Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Alejandro Aravena, part of Urbanized.
I think, in general, architecture is a very irrelevant profession. Architects themselves have promoted the discipline as a kind of aesthetic operation with a better taste than the average, and that's why, when you are dealing with complex issues, or with any kind of scarcity, the time, political will, money, coordination, then that extra added aesthetic value goes, "Well, maybe next time." I mean, "This is too hard for you to come in here.
"Maybe next time. "Maybe we have time and we have money "and things are easier." Architects have looked for that kind of permission to be creative and to prove that they're geniuses, and they're not want to enter the gray areas where you have to get dirty and negotiate. I guess that's why we tend not to have power. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of every project just explaining that we're okay with constraints.
The first assumption people make is that we as architects are going to add some costs to the entire picture, so for the first thing we try to do, is say, "Don't worry. "Give me the constraints. "Give me the margin. "Give me the timeline. "Give me everything. "I'm going to work and play within that set of rules, "but within that try to bring things "to the next step," because if there's any power in what we do it's that power of synthesis. I guess that there's a big challenge for the profession to be able to accept all these gray areas, to be just one more piece in the big picture.
We do have a very strong power and strong tools, so I think we should have enough confidence to let things go, to start from, not from ourselves, the things will have a life on their own afterwards. If you're confident in what you know, you shouldn't have any problem with that, and I guess the question of controlling everything of architects, that prevents them to go into more complex issues, in the end it's nothing but a sign of weakness.
Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren't created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact on improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.
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