative and serene atmosphere can easily get labelled ‘monastic’, though in truth there’s nothing inherently religious or Christian about the pursuit of calm. The longing for serenity is a continuing, widespread human need, although the overtly religious background to abbeys and monasteries has an unfortunate association: making calm places erroneously seem as if they were inherently connected to a belief in Jesus. We need to rediscover the search for calm as a fundamental ambition of all architecture, not least for the buildings of our own harried times.
The School of Life (Calm: Educate Yourself in the Art of Remaining Calm, and Learn how to Defend Yourself from Panic and Fury)
I must study politics and war,” wrote John Adams, “that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.” Adams saw clearly that politics is the indispensable foundation for things elegant and beautiful. First and above all else, you must secure life, liberty and the right to pursue your own happiness. That’s politics done right, hard-earned, often by war. And yet the glories yielded by such a successful politics lie outside itself. Its deepest purpose is to create the conditions for the cultivation of the finer things, beginning with philosophy and science, and ascending to the ever more delicate and refined arts. Note Adams’ double reference to architecture: The second generation must study naval architecture—a hybrid discipline of war, commerce and science—before the third can freely and securely study architecture for its own sake. The most optimistic implication of Adams’ dictum is that once the first generation gets the political essentials right, they remain intact to nurture the future. Yet he himself once said that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics)
His home was a part of him, an externalized expression of his will, for upon his inherited Dutch Manor house he had superimposed the Gothic magnificence which he desired. He had been attracted by the formulations of Andrew Downing, the young landscape architect who lived on the river at Newburgh and whose directions for building "romantic and picturesque villas" were changing the countryside; but it was not in Nicholas to accept another's ideas, and when five years ago he had remodeled the old Van Ryn homestead, he had used Downing simply as a guide. To the original ten rooms he had added twenty more, the gables and turrets, and the one high tower. The result, though reminiscent of a German Schloss on the Rhine, crossed with Tudor English and interwoven with pure fantasy, was nevertheless Hudson River American and not unsuited to its setting. The Dragonwyck gardens were as much as an expression of Nicholas' personality as was the mansion, for here, he had subdued Nature to a stylized ornateness. Between the untouched grove of hemlocks to the south and the slope of a rocky hill half a mile to the north he had created along the river an artificial and exotic beauty. To Miranda it was overpowering, and she felt dazed as they mounted marble steps from the landing. She was but vaguely conscious of the rose gardens and their pervasive scent, of small Greek temples set beneath weeping willows, of rock pavilions, violet-bordered fountains, and waterfalls.
Anya Seton (Dragonwyck)
In every age there are threads of continuity and discontinuity. What may be different from age to age is the political organization, the kind of economy that exists and how it works, the architectural style, the nature of the calamities that occur - such as war, famine, natural disasters, or social upheaval - the dominance or absence of religion, life expectancy, the scope of medical care, and any number of other factors that impinge on daily life. In these areas, life in seventeenth-century America, for example, was very different indeed from life in the twentieth. At the same time, if Christian assumptions can be accepted, life in these two times also shared some things. Human nature has remained unchanged as created and fallen, as has God in his character and purposes, as has the truth of the revelation he has given us in the Bible, as has the significance of his redemptive acts and most importantly the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. These have not changed. They are the threads that are woven through ages that, in many other ways, have no connections with each other at all. They give continuity to life amidst its many jarring discontinuities. For this reason, there is only one Gospel applicable to all people in all places and believed in the same way in every age. If this were not so, Christian faith would mean something entirely different today from what it meant last century, and faith would mean something entirely different in America than in Asia, Europe, or Africa.
David F. Wells (Losing Our Virtue)
The moral here is that nature and nurture should not be opposed. Pure learning, in the absence of any innate constraints, simply does not exist. Any learning algorithm contains, in one way or another, a set of assumptions about the domain to be learned. Rather than trying to learn everything from scratch, it is much more effective to rely on prior assumptions that clearly delineate the basic laws of the domain that must be explored, and integrate these laws into the very architecture of the system. The more innate assumptions there are, the faster learning is (provided, of course, that these assumptions are correct!). This is universally true. It would be wrong, for example, to think that the AlphaGo Zero software, which trained itself in Go by playing against itself, started from nothing: its initial representation included, among other things, knowledge of the topography and symmetries of the game, which divided the search space by a factor of eight. Our brain too is molded with assumptions of all kinds. Shortly, we will see that, at birth, babies' brains are already organized and knowledgeable. They know, implicitly, that the world is made of things that move only when pushed, without ever interpenetrating each other (solid objects)—and also that it contains much stranger entities that speak and move by themselves (people). No need to learn these laws: since they are true everywhere humans live, our genome hardwires them into the brain, thus constraining and speeding up learning. Babies do not have to learn everything about the world: their brains are full of innate constraints, and only the specific parameters that vary unpredictably (such as face shape, eye color, tone of voice, and individual tastes of the people around them) remain to be acquired.
Stanislas Dehaene (How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now)
If you leave off looking at books about beasts and men, if you begin to look at beasts and men then (if you have any humour or imagination, any sense of the frantic or the farcical) you will observe that the startling thing is not how like man is to the brutes, but how unlike he is. It is the monstrous scale of his divergence that requires an explanation. That man and brute are like is, in a sense, a truism; but that being so like they should then be so insanely unlike, that is the shock and the enigma. That an ape has hands is far less interesting to the philosopher than the fact that having hands he does next to nothing with them; does not play knuckle-bones or the violin; does not carve marble or carve mutton. People talk of barbaric architecture and debased art. But elephants do not build colossal temples of ivory even in a roccoco style; camels do not paint even bad pictures, though equipped with the material of many camel's-hair brushes. Certain modern dreamers say that ants and bees have a society superior to ours. They have, indeed, a civilization; but that very truth only reminds us that it is an inferior civilization. Who ever found an ant-hill decorated with the statues of celebrated ants? Who has seen a bee-hive carved with the images of gorgeous queens of old? No; the chasm between man and other creatures may have a natural explanation, but it is a chasm. We talk of wild animals; but man is the only wild animal. It is man that has broken out. All other animals are tame animals; following the rugged respectability of the tribe or type. All other animals are domestic animals; man alone is ever undomestic, either as a profligate or a monk. So that this first superficial reason for materialism is, if anything, a reason for its opposite; it is exactly where biology leaves off that all religion begins.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
If the ecological community is ever achieved in practice, social life will yield a sensitive development of human and natural diversity, falling together into a well balanced, harmonious whole. Ranging from community through region to entire continents, we will see a colorful differentiation of human groups and ecosystems, each developing its unique potentialities and exposing members of the community to a wide spectrum of economic, cultural and behavioral stimuli. Falling within our purview will be an exciting, often dramatic, variety of communal forms—here marked by architectural and industrial adaptations to semi-arid ecosystems, there to grasslands, elsewhere by adaptation to forested areas. We will witness a creative interplay between individual and group , community and environment, humanity and nature. The cast of mind that today organizes differences among humans and other lifeforms along hierarchical lines, defining the external in terms of its "superiority" or "inferiority," will give way to an outlook that deals with diversity in an ecological manner. Differences among people will be respected, indeed fostered, as elements that enrich the unity of experience and phenomena. The traditional relationship which pits subject against object will be altered qualitatively; the "external," the "different," the "other" will be conceived of as individual parts of a whole all the richer because of its complexity. This sense of unity will reflect the harmonization of interests between individuals and between society and nature. Freed from an oppressive routine, from paralyzing repressions and insecurities, from the burdens of toil and false needs, from the trammels of authority and irrational compulsion, individuals will finally, for the first time in history, be in a position to realize their potentialities as members of the human community and the natural world.
