Esther Sperber: Home and the Poetics of Space

Posted on

– The BFA Interior DesignDepartment and Student Health and Counseling Services atthe School of Visual Arts, which is very well-representedat the front row, here, (laughing) present Home and the Poetics of Space.

It's a presentation by Esther Sperber and Nava Steiner.

Esther Sperber foundedStudio ST Architects in 2003 after working atPei Partnerships Architects for five years, during whichtime she had the privilege of working closely with Mr.

I.

M.

Pei.

She's born and raisedin Jerusalem, Israel.

She completed herundergraduate work at Technion and came to New York in 1997 to complete a master'sdegree at architecture at Columbia University.

Esther writes and lectures on architecture and psychoanalysis.

Just a little bit aboutStudio ST Architects, it's a full service,woman-owned architectural firm located in Manhattan.

It is dedicated to exploringthe embedded logic of materials and structures to generatenew spacial experiences.

The firm believes in innovativeand responsible design and is committed to sustainable buildings.

So at this time I'd like tofirst welcome Esther Sperber followed by Nava Steiner.

Thank you so much.

You're welcome.

(clapping) – Hi, thank you.

Thank you, Navata, for inviting me, and I'm really happy to be here.

I have to say, I've spoken to architects and interior designers, andI've spoken to psychologists, but I've never spoken to a mixed crowd.

So I'm excited to try this experiment.

Home.

What a wonderful andprovocative word and idea for an architect who love psychoanalysis.

A word that evokes layersof feelings, memories, hopes, along with need,loss, and mortality.

I'd like to explore the notion of a home from three perspectives.

I invite you to join me as we enter through a few memoriesof my own childhood.

I will then turn to sometheoretical structures that frame my understanding ofthe architectural experience.

And I will end with constructive thoughts on how we design homes for clients.

Have you noticed how heavily our language relies on architectural metaphors? We enter a discussion,we structure a deal, there are foundationsand overarching ideas, thresholds, cornerstones, we envelop, we shelter, we contain.

Here's a little assignment.

Try to think, while we're speaking, of other words like thatcome from architecture that we use just to talkabout thinking and feeling.

Let's enter through the front doorway that Gaston Bachelard,the French philosopher and phenomenologist, invitesus to use in his book, "The Poetics of Space,"which inspired the title of this presentation.

He writes, "If I were toname the chief benefit "of the house, I should saythe house shelters dreaming, "the house protects the dreamer, "the house allows one to dream in peace.

"Thought and experienceare not the only things "that sanction human value.

"The value that belongs todaydreaming marks humanity "in its depth, it derives direct pleasure "from its own being.

" And he continues, "Now my aim is clear.

"I must show that the houseis one of the greatest powers "of integration of thoughts and memories "and dreams of mankind.

"The binding principle in thisintegration is the daydream.

" Bachelard's work aspiresto expand the range of what we see as human thought, and to position daydreamingand imagination at the center, alongside or perhaps even inplace of rational thinking.

For Bachelard, the home is the sanctuary in which daydreaming, andthese kind of thoughts, can take place.

The word home, of course, is not identical to the word house.

Home is both a place and a mental idea.

It is a colored, dense, heavy metaphor from its very beginning.

When I say, "Home," I firstthink of my own childhood home.

I grew up in Jerusalem in an apartment on the second floor of a small building.

I lived in this home withmy parents, my sisters and brothers, our dog, an outside cat.

Later my grandmother moved in with us.

And despite the tight quarters, my mother wanted each childto have their own space and built lots of nooks for each of us.

We never really had a living room.

The center of activity wasa large, sun-filled kitchen.

A platter of dried fruitand nuts were always waiting for a stream of friends andvisitors that passed through.

And while the kitchen wasthe social heart of our home, my father's library was its intellectual, almost sacred counterpart, housing over 10,000 books, including some ancient manuscripts.

And though we knew not tointerrupt my father's studies, we were always welcome to come in to discuss our homeworkor social situations.

But my home extendedbeyond our own apartment.

My home included theeclectic group of neighbors that lived in the building, a collage of Israeli society in the '70's.

On the ground floor, with exclusive use ofthe garden, lived Rosa.

She was a short, elderly womanwho immigrated from Istanbul, with a bright gold tooth and a husband who owned a cluttered shoe shop downtown.

Her husband's childrenfrom a previous marriage constantly fought withher, and she, in turn, yelled at us to be quiet.

Next to Rosa, this door, lived a family that had recently immigratedto Israel from Uzbekistan.

The father, a Russian-speakingdentist, more gold teeth, and his wife, who worked as his assistant, opened their dentalpractice in the front room of their apartment.

My parents installed a swingset and a sand box on the roof, and we spent many hours playing there.

A studio apartment bisectedthe building's roof, and was shared by two female roommates and their golden shepherd dog.

Back then, I didn'tknow the word lesbians, but I now wonder if they were a couple.

Directly from the street,one could enter the me-co-le, now it's a pet shop, abodega-style grocery store from which we got milk andfresh bread every morning.

Del-gir and Gen-zil were the owners, and they lived down thestreet on a one-way street in which Neth-an-iel'sparents lived as well.

We whispered about thenumbers tattooed on their arm.

People said they became friendsin a concentration camp.

Looming large was Mrs.

La-vy,whom we irrationally feared, and this was her entrance.

She was a small, hunched-over old lady, and lived in the basemententered from the side alley where the garbage cans were placed.

Her thick glasses, one lenscovered with a white sticker to hide the missing eye, obscured her gaze as she yelled at us to bequiet between two and four, the official siesta of those times.

But when we think about homes, our homes are not only theones in which we were born, the places our parentscreated intentionally or by circumstances.

Home was also my college dorm, the first steps of independentlife, the first flirtations, and then a series ofillegal, rent-control sublets in which I lived when I came to New York.

And finally, home is aplace that I was fortunate to design for my own family.

In renovating apartments,I often tell my clients, "We have the opportunity,a bit like when we design "a wedding dress, to create something "that is custom-made particularly for us.

" Home as primal architecture.

The word home, perhapslike the word mother, evokes layers of meaningthat exceeds its physical or biological space.

Think of the word mother.

She's the womb and thebreast, nature and nurture, protection and punishment.

She's gendered and desiredand sometimes overwhelming.

Mother is what I call my mother, and the word that my daughters use for me.

Mother is what the psychoanalyst Winnicott called, "the total,supportive environment.

" The word home has asimilar density of meaning because of its central role as the place of intimacy, safety, and dwelling.

But in fact, all architectureis a loaded experience.

There's another architectural idiom.

It is always both the physical reality and a sign or symbol for that reality.

Its function is to shelter us, and it has that symbolic meaning.

As the most primal architecture, the home is the place in our mind and a building of walls,windows, and roofs.

Later in his book, Bachelardcontemplates the birds' nest as a primordial home.

He notices that a loose pile of twigs is a symbol for care and security, despite its physical,precarious fragility.

Home is where our humanneeds are acted out.

At home we cook, and eat, and shit, and bathe, and talk, and have sex, and sleep, and read bedtime stories.

It is a place of celebration and mourning, dreams, nightmares, and insomnia.

At home we can be free or trapped.

And because it is rootedso deep in our hearts, it's where misunderstandingand misrecognition are most painful.

Architecture, I think,is unusual among the arts in that it does not representan object or a feeling outside of itself.

Its meanings reside withinits actual structures.

The building's roofs andwalls physically protect us and emotionally give us shelter.

Its columns support itfrom the pull of gravity, and metaphorically theysupport our activities in it.

And its concrete foundation,which is securely buried in the earth, also sybolicallycreates the footing on which our institutions can be built.

Architecture is acomplex, ongoing interplay between these primordialcentral experiences and their cultural, symbolic counterparts.

You might be thinking,especially the therapist, that this is exactly whatthe psychoanalyst Winnicott meant when he gave us theterm, "Transitional object, "an object about whichone should never ask "if it is real or unreal.

" And a great example ofthat are teddy bears or the blanket that a littlechild carries around with them.

But I think there's animportant distinction between a building and a teddy bear.

While Winnicott's transitionalobject has the power that comes from ouremotional attachment to it, perhaps as a replacement forour mother who went to work, we respond to buildingsbecause of the actual, physical experiencethat they impose on us.

The affect us becauseour embodied reaction to the physicality of light, sound, orientation and stability.

Winnicott's transitional object operates in an internal, interpsychicrealm, in our minds.

But a building is alwaysalso a concrete relationship between us and its event.

It links the mind of thedesigner, the urban space, the culture, and theexperience of the visitor.

The architectural theorist, Jane Rendell, makes a compelling caseto see architecture not as a dialogue, but as a trialogue, a three-way communication event that links the architect, thebuilding, and the visitor.

This, in her view, creates a situatedarchitectural experience.

The architectural historianAlberto Perez Gomez, in his book, "Built UponLove," suggests that love is at the core of thearchitectural praxis, because architecture is both a physical and mental experience.

He writes, "Architecturalmeaning is neither intellectual "nor aesthetic, but originates instead "in our embodiment andits erotic impulses.

"The effects of architecturetranscend the purely visual "or theoretical by evoking both memory "and expectation of erotic fulfillment "in the thick of vivid presence.

" So architecture, at itsbest, communicates directly with both our mind and our body, stimulating unconsciousprocesses which are felt, even if not understood.

Through architecturewe connect to memories, longings, and our own body, a process that can alsobe enabled by therapy.

But architecture doesnot only express the link of the physical and the symbolic.

It is also a study of relationships between individuals and society, between private interiorsand the public city.

As architects and designers,our task is to create spaces for various functions,and we achieve this by designing the walls and facades that make these activities possible.

By designing exteriors,we create interiors.

Or maybe architecture is a meditation on entering and exiting.

It articulates the framesthat contain our life.

And since all buildingslink inside and outside, architecture is also a study of self and other relationships.

And psychoanalysis might be viewed as a similar investigation.

In therapy, the therapist and patient explore the space between people.

How I react to you, howyour project onto me, memories, dreams, enactment, and affect all occupy or create the liminal zone between the individual and the world, between ego and reality.

So, no doubt architectureand psychoanalysis are quite different in many ways, but both share a curiosityabout this interpersonal space.

And both are interested in how we relate ourselves to others andourselves to a bigger field.

And I would now like toturn to the third part of my talk, which is aboutthe process of design and what I call relational creativity.

I now arrive at the thirdconstructive section of this talk, and then I'll show a bunch of slides, and would like to explorethe psychoanalytic ideas that have helped meconceptualize the design process.

Although the topic ofthis lecture is home, I work in a very similarway with both my residential and commercial and institutional clients, and I will shortly show some slides of both types of projects.

The architectural client,perhaps like the therapy patient, turn to the architect with a problem, a lack of space or afrustration with the space that limits their growth.

But like many patients, myclients often cannot describe what it is that they want.

If all I give them is what they request, they would be deeply disappointed.

It is through a processof joint investigation, what I like to call relational creativity, that we first uncover their wishes and then try to discovera design solution.

The architectural project, the building, is probably one of themost complex problems that finds a singular physical solution in the form of a concrete structure.

As architect Stan Allen writes,"The praxis of architecture "tends to be messy and inconsistent, "precisely because it hasto negotiate a reality "that is itself messy and inconsistent.

" From psychology we learn thatwe can often better understand our own self when we aretalking to another person.

But architecture has a longhistory of seeing the architect as an autonomous, most likely male, genius who works aloneusing his imaginative powers to overcome reality andprevail over his clients.

This image of the architect asa sole author of the building still prevails and overshadowsthe fundamental interpersonal aspect of creative processes.

A prime example of thisfallacy can be seen in the Pritzker Prizecommittee's continuous refusal to recognize DeniseScott Brown, that's her, alongside her husband andwork partner Robert Venturi, for their joint work for which he alone received the prize in 1992.

Scott Brown, who recentlycelebrated her 84th birthday, has repeatedly exposed this distortion, calling us to finally, andthese are in her words, "Salute the notion of joint creativity.

" As I understand design, itis precisely the ability to collaborate, negotiate,and incorporate input from many sources whichleads to successful designs.

The designer is challengedto stand in the spaces between her own dreams andthe demands of reality, allowing the building toemerge from these negotiations, not as a preconceived, independent idea, but as a form that embeds withinit the memories and logics of the design and construction process and the traces and scars of its own birth.

To close, I would like to sharea few architectural projects to demonstrate how thedesign process takes place in a co-created field of joint creativity.

I cannot speak for the entireprofession, but for me, the most exciting, unexpected,and creative moments are those of this typeof relational creativity, when after a frustratingstuckness, an idea emerges.

An idea which is not authoredby any one individual, moments in which the boundaries between people are blurredand innovation surfaces from within the field of interaction.

So I'd like to look first at four projects and talk a little bitabout the design process, and then I'll just go througha whole bunch of spaces that fall under the title of home.

And I chose four projects to demonstrate four different types ofinteractions with a wider field.

Off the Wall, in which Iwant to talk a little bit about materials, the Kesher Synagogue, in which I want to talk aboutinteracting with a site, 14th Street Y Community Center, which was really a project of teamwork, and 535 was the humongous apartment and which I'm going to talk a little about the collaborativeprocess with a client.

Off the Wall Exhibitionwas an invitation to design a show that was gonna be for two weeks in the Jewish Museum uptown.

And 11 different artistswere going to come work in the museum galleries for two weeks, and we were designing the work space and exhibit space for those artists.

We had these three rooms.

This we called the pixelated mattress, this one was a pedestal mountains, and this was the canyon wall.

The pixelated mattress room was a series of cubes made out of foam for two DJs.

They were gonna exhibit theirmusic and create new music out of the museum's collectionof old Jewish music.

And in trying to thinkof how to exhibit music, we thought we should createthis funky space to sit on, and tether to it a bunch of iPods.

And it was really fun, kidswere jumping all over the place.

This is the cardboard wall.

You can see this was aspace for people to sit and look at a video art installation, and this was the desk for the artist.

We picked these materials,sorry, I have to backtrack, the foam, the cardboard,and you'll see this other kind of foam, Esterform, because they are all used by the museum.

We found them in the basementas art packaging material.

And the idea was, just aswe were exposing the work of the artist in the museum gallery, we were gonna expose theback-of-house of the museum and use materials that they use for delivering and packaging art.

So the cardboard wallare layers of cardboard and we cut them and stacked them.

You can see people looking at the display on the other wall, andthe desk for the artist, and then some screens for other work.

And this space was shared by a fashion designer and these multimedia artists.

And each of these mountains had one of the fashion designer's runway shows, so they had screens showing the show and two pieces from that.

And he was working in there as well.

The second project wasa synagogue competition that we won, and we worked onfor about a year and a half until the economy crashed, andthen it actually just opened, but was finished by a different architect.

One of the interestingproblems about this project was the client had a fairly small site with this very large, blue building on it, which they wanted to potentially keep.

They weren't sure if theywould keep it or not.

And so we were challengedto design a building that could wrap around this building.

And these are just a few of the many, many 3D sketches that we did,trying to come up with a form for this building aroundthe blue Victorian house.

And this is the plan thatactually was constructed.

There's a typology of asuburban split-level house where you enter in the middle,you can go up half a floor, usually to the bedrooms,and go down half a floor to the living room, diningroom, or the other way around.

And that's basically theorganization of this building.

So you come in, there's a lobby, daily sanctuary, offices, and coat room.

You could either take a rampup to the main sanctuary or you could take another big ramp down to the social hall.

And on the lower level, once you got down to the social hall,underneath the sanctuary you would connect to all the classrooms for youth programming andthe mechanical spaces.

So this is the entrance, the daily chapel, you'd enter through this area.

The main sanctuary is back here, and the social hall is on the other side.

And as you can see, allthese different spaces that wrap around thebuilding are actually linked to their exterior.

So it creates a continuousloop in which you can enter and exit on every level.

You'll see it a littlebit also from the back.

This is if the blue building is gone and they get a whole front yard.

From above you can seethe three main functions.

This is the daily chapel,there's a green roof where you could come outfrom the main sanctuary, then the main sanctuary hovering above, and the social hall.

And from this sanctuaryyou'll see there's a big terrace balcony that wrapsdown and connects you back to this lower level.

This is a sanctuary above the classrooms, and this ramp thatcomes down to the front.

And image of the sanctuary space.

I guess what I would like tohighlight is that sometimes you think, "This is a sitewith so many problems, "there is nothing you can do with it.

"There is actually noroom for a building here.

But one of the beautifulthings that came out of this design was reallygrappling with the site, and what I see as a kind of collaboration between our design wishes and the constraints of thatspace and the existing building, which allowed a much moreinteresting building to emerge, and something that, hadwe had a just big, open, flat, stock space, we probably would never have come up with.

The fourth one I wanted totalk about was the question of collaborating with theteam and a team including our own team, and us, and the client.

We were invited to do whatwas initially supposed to be a very small renovationof the fitness center at the 14th Street Y,which is on 14th and First.

It's a community center that serves a really diverse population.

They have Japanese parenting, and swimming for 80-year-olds plus, and after-school for anyone in the neighborhood.

And in trying to thinkabout how to help them with the fitness center,it became apparent that the problem was notreally so much an upgrade to the fitness center, itwas that they didn't have a communal space, they didn't have a lobby in which all these different people could hang out and interact.

And another problem that seemed to be insolvable was that there was no real circulation space.

You had to go from one program through the next program to get, so in order to get to the pool, which was, in this diagram, righthere, from the front street, from 14th Street, you hadto go through the lobby and then through the service area and then through the fitness center and then through the locker rooms and you'd finally get to thepool, and there was no hallway.

We decided to actuallyuse that as an opportunity to highlight thismulti-purpose type of space in which all these differentactivities happen in once and celebrate the factthat you have to walk from one space to anotherand see all these different things happening at once.

So what we proposed wastaking, this is 14th Street, they had a whole bunchof offices right up here in the front, on the front facade, and a tiny little entryvestibule and then hallway, and people used to come intothe fitness center here.

And we said, "Let's tryto make a real lobby.

"Let's take out all these offices, "find a new space for them, "and move the entranceto the fitness center "so that you go straight fromhere into the fitness center, "locker rooms, showers, pool.

" This part we didn't renovate.

And in doing that, we realized that we were creatingthese strips of functions, and we wanted to highlight that.

So we organized both the lobby, so this is the lounge seating, this is a cafe seating,this is circulation.

And then the fitness center, these are the elliptical machines, these are the weightmachines, this is the cardio, according to these bands thatyou have to walk through.

So this is the lobbybefore the renovation.

These are the offices off the facade, the security desk, and a little hallway.

And this is the newlobby after we took out all those offices and openedthe space up to 14th Street.

Another interesting thing was there was a tiny, tiny, tiny budget, so we mostly removed things.

So we moved the drop ceiling,we removed the vinyl floor.

There were a few places where we added, like this beautiful blue cement tiles.

But as you can see, we couldn't deal with any of these pipes, wejust painted them a grayish-blue and put in new florescents.

This is the old fitness center.

It had a black-painted ceiling and a very disgusting carpet.

And this is the new fitness center.

Same ceiling, newlighting, new rubber floor.

Again, with the limited budget, we were going to put a rubber floor in, so we just played with the colors because that doesn't add cost.

And these colors help you find your way to the program piece that you want.

So it also helps peoplefeel more comfortable in the space 'cause theyget a sense that they know where they're going andwhat they're looking for.

These are the old locker rooms and the new locker rooms.

We used constructionlights for the ceiling and we removed the vinyl tile and just kept the exposed concrete floor.

We poured this really nice epoxy on it just to keep it clean, mixed with sand, which makes it non-slip.

And for the lockers, again,we used the most generic, kind of New York sports club lockers.

And the manufacturer thought we were crazy 'cause we selected fivedifferent laminates, and every laminate compayonly makes one yellow or one orange, so they camefrom four different companies.

And then when the guyinstalled it, he was like, "Oh, I get it, that's what you wanted.

" The last collaborativeproject I wanna show is a work we did for a client.

They bought a full floorof an apartment building on the Upper West Side.

It's insane, but beautiful.

It was really interestingto try to figure out, with this couple, what theywant their home to look like.

They came with initiallyvery, very different ideas.

He wanted sleek, shiny, black bachelor pad in Tribeca.

And he showed me apartmentsof some of his buddies that looked that way.

And she wanted a whiteVictorian house in Westchester.

(laughing) And at some point I just wasn't sure howwe were moving forward.

But we did manage to find a language that was comfortable for both of them and that they both liked, and that they both felt could express what they imagined and what they brought from their childhood, and what they hoped for their children, to be their new home.

And I wanted to show thisbecause one of the things that we ended up doing were probably close to a hundred different renderings.

You can see that the budgetwas not a huge concern.

So we just did renderingafter rendering to show them what it would look likebecause they couldn't really figure it out from a plan.

So these are some of thesketches for this entry foyer.

These are the photos,and I'll go through some.

These are renderings of this room.

We put in all thefurniture and the lighting.

One of the interestingthings about these renderings is they can become, theyoften are a presentation tool, but they can also become a design tool in which you can allow theclients to better understand what you're doing and get them involved.

It was very easy for them to look and say, "Oh, I like this," "I don't like this.

" But when I was describing things on plans and showing them pictures from a catalog, it was very hard for themto imagine what it would all look like when it was put together.

These are the bookcasesdesigned in the rendering, this is the actual family room.

Kitchen, we did many, manyversions of the kitchen, one with a green countertop.

This is a kid's bathroom,again, rendering, real photo.

And to end, I just wantedto show a collection of images, because I think what it is that we're trying to talkabout is the place of home in our minds and therelationship between what is in our mind in the physical environment, and how we, as architects and designers, can try to create spaces for people that both evoke their memories and their hopes for the future.

And so I'll just run through a whole bunch of images of apartments.

This is a duplex we didon the Upper West Side.

This is the breakfastroom by Union Square.

A study, also, another apartment on the West Village.

This was the house that was on the poster.

It was a really wonderfuldesign for a tiny, tiny house that they wanted tobuild a second floor for.

And we proposed this morphed skin.

This was called the slice house, a small, affordable, sustainable house.

This was a combination of three apartments on the Upper East Side.

It's another duplex.

They combined two small, one-bedrooms.

This was an apartment forsomeone who has a lot of stuff.

This is actually theirpied-à-terre in the city, and then they have a big house.

And this is only afraction of what she has in her suburban house.

Just another apartment by the U.

N.

And just a few images of some of the other projects that we've done, including synagogue work, apartments, we're working with a school right now.

I think one of the interestingthings is that there is a certain sensibility that, of working with clientsand working with space, which I think transcends these typologies, where even if you focuson institutional work, or commercial work, or residential work, there is a certain way ofapproaching the clients and approaching thespaces and the functions that you can bring to any project.

Thank you.

(clapping) It's interesting, because there's a way in which for architects often residential projects seema little less interesting, they might have a little more constraints, the budgets might be a little smaller.

Everyone wants to do a museum, or a concert hall, or a library.

But there's something really intense about working with peopleon creating their home because it raises so many things that they're not evenaware of are coloring what they imagine as a home.

So some of it is whatthey liked or disliked about their own childhood homes.

Some of it is what they're hoping for, how they see themselves,do they really want to be fancy and have lots of parties, or do they want it tobe a very cozy place, or should the kids have a lot of space and the rest should be kind of small? We went to see this one apartment that was a huge, four-story place in Chelsea, and there was a basketball court inside.

It's not an apartment, it's a mansion.

But then the kids had these tiny rooms because the parents really believed that people shouldn'thide in their bedrooms.

They should have a space,but they should all be out of their roomsand doing stuff together.

So I think that justtrying to think about home raises so many questions,both about ourselves and about architecture.

And I think the otherthing that we often forget is that there are a lot of cultural biases that we think, "Oh, anapartment is what we know.

" But they weren't always like that.

So the whole idea of having private space is something that startedin the 18th century, it's kind of a very, partof the project of modernity of individuals,individualism and autonomy.

People, a while ago, didn'treally think that was important.

Even royalty, the kidsall shared a bedroom.

There was no notion ofprivacy in the same way.

So I think when we try to think about how things might also evolve,it's also really interesting to try to think about theways in which gender identity and gender roles might changethe way we design homes, our relationship betweenprivacy and the outside, how our friends are with us allthe time on our cell phones, so what does it reallymean to be at home alone? So those were some of the things that triggered my interestin thinking about this more.

I'm curious what Nava would add to that.

Just a little plug for the book.

It's not the skinniest book, but it's not a coherent story narrative.

You can just open it every time, and whatever page you'reon, just start reading.

It's very meditative and interesting.

And you could read justlittle bits and pieces whenever you feel inspired to.

– [Voiceover] I wascurious if you had thoughts about this, or if it'stalked about in the book, but I think about this idea of your home, so yourhouse is like a structure.

And in some ways, in particular with, I see it more in suburban communities, it's living within a context, but living outside of it also.

You have nature on theoutside, and all the elements, and there's the idea of shelter.

But it's almost likeit's two separate things, and almost like pushing awaynature to a certain extent, and the dangers that it presents, and almost even this idea of being able to control something.

So I think about that,that this idea of home almost philosophically could be a way to negate death even, by trying to have the safety of a home.

Does the book talk aboutthese sort of things? Do you have ideas about this? – So the book definitelyhas parts on that, although I can't thinkof a good line right now.

But if you think aboutarchitecture in general and buildings as kind of a,we're a very fragile species compared to most other animals.

And we can't really survive,definitely not in the density of population that we now have, without these shellsthat we create around us.

So in a way, creating these, it is kind of our.

triumph against nature, but it is our nature to do that.

We wouldn't be here ifwe couldn't do that.

So in a way it's a very interesting play, 'cause it's almost like the bird's nest.

It's something that we doas human beings to survive.

We make buildings that haveelectