The End of Architecture?

There was once a steady and dignified profession, one that combined skill and competence in technology with an artistic sensibility.

Its practitioners underwent an extensive and intense training and I am almost sure that at that time, people thought it was the hippest profession possible.

I am of course talking about sixteenth century gunsmiths.

I once stumbled across a sentence by Vittorio Gregotti where he hoped that architects would not be future unemployed, like the gunsmiths of the past that have now become redundant. And it dawned on me: architecture will one-day end, either killed by a golden bullet of an invention, or slowly teared apart by its neighbors and family. Perhaps everything will turn into architecture?

Maybe we will be left with a rich iconography, but with nothing else to show for it.

Weapons did not disappear as much as inhabitation won’t either (at least for a few billion years), what disappeared was a profession that was based in giving meaning and cultural significance to a very basic (from “essential”, not “simple”) object: a gun.

The same applies to architecture: architecture is not building; it is meaning given to the act of building. Mark Wigley said it well when he stated that architects are the only people that don’t know what a building is.

So what can you expect from this blog? Everything that is architecture and that is not built. Complicated? Come by often and it will become clearer.



  1. Bárbara Maçães

    It seems like a lot of professions whose job was to reflect on (social) meaning, to construct a public discourse, or act as a common conscience are living with the imminence of an announced death. Art is maybe at the forefront, and much has been said about that, mostly on how it has been killed by spectacle.
    Interesting topic, will def follow. 🙂

  2. DLA

    Yes… And we should try to understand why. Every breakthrough in technology should have a cultural response.
    Keep visiting and commenting!

  3. Pingback: Patience « End of Architecture

  4. keep up hope, thought I understand where you are coming from : )

  5. Would it be fair to say technology should serve cultural experimentation as an underpinning for refining civilization as opposed to blind progress? Thanks for the reblog.

    • DLA

      Thanks for commenting Odin. I think Culture is about doing something with technology. The medium is the message, in a lot of profound ways. The point I wish to make in this blog is that the messages that architecture can channnel are very much related to its physical properties and potential which are specific and very different from say, books or furniture or telephones or tv shows. To overcome some of the limitations of buildings, architecture, as the westerners of the 16th Century, had to start colonizing more fertile ground. Keep passing by and congratulations on your own blog.

  6. Beverly Hills Graphic Design

    Great article!

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