Murray Bookchin (Post-Scarcity Anarchism)
The world can be validly construed as a forum for action, as well as a place of things. We describe the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science. The techniques of narrative, however – myth, literature, and drama – portray the world as a forum for action. The two forms of representation have been unnecessarily set at odds, because we have not yet formed a clear picture of their respective domains. The domain of the former is the 'objective world' – what is, from the perspective of intersubjective perception. The domain of the latter is 'the world of value' – what is and what should be, from the perspective of emotion and action. The world as forum for action is 'composed,' essentially, of three constituent elements, which tend to manifest themselves in typical patterns of metaphoric representation. First is unexplored territory – the Great Mother, nature, creative and destructive, source and final resting place of all determinate things. Second is explored territory – the Great Father, culture, protective and tyrannical, cumulative ancestral wisdom. Third is the process that mediates between unexplored and explored territory – the Divine Son, the archetypal individual, creative exploratory 'Word' and vengeful adversary. We are adapted to this 'world of divine characters,' much as the 'objective world.' The fact of this adaptation implies that the environment is in 'reality' a forum for action, as well as a place of things. Unprotected exposure to unexplored territory produces fear. The individual is protected from such fear as a consequence of 'ritual imitation of the Great Father' – as a consequence of the adoption of group identity, which restricts the meaning of things, and confers predictability on social interactions. When identification with the group is made absolute, however – when everything has to be controlled, when the unknown is no longer allowed to exist – the creative exploratory process that updates the group can no longer manifest itself. This 'restriction of adaptive capacity' dramatically increases the probability of social aggression and chaos. Rejection of the unknown is tantamount to 'identification with the devil,' the mythological counterpart and eternal adversary of the world-creating exploratory hero. Such rejection and identification is a consequence of Luciferian pride, which states: all that I know is all that is necessary to know. This pride is totalitarian assumption of omniscience – is adoption of 'God’s place' by 'reason' – is something that inevitably generates a state of personal and social being indistinguishable from hell. This hell develops because creative exploration – impossible, without (humble) acknowledgment of the unknown – constitutes the process that constructs and maintains the protective adaptive structure that gives life much of its acceptable meaning. 'Identification with the devil' amplifies the dangers inherent in group identification, which tends of its own accord towards pathological stultification. Loyalty to personal interest – subjective meaning – can serve as an antidote to the overwhelming temptation constantly posed by the possibility of denying anomaly. Personal interest – subjective meaning – reveals itself at the juncture of explored and unexplored territory, and is indicative of participation in the process that ensures continued healthy individual and societal adaptation. Loyalty to personal interest is equivalent to identification with the archetypal hero – the 'savior' – who upholds his association with the creative 'Word' in the face of death, and in spite of group pressure to conform. Identification with the hero serves to decrease the unbearable motivational valence of the unknown; furthermore, provides the individual with a standpoint that simultaneously transcends and maintains the group.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
Modeling the evolution of modularity became significantly easier after a kind of genetic variation was discovered by quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in the lab of James Cheverud at Washington University called 'relationship QTL' or r-QTL for short. An r-QTL is a genetic locus that affects the correlations between two quantitative traits (i.e. their variational relationship, and therefore, 'relationship' loci). Surprisingly, a large fraction of these so-mapped loci are also neutral with respect to the character mean. This means one can select on these 'neutral' r-QTLs without simultaneously changing the character mean in a certain way. It was easy to show that differential directional selection on a character could easily lead a decrease in genetic correlation between characters. Of course, it is not guaranteed that each and every population has the right kind of r-QTL polymorphisms, nor is it yet clear what kind of genetic architecture allows for the existence of an r-QTL. Nevertheless, these findings make it plausible that differential directional selection can enhance the genetic/variational individuality of traits and, thus, may play a role in the origin of evolutionary novelties by selecting for variational individuality. It must be added, though, that there has been relatively little research in this area and that we will need to see more to determine whether we understand what is going on here, if anything. In particular, one difficulty is the mathematical modeling of gene interaction (epistasis), because the details of an epistasis model determine the outcome of the evolution by natural selection. One result shows that natural selection increases or decreases mutational variance, depending on whether the average epistatic effects are positive or negative. This means that the genetic architecture is more determined by the genetic architecture that we start with than by the nature of the selection forces that act upon it. In other words, the evolution of a genetic architecture could be arbitrary with respect to selection.
Günter Wagner (Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation)
If we understand that we are dirt, that God is the ground of all that is, well, then, we might think twice about how we treat soil. If water is the river of spiritual and physical life, we will care about what we are doing to watersheds. If air sustains us and we are made of stardust, then the sky and what happens to it matters. Knowing our own roots is the first step in knowing ourselves and recognizing our common humanity. Making a home is a radical act of claiming a place in the world. Being neighborly is the path to empathy, of enacting the Golden Rule. Building the commons, the “we” of our world house, is to pull the vision of heaven out of the clouds to earth here and now. We are constantly creating a sacred architecture of dwelling—of God’s dwelling and ours—as we weave nature and the built environment into a web of meaning. Awe and action are of a piece.
Diana Butler Bass (Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution)
It is true that ideas are queens by birth: but they only gain favour when they enter the service of interests and instincts. Follow an idea through from its birth to its triumph, and it becomes clear that it came to power only at the price of an astounding degradation of itself. A reasoned structure of arguments, setting in motion a whole stream of logical correspondences between defined terms, does not as such make its way into the social consciousness: rather it has undergone pressures which have destroyed its internal architecture, and left in its place only a confused babel of concepts, the most magical of which wins credit for the others.
Bertrand De Jouvenel (On Power. Its Nature and the History of Its Growth)
How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality created by the great gods or by the laws of nature. People are unequal, not because Hammurabi said so, but because Enlil and Marduk decreed it. People are equal, not because Thomas Jefferson said so, but because God created them that way. Free markets are the best economic system, not because Adam Smith said so, but because these are the immutable laws of nature. You also educate people thoroughly. From the moment they are born, you constantly remind them of the principles of the imagined order, which are incorporated into anything and everything. They are incorporated into fairy tales, dramas, paintings, songs, etiquette, political propaganda, architecture, recipes and fashions.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
there is always the chance that some experiment will show that those laws of motion and gravity are incorrect. That is the nature of scientific theories and laws: They are falsifiable but not provable.
Robert C. Martin (Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design)
To Morton Stone, all those first weeks at Meerlust had a strange, dream-like quality. The contours and smells of the country, the odd style of the house’s architecture, the stinkwood furniture and ancient brass with which its rooms were furnished, had an exotic flavour that left him slightly bewildered. They didn’t, naturally, bewilder Catherine at all. She was rapturously recapturing the days when she and Hans had been children together. To Morton there was something beautiful, and at the same time pathetic, in the quickness with which she responded to each remembered detail: the bird-song, the flowers that now bloomed in incredible profusion, the smell of the veld, the soft accents of Cape-Dutch dialect. It was pathetic for two reasons. First because these memories, which he could neither share nor understand, increased the distance between them; once again, because all her rapture was shadowed for him by the gloom of an in- definite apprehensiveness. This very excess of happiness took it out of her. She wasn’t, as he could see, and as the Malans’ Dutch doctor told him, any better for the change. It seemed to spur her to a morbid restlessness. She was catching at every memory, within, or just out of reach, as though some inward consciousness told her that the time for its enjoyment was limited. It irked her to find him, as it seemed to her, dull and unresponsive. As for Morton, the sense of impending disaster never left him. He could have faced it more easily, he felt, at home, amid familiar surroundings, than in this strange, unreal oasis of beauty, five thousand miles from anywhere.
Francis Brett Young (The Cage Bird and Other Stories)
Fine arts are are considered as seven sisters named as, Music, Sculpture, Literature , Drama, Architecture & Cinema. However in this digital age , another fine art is to be considered.To-day all seven fine art forms depend on photography for promotion, communication, documentation and survival. Photography should be called the eighth Fine Art.
Biju Karakkonam, Nature and Wildlife Photographer
My friends, I study politics and war, that my children may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My children study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Steven Rabb (The Founders' Speech to a Nation in Crisis: What the Founders would say to America today.)
Now to think of concrete as both natural and artificial demands a greater degree of mental agility than most of us can manage. So much is invested in the absoluteness of this distinction between natural and artificial , so necessary is it to our whole cosmology, that to admit that something can be both of these would be just too anxious-inducing. To avoid this, we habitually operate on the assumption that concrete is just artificial, or alternatively, just natural, but never both.
Iain Borden (Forty Ways to Think about Architecture: Architectural History and Theory Today)
What is necessary here is a conversion of mind to a sacramental vision of the world. Not just at Mass, but all the time, we are living in a sacramental reality: we inhabit both a visible and an invisible world; we make our way through an intermingling of the seen and unseen such that what happens on the visible plane has implications in the vast invisible world. Our bodies are sacramental, a mingling of the spiritual and the material; the Catholic understanding of what and how we eat, what we do sexually, how we treat those who are sick or dead, are pointers toward the way the whole world works. Plunging a person into water really can, under the right circumstances, transfer an immortal soul from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We walk in the presence of powerful invisible angelic beings not only when we might happen to think about them, but all the time. Touching another person involves two beings in spiritually meaningful contact. The world is an enchanted and dangerous and momentous place in which we are working out an incomprehensibly high destiny that transcends space and time. This view of the world is consonant with what natural sciences have discovered, but also goes beyond it. Once the realm beyond the natural world is seen and embraced, a whole set of doctrines becomes easier to understand and believe. What is true of the Eucharist and the sacraments is true of much of Catholic practice in other areas, as well. Catholic teaching on sex makes sense when embedded in a Catholic vision; it makes little sense under the subjectivist naturalist default vision of the current culture and can even appear morally bad. Obligations to attend Mass, duties of faithfulness in a difficult marriage or of obedience to incompetent superiors, the meaning of suffering, the very existence of a saving doctrine that needs to be believed, come alive to the understanding only when they are perceived as the natural outworking of a cosmic reality. This means that the exposition of the Gospel, in preaching and teaching and liturgy and architecture and the arts, needs to accent this conversion of mind.
University of Mary (From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age)
It seems therefore that our best attempts at explaining the beauty of works of abstract art like music and architecture involve linking them by chains of metaphor to human action, life and emotion. If we are to understand the nature of artistic meaning, therefore, we must first understand the logic of figurative language.
Roger Scruton (Beauty: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Environment and Development (The Sonnet) Environment is not more important than development, Development is not more important than environment. Since we no longer live in the wilderness as animals, We must make both work together in agreement. Why do we need to wipe out forests and lakes, To lay the foundation for growth and prosperity! With our achievements in science and tech, We can build modern cities nestled in greenery. Unfortunately, once the green of dollar starts rolling in, Green of nature goes out of the window. The real problem is the mindset of profits over people, It has nothing to do with our desire to grow. Let us find harmony between concrete and nature. Without harming earth, let us build green skyscrapers.
Abhijit Naskar (Giants in Jeans: 100 Sonnets of United Earth)
Let us find harmony between concrete and nature. Without harming earth, let us build green skyscrapers.
Abhijit Naskar (Giants in Jeans: 100 Sonnets of United Earth)
Lurking in roughly equal preeminence in humankind’s angst-ridden soul is an antipodal nature, a righteous persona manacled to an agathokakological creature. The species Homo sapiens creates art, literature, music, poetry, architecture, and developed mathematics and philosophy. This creature is also prone to homicide, equipped for rape and sadism, inclined towards religious violence and secular killings, and capable of torture and cannibalism.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
…the extent of Ronchamp’s resemblance to other things is exceptionally broad. Nor is it only an issue of extent. More is at stake. The nature of the building alters drastically when what it resembles cannot be traced back to Le Corbusier’s mind; it becomes less predictable and its meaning is less stable.
Robin Evans (The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries)
As a subject of behavioral study, nest architecture offers an appealing feature that practically no other behavior offer; namely, the nest is a perfect record of the collective digging effort of a colony, and once cast, is ready to study. By studying a series of casts of increasing size it is possible to describe the nest's growth and ontogeny, infer its species-typical characteristics, and bracket the range of variation. By doing this under different environments and soil types, possibly with transplanted colonies, it is possible to tease out the variation that the environment imposes on the architecture. The current study is only a small, initial step toward creating a field of nest architecture studies, whose ultimate goal is an understanding of how the nest emerges from self-organizing behavior, what function it serves, how it varies within and between species, and how it evolves. In addition, these casts reveal something previously unseen. The study of nest architecture is thus a true exploration of a hidden world that hold unsuspected beauty, patter, and complexity.
Walter Tschinkel
The vogue for geometrical architecture and painting came and went. Architects no longer care to build blockish skyscrapers like the Seagram Building in New York, once much hailed and copied. To Mandelbrot and his followers the reason is clear. Simple shapes are inhuman. They fail to resonate with the way nature organizes itself or with the way human perception sees the world. In the words of Gert Eilenberger, a German physicist who took up nonlinear science after specializing in superconductivity: “Why is it that the silhouette of a storm-bent leafless tree against an evening sky in winter is perceived as beautiful, but the corresponding silhouette of any multi-purpose university building is not, in spite of all efforts of the architect? The answer seems to me, even if somewhat speculative, to follow from the new insights into dynamical systems. Our feeling for beauty is inspired by the harmonious arrangement of order and disorder as it occurs in natural objects—in clouds, trees, mountain ranges, or snow crystals. The shapes of all these are dynamical processes jelled into physical forms, and particular combinations of order and disorder are typical for them.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
The known, our current story, protects us from the unknown, from chaos—which is to say, provides our experience with determinate and predictable structure. Chaos has a nature all of its own. That nature is experienced as affective valence, at first exposure, not as objective property. If something unknown or unpredictable occurs, while we are carrying out our motivated plans, we are first surprised. That surprise—which is a combination of apprehension and curiosity—comprises our instinctive emotional response to the occurrence of something we did not desire. The appearance of something unexpected is proof that we do not know how to act—by definition, as it is the production of what we want that we use as evidence for the integrity of our knowledge. If we are somewhere we don’t know how to act, we are (probably) in trouble—we might learn something new, but we are still in trouble.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
So much that it seems consistent only for porosity37—seen as a kind of productive fragility that overcomes rigid dualisms—to be the key concept by which the nature of the city is revealed and interpreted in all its profundity. Porosity is the principle of the true life of Naples: At the base of the cliff itself, where it touches the shore, caves have been hewn. As in the paintings of hermits from the Trecento, a door appears here and there in the cliffs. If it is open, one looks into large cellars that are at once sleeping places and storerooms. Steps also lead to the sea, to fishermen’s taverns that have been installed in natural grottoes. Faint light and thin music rise up from there in the evening. As porous as those stones is the architecture. Buildings and action merge in courtyards, arcades, and staircases. The space is preserved to act as a stage for new and unforeseen configurations. What is avoided is the definitive, the fully formed. No situation appears as it is, intended forever, no form asserts its “thus and not otherwise.” . . . Because nothing is finished and concluded. Porosity results not only from the indolence of the southern craftsman but above all from the passion for improvisation. For that space and opportunity must be preserved at all costs. Buildings are used as a popular stage. They are divided into innumerable theaters, animated simultaneously. All share innumerable stages, brought to life simultaneously. Balcony, forecourt, window, gateway, staircase, roof are at once stage and theater box. Even the most miserable wretch is sovereign in his dim, twofold awareness of contributing, however deprived he may be, to one of the images of the Neapolitan street that will never return and, in his poverty, the leisure of enjoying the grand panorama. What is played out on the stairs is the highest school in theatrical direction. The stairs, never entirely revealed, but closed off in the dull northern house-
Wolfram Eilenberger (Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy)
The descriptive nature of literature, after all, is far removed from the prescriptive nature that typifies the design disciplines.
Christoph Grafe (Oase 70: Architecture and Literature)
The Villa Savoye set out the tenets of modernism , while Fallingwater showed that there could be another , more organic path for contemporary architecture . The Farnsworth Residence took the house to the logical , transparent limits of modernism , whereas Niemeyer's House at Canoas confirmed Wright's engagement with nature while taking the idea to a more sensual level . Gehry led the way for contemporary architecture to strike out into the realm of art , while Koolhaas embodied the late 20th - century angst by putting a void at the center of a house . Each of these significant examples plays a justifiable part in the evolution of modern architecture .
Philip Jodidio (100 Contemporary Houses)
Structural truth at all costs war their motto and all buildings which attempted to conceal the true nature of their construction, or to disguise the materials in which they were carried out, stood convicted of acting a lie. That a high proportion of the buildings which many generations of man-kind had agreed to regard as masterpieces failed to reach this exalted standard was held to be quite irrelevant. Unfortunately the new theory did not in practice prove quite so easy to carry out satisfactorily as hoped. Simplicity is not invariably and on every occasion a virtue, and while desperate attempts to lend some transient interest to a hopelessly uninspired structure by a top-dressing of cornice and pilasters are doubtless reprehensible, the bright, unvarnished truth tends too often to be even more depressing. After all few of us, by and large, look our best in the nude.
Osbert Lancaster (Here, of All Places)
No one here ever tells us out loud that we Etonians are natural leaders: that is what the architecture is for. In one of the rooms, where students gather now and then, I find the mounted bust of every boy who has gone on to be the leader of the country. My boarding houses look like government buildings.
Musa Okwonga (One of Them)
Buildings dream at night, and their dreams have a particular character. Or perhaps at night they awaken. There is nothing cordial or accommodating about buildings, whatever they might let people believe. The stresses of simply standing there, preposterous constructions, Euclidian like nothing in nature, the ground heaving under them, rain seeping in while their joints go slack with rot. They speak disgruntlement, creaks and groans, and less nameable sounds that suggest presence of the kind that is conjured only by emptiness. Grudges, plaints, and threats, an interior conversation, not meant to be heard, that would startle anyone. Jack had never realized before that the city, the parts he knew of it, might despise its human infestation.
Marilynne Robinson (Jack)
I had two great passions at the time: one magical and ethereal, which was reading, and the other mundane and predictable, which was pursuing silly love affairs. Concerning my literary ambitions, my successes went from slender to nonexistent. During those years I started a hundred woefully bad novels that died along the way, hundreds of short stories, plays, radio serials, and even poems that I wouldn't let anyone read, for their own good. I only needed to read them myself to see how much I still had to learn and what little progress I was making, despite the desire and enthusiasm I put into it. I was forever rereading Carax's novels and those of countless authors I borrowed from my parent's bookshop. I tried to pull them apart as if they were transistor radios, or the engine of a Rolls-Royce, hoping I would be able to figure out how they were built and how and why they worked. I'd read something in a newspaper about some Japanese engineers who practiced something called reverse engineering. Apparently these industrious gentlemen disassembled an engine to its last piece, analyzing the function of each bit, the dynamics of the whole, and the interior design of the device to work out the mathematics that supported its operation. My mother had a brother who worked as an engineer in Germany, so I told myself that there must be something in my genes that would allow me to do the same thing with a book or with a story. Every day I became more convinced that good literature has little or nothing to do with trivial fancies such as 'inspiration' or 'having something to tell' and more with the engineering of language, with the architecture of the narrative, with the painting of textures, with the timbres and colors of the staging, with the cinematography of words, and the music that can be produced by an orchestra of ideas. My second great occupation, or I should say my first, was far more suited to comedy, and at times touched on farce. There was a time in which I fell in love on a weekly basis, something that, in hindsight, I don't recommend. I fell in love with a look, a voice, and above all with what was tightly concealed under those fine-wool dresses worn by the young girls of my time. 'That isn't love, it's a fever,' Fermín would specify. 'At your age it is chemically impossible to tell the difference. Mother Nature brings on these tricks to repopulate the planet by injecting hormones and a raft of idiocies into young people's veins so there's enough cannon fodder available for them to reproduce like rabbits and at the same time sacrifice themselves in the name of whatever is parroted by bankers, clerics, and revolutionary visionaries in dire need of idealists, imbeciles, and other plagues that will prevent the world from evolving and make sure it always stays the same.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Having taken proper notice of the complexity of the machine [...] the infinity of ropes and cords, the sails, the varying forces that act upon them, and the skill required to manage the whole, directing the vessel in the desired direction [...] what pity it is that an art so important, so difficult, and so intimately concerned with the invariable laws of mechanical nature, should be so held by its possessors that it cannot improve but must die with each individual. Having no advantages of previous education, they cannot arrange their thoughts; they can scarcely be said to think. They can far less express or communicate to others the intuitive knowledge which they possess; and their art, acquired by habit alone, is little different from an instinct. We are as little entitled to expect improvement here as in the architecture of the bee or the beaver. The species cannot improve.
Patrick O'Brian (The Ionian Mission (Aubrey & Maturin #8))
It may be cheap, but it should also be sturdy. What must be avoided at all costs is dishonest, distorted and ornate work. What must be sought is the natural, direct, simple, sturdy and safe. Confining beauty to visual appreciation and excluding the beauty of practical objects has proven to be a grave error on the part of modern man. A true appreciation of beauty cannot be fostered by ignoring practical handicrafts. After all, there is no greater opportunity for appreciating beauty than through its use in our daily lives, no greater opportunity for coming into direct contact with the beautiful. It was the tea masters who first recognized this fact. Their profound aesthetic insight came as a result of their experience with utilitarian objects. If life and beauty are treated as belonging to different realms, our aesthetic sensibilities will gradually wither and decline. It is said that someone living in proximity to a flowering garden grows insensitive to its fragrance. Likewise, when one becomes too familiar with a sight, one loses the ability to truly see it. Habit robs us of the power to perceive anew, much less the power to be moved. Thus it has taken us all these years, all these ages, to detect the beauty in common objects. The world of utility and the world of beauty are not separate realms. Users and the used have exchanged a vow: the more an object is used the more beautiful it will become and the more the user uses an object, the more the object will be used. When machines are in control, the beauty they produce is cold and shallow. It is the human hand that creates subtlety and warmth. Weakness cannot withstand the rigors of daily use. The true meaning of the tea ceremony is being forgotten. The beauty of the way of tea should be the beauty of the ordinary, the beauty of honest poverty. Equating the expensive with the beautiful cannot be a point of pride. Under the snow's reflected light creeping into the houses, beneath the dim lamplight, various types of manual work are taken up. This is how time is forgotten; this is how work absorbs the hours and days. yet there is work to do, work to be done with the hands. Once this work begins, the clock no longer measures the passage of time. The history of kogin is the history of utility being transformed into beauty. Through their own efforts, these people made their daily lives more beautiful. This is the true calling, the mission, of handicrafts. We are drawn by that beauty and we have much to learn from it. As rich as it is, America is perhaps unrivalled for its vulgar lack of propriety and decorum, which may account for its having the world's highest crime rate. The art of empty space seen in the Nanga school of monochrome painting and the abstract, free-flowing art of calligraphy have already begun to exert considerable influence on the West. Asian art represents a latent treasure trove of immense and wide-reaching value for the future and that is precisely because it presents a sharp contrast to Western art. No other country has pursued the art of imperfection as eagerly as Japan. Just as Western art and architecture owe much to the sponsorship of the House of Medici during the Reformation, tea and Noh owe much to the protection of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa ( 1436-1490 ). The most brilliant era of Japanese culture, the Higashiyama period ( 1443-1490 ). Literally, sabi commonly means "loneliness" but as a Buddhist term it originally referred to the cessation of attachment. The beauty of tea is the beauty of sabi. It might also be called the beauty of poverty or in our day it might be simply be called the beauty of simplicity. The tea masters familiar with this beauty were called sukisha-ki meaning "lacking". The sukisha were masters of enjoying what was lacking.
Soetsu Yanagi (The Beauty of Everyday Things)
UNCONVENTIONAL DESTINATION WEDDING LOCALES Destination Wedding Jan 6 This wedding season, fall in love with endearing unconventional destination wedding locales Theme Weavers Designs Since all the travel restrictions have been lifted, destination weddings are back in vogue. However, the pandemic has led to a major paradigm shift. In this case, Indian couples are looking into hidden gems to take on as their wedding destination, instead of opting for an international location. With the rich cultural heritage and a myriad of local traditions, it has been observed by industry insiders that couples feel closer to their past and history after getting married in a regional wedding destination. At the same time, it is a very cumbersome task to find the perfect wedding destination - it has to be perfectly balanced in terms of the services it offers as well as having breathtaking views. This wedding season, choose something offbeat, by opting for an unexplored destination, that is both visually appealing and has a romantic vibe to them. Start off your wedding journey with an auspicious location. Rishikesh, on the banks of the holy river Ganges is one of the most sacred places a couple can tie the knot. This tiny town’s interesting traditions, picturesque locales, and ancient customs make this one of the most underrated places to get married in india. Perfect for a riverside wedding in extravagant outdoor tents, this wedding season, it is high time Rishikesh gets the hype it deserves. “The Glasshouse on the Ganges,” is one of the most stunning places to get married. While becoming informed travellers, this place is interred with a vast and vibrant cultural history. It offers an extremely unique experience as it revitalises ruined architectural wonders for the couple to tour or get married in, making it a heartwarming and wonderful experience for all those who are involved. Steep your wedding party in the lap of nature, in Naukuchiatal, Nainital, Uttarakhand. This place is commonly referred to as “treasure of natural beauty,” where it offers mesmerising natural spectacles for a couple to get married in a gorgeous outdoor ceremony. Away from the hustle and bustle of the urban jungles that have slowly been taking over the Indian subcontinent, this location provides a much needed breath of fresh air. This location also provides much needed reprieve from the fast paced lifestyle that we live, making a wedding a truly relaxing affair. As this is a quaint hill station, surrounded with lush greens, there are numerous ideas to create a natural and sustainable wedding. The most distinguishing feature of this location is the nine-cornered lake, situated 1,220 m above sea level. There is something classic and timeless about the Kerala backwaters. This location is enriching and chock full of unique cultural traditions. With spectacular and awe-inspiring views of the backwaters, Kumarakom in Kerala easily qualifies as one of the top wedding destinations in india. Just like Naukuchiatal, this space is a study in serenity, where it is far away from the noisy streets and bazaars. Perfect for a cozy and intimate wedding, the Kerala backwaters are a gorgeous choice for couples who are opting for a socially distant wedding, along with having a lot of indigenous flora and fauna. Punctuated with the salty sea and the sultry air, the backwaters in Kerala are an underrated gem that presents couples with a unique wedding location that is perfect for a historical and regal wedding. The beaches of Goa and the forts of Rajasthan are a classic for a reason, but at the same time, they can get boring. Couples have been exploring more underrated wedding locations in order to experience the diverse local cultures of India that can also host their weddings
Theme Weavers
Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp can be seen as a crab, a duck, a hand, a hat and much else. Utzon’s Sydney Opera House can be seen as shells, a flower, or sails. The soaring curves of Saarinen’s TWA terminal in New York symbolise flight. The Archigram building concepts of the 1960s were designed as pods. Significantly, all these buildings were curvilinear. Curves ‘carry’ ideas from the natural world. Rectilinearity [stet] is a metaphor for intellectualism and the works of man. Renaissance architecture was a metaphor for reason and delight, restoring order after the chaos of the Middle Ages. Thoreau’s house, by Walden Pond, was a New Englander’s protest against materialism. Hundertwasser’s Viennese architecture is a metaphor for the reassertion of nature and emotion, after the brutalism of the twentieth century.
Tom Turner (City as Landscape: A Post Post-Modern View of Design and Planning)
The soul seems to consist of billions of stars of dreams and hopes. We are unknown worlds even for ourselves, our mood and sensations are nature. In space, you can live billions of lives and billions of moods as moods of nature. An endless abundance of varieties of images of life experiences, the universe lulls us with dreams and depth of knowledge. 2. Life is a philosophical lens Life is how we see it, it is the philosophical lens of a video camera in our minds, the philosophical video effect of the video of our memory. 3. Genes and philosophy Chemistry anatomical biology develops gene philosophy. 4. Money is an evolutionary, infantile stagnation in the development of the brain. At the expense of money, a person seeks to return to childhood and stay there. 5. Advertising is a lawyer who, through hypnosis, proves the genius or stupidity of a person or a product through herd instinct, to elevate or destroy. Advertising can turn a criminal into a victim. Advertising does not care which side it is on, it matters who pays more. Advertising manipulates selfishness, it creates the illusion of general selfishness that unites and creates the mass thinking of conformism. All that you see around you is all advertising. Advertising is music, cinema, literature, everything related to the visual arts, science, philosophy, culture, etc. All this is a temporary fashionable propaganda of thinking. Manipulation through advertising where you have been convinced of something for centuries. 6. Inflation and exchange rates will increase the number of divorces, more orphans and single-parent families. 7. The genitals hinder the evolutionary development of the brain, since the trends of modern culture develop at the expense of the genitals, inflation, egoism, infantilism, etc. The world will heal profundity. 8. Selfishness is an abstraction of lies, surrealism of self-deception. 9. Marketing of selfish dogmas and propaganda is the architecture of modern thinking in which modern theories and hypotheses and other kinds of opinions are placed that grow to the level of dogmas. 10. The human world is built through knowledge, namely through awareness. Books are a pillar and foundation. But awareness is the very building piercing the clouds, the building of the universe soaring into space like a spaceship plows through the depths of space of profundity. We reach the pinnacle of knowledge through the experience and opinions of other people who comprehend this world with the help of intuition, which is the main navigator in the development of culture and science. A person feels the weight of the evolutionary degeneration of the brain and heart and soul. The mind gains wings and freedom. The source of knowledge fills life with meaning so everything converges in its place and becomes understandable and the fear of ignorance decreases. Thinking is built at the expense of books, but intuition is a wormhole into endless depths of awareness and a look into the future. The abundance of opinions of theories of hypotheses speaks of ignorance and selfishness of vanity. Through books we learn the anatomy of philosophy. In books we accumulate someone else's experience and other people's insights and feel more fulfilling and more alive. Author: Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich.
This four squareness was a talismanic assurance of permanence and stability. The thought that, as the heavens were stable upon the earth, so any building four square with them would be immovable, seems, as we have seen, a natural analogy.
William Richard Lethaby (Architecture, Mysticism and Myth)
There’s a very important horseshoe-shaped bone in our throats called the hyoid. It sits under the chin, the horns pointing backwards, and moves up and down when we swallow. It’s intricately carved to accommodate twelve different muscle attachments, which gives us an idea of what a sophisticated piece of bone it is. Birds, mammals and reptiles all have versions of hyoids, but ours are much more intricate than all others, which is a reflection of the complex anatomical architecture required to create the vast range of sounds that comes so naturally to us, in combination with fine motor control of the muscles of the larynx and face. We think Neanderthals also had similarly elaborate hyoids, at least based on one specimen found in the Kebara Cave in Israel. Their overall anatomy was different from ours, not by much but enough for us to speculate that their hyoid would have been doing slightly different things to ours. But none of this is enough to think that Neanderthals couldn’t speak; they had similar genetics, neuroscience and anatomy. That, for now, is the best we can do.
Adam Rutherford (The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us)
We might appreciate the art and architecture, music and literature that has emerged in religious contexts through time. But as ways of understanding the reality of the material universe, religious ideas themselves are out of date. The natural world is wonderful enough, without imagining a supernatural dimension to it.
Andrew Copson (The Little Book of Humanism: Universal lessons on finding purpose, meaning and joy)
The Englishmen in the Middle East divided into two classes. Class one, subtle and insinuating, caught the characteristics of the people about him, their speech, their conventions of thought, almost their manner. He directed men secretly, guiding them as he would. In such frictionless habit of influence his own nature lay hid, unnoticed. Class two, the John Bull of the books, became the more rampantly English the longer he was away from England. He invented an Old Country for himself, a home of all remembered virtues, so splendid in the distance that, on return, he often found reality a sad falling off and withdrew his muddle-headed self into fractious advocacy of the good old times. Abroad, through his armoured certainty, he was a rounded sample of our traits. He showed the complete Englishman. There was friction in his track, and his direction was less smooth than that of the intellectual type: yet his stout example cut wider swathe. Both sorts took the same direction in example, one vociferously, the other by implication. Each assumed the Englishman a chosen being, inimitable, and the copying him blasphemous or impertinent. In this conceit they urged on people the next best thing. God had not given it them to be English; a duty remained to be good of their type. Consequently we admired native custom; studied the language; wrote books about its architecture, folklore, and dying industries. Then one day, we woke up to find this chthonic spirit turned political, and shook our heads with sorrow over its ungrateful nationalism - truly the fine flower of our innocent efforts. The French, though they started with a similar doctrine of the Frenchman as the perfection of mankind (dogma amongst them, not secret instinct), went on, contrarily, to encourage their subjects to imitate them; since, even if they could never attain the true level, yet their virtue would be greater as they approached it. We looked upon imitation as a parody; they as a compliment.
T.E. Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
The 'natural,' pre-experimental, or mythical mind is in fact primarily concerned with meaning - which is essentially implication for action - and not with 'objective' nature.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
Never give up on intimate friendships or science or nature. They have always saved us, and they will again. And love is the mastermind of it all... We need to stop racing and to savor beauty, to look up from our screens at the weather, one another's faces, the ocean, the desert, a garden, and architecture, which is another kind of garden.
Anne Lamott (Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage)
To maximize pleasure and to minimize pain - in that order - were characteristic Enlightenment concerns. This generally more receptive attitude toward good feeling and pleasure would have significant long-term consequences. It is a critical difference separating Enlightenment views on happiness from those of the ancients. There is another, however, of equal importance: that of ambition and scale. Although the philosophers of the principal classical schools sought valiantly to minimize the role of chance as a determinant of human happiness, they were never in a position to abolish it entirely. Neither, for that matter, were the philosophers of the eighteenth century, who, like men and women at all times, were forced to grapple with apparently random upheavals and terrible reversals of forture. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 is an awful case in point. Striking on All Saints' Day while the majority of Lisbon's inhabitants were attending mass, the earthquake was followed by a tidal wave and terrible fires that destroyed much of the city and took the lives of tens of thousands of men and women. 'Quel triste jeu de hasard que le jeu de la vie humaine,' Voltaire was moved to reflect shortly thereafter: 'What a sad game of chance is this game of human life.' He was not alone in reexamining his more sanguine assumptions of earlier in the century, doubting the natural harmony of the universe and the possibilities of 'paradise on earth'; the catastrophe provoked widespread reflection on the apparent 'fatality of evil' and the random occurrence of senseless suffering. It was shortly thereafter that Voltaire produced his dark masterpiece, Candide, which mocks the pretension that this is the best of all possible worlds. And yet, in many ways, the incredulity expressed by educated Europeans in the earthquake's aftermath is a more interesting index of received assumptions, for it demonstrates the degree to which such random disasters were becoming, if not less common, at least less expected. Their power to shock was magnified accordingly, but only because the predictability and security of daily existence were increasing, along with the ability to control the consequences of unforeseen disaster. When the Enlightened Marquis of Pombal, the First Minister of Portugal, set about rebuilding Lisbon after the earthquake, he paid great attention to modern principles of architecture and central planning to help ensure that if such a calamity were to strike again, the effects would be less severe. To this day, the rebuilt Lisbon of Pombal stands as an embodiment of Enlightened ideas. Thus, although eighteenth-century minds did not - and could not - succeed in mastering the random occurrences of the universe, they could - and did - conceive of exerting much greater control over nature and human affairs. Encouraged by the examples of Newtonian physics, they dreamed of understanding not only the laws of the physical universe but the moral and human laws as well, hoping one day to lay out with precision what the Italian scholar Giambattista Vico described as a 'new science' of society and man. It was in the eighteenth century, accordingly, that the human and social sciences were born, and so it is hardly surprising that observers turned their attention to studying happiness in similar terms. Whereas classical sages had aimed to cultivate a rarified ethical elite - attempting to bring happiness to a select circle of disciples, or at most to the active citizens of the polis - Enlightenment visionaries dreamed of bringing happiness to entire societies and even to humanity as a whole.
Darrin M. McMahon (Happiness: A History)
Natural materials express their age, as well as the story of their origins and their history of human use. All matter exists in the continuum of time; the patina of wear adds the enriching experience of time to the materials of construction […] Buildings of this technological era usually deliberately aim at ageless perfection, and they do not incorporate the dimension of time, or the unavoidable and mentally significant processes of aging. This fear of the traces of wear and age is related to our fear of death.
Juhani Pallasmaa (The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses)
The first age of pyramid building – the half-century from Djoser to Sneferu – had seen an intellectual revolution conducted in architecture and stone images. And part of that took place within this limestone temple, with the dust of pyramid making rising from the desert plain behind them, as some of Sneferu’s courtiers and craftsmen created images personifying the various aspects of the kingdom, from the rhythms of the river and the order of the state to the gods themselves; and all of them identified, drawn and situated as elements of the economic engine, natural and man-made, that would fuel the pharaonic state till its ending.
John Romer (A History of Ancient Egypt: From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid)
It seems to me," he said, "that we as a society have come to overlook the second clause. We hear only 'Take what you want, says God'; nobody mentions a price, and when it comes time to settle the score, everyone's outraged. Take the national economic explosion, as the most obvious example: that's come at a price, and a very steep one, to my mind. We have sushi bars and SUVs, but people our age can't afford homes in the city where they grew up, so centuries-old communities are disintegrating like sand castles. People spend five or six hours a day in traffic; parents never see their children, because they both have to work overtime to make ends meet. We no longer have time for culture--theaters are closing, architecture is being wrecked to make way for office blocks. And so on and so forth." He didn't sound even mildly indignant, only absorbed. "I don't consider this anything to become incensed about," he said, reading my look. "In fact, it shouldn't be remotely surprising to anyone. We've taken what we wanted and we're paying for it, and no doubt many people feel that on balance the deal is a good one. What I do find surprising is the frantic silence that surrounds this price. The politicians tell us, constantly, that we live in Utopia. If anyone with any visibility ever suggests that this bliss may not come free, then that dreadful little man--what's his name? the prime minister--comes on the television, not to point out that this toll is the law of nature, but to deny furiously that it exists and to scold us like children for mentioning it. I finally had to get rid of the television," he added, a little peevishly. "We've become a nation of defaulters: we buy on credit, and when the bill comes in, we're so deeply outraged that we refuse even to look at it.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
I find it absurd to use nature as an analogy, to translate it or to utilise it as a metaphor for architecture. I believe it is always an expression of weakness, when an architect uses something else for explaining his own work other than the architecture itself.
Eth Zurich (Natural Metaphor)
For instance, Le Corbusier and Amedee Ozenfant proposed a theory of painting and architecture which would be based primarily on Platonic forms: cones, spheres, cylinders, cubes, etc. They argued that only these simple forms were universal, and that they would in fact set off "identical sensations" in "everyone on earth- a Frenchman, a Negro, a Laplander”. In essence they were arguing for a universal language of the emotions- Purisme which would cut through the Babel of contending, eclectic languages. The individual words of this language would be the psychophysical constants found by psychologists. A flat line would mean "repose," a blue color "sadness,'' a jagged, diagonal line "activity,'' and so on until the whole gamut of emotions” (82>83) had been built up. They argued, as Plato often did, that nature had constructed within us a fixed language based on efficiency, geometry and function; this language of the emotions was the most economical and pure one-hence Purisme.
Charles Jencks (Adhocism: The case for improvisation)
En estado natural, por decirlo de algún modo, a los seres humanos no les gusta pensar como lógicos, ni siquiera como empiristas. Hace falta entrenamiento para pensar así. Pero aun en ausencia de ese entrenamiento, seguimos pensando, aunque lo hacemos de manera más subjetiva, como seres -poco razonables-, idiosincráticos, emocionales que habitan unos cuerpos de tamaño determinado, con unas propiedades particulares y constreñidas.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
The work of the herbalist is to understand the intricate patterns of Nature and how they are woven into the architecture of people and plants, to see them as mirror images of the Earth and cosmos, parts that contain the whole.
Sajah Popham (Evolutionary Herbalism: Science, Spirituality, and Medicine from the Heart of Nature)
El miedo es la postura a priori, la respuesta natural a todo para lo que no se ha designado e incorporado una estructura de adaptación conductual.
Jordan B. Peterson (Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief)
But early capitalism did more than just separate men and women into distinct sexes. It made it possible for men to subordinate women in a new kind of hierarchical social order. The world was now comprised of males who gained prestige by killing (for example, as hunters or soldiers), and females who were destined by nature to give life; creative males who altered the earth through agriculture, art, architecture, and other kinds of production, and procreative females who merely reproduced. Women, in the words of Simone de Beauvoir, were “more enslaved” to the animality of the human species.10
Roy Richard Grinker (Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness)
There is no obvious survival advantage in experiencing these views, just as our delight in walking the streets of any well-preserved medieval town has nothing directly to do with improving our adaptive capability. The fact is that there is a whole realm of emotional experience which seems to refer back to a pre-rational relationship between humans and the natural environment. This is what archetypal symbols are all about – ‘arche’, the beginning.
Peter F. Smith (The Dynamics of Delight: Architecture and Aesthetics)
The question to round off this exploration of townscape is this: does the magic of places gradually drain away through familiarity? How do we counter those who claim that the worm that corrupts our delight in cities is habituation ? Fine for visitors, but what about inhabitants who see their town or city day after day? // The answer lies in the nature of emotional reward. If habituation really was the killer, then we would not bother to hear repeats of Brahms or Britten; we would have no wish to return to Florence or Prague. The fact is, the more places engage with the emotions the more resilient they are to erosion by habituation.
Peter F. Smith (The Dynamics of Delight: Architecture and Aesthetics)
When you stand, you bear weight on the only structures in the body that have specifically evolved to hold you up in the uniquely human stance—the feet. The architecture of the feet, along with their musculature, shows nature’s unmatched ability to reconcile and neutralize opposing forces.
Leslie Kaminoff (Yoga Anatomy)
The strengths landscape architecture draws from its garden design heritage include: the Vitruvian design tradition of balancing utility, firmness and beauty; use of the word 'landscape' to mean 'a good place' - as the objective of the design process; a comprehensive approach to open space planning involving city parks, greenways and nature outside towns; a planning theory about the contextualisation of development projects; the principle that development plans should be adapted to their landscape context.
Tom Turner (Garden History: Philosophy and Design 2000 BC - 2000 Ad)
A student of Syrian affairs soon becomes used to paradox. A comparatively small country, narrowly chauvinistic and jealous of its national sovereignty, Syria is nevertheless the repository, and has often been the origin, of oecumenical and transcendental ideas about Arab unity. Its society is one of the most heterogeneous in the Middle East and yet its leaders have been the proponents of a radical integrative political movement: Arab Nationalism. It has kindly and hospitable inhabitants, but it is also a police state where a man can be locked up indefinitely without a trial. Your Syrian friends are your friends for life, but a curious current of xenophobia runs through the country. Syrians love culture and natural beauty, but the ugliness of many Syrians towns and their architecture has to be seen to be believed.
David Roberts (The Ba'th and the Creation of Modern Syria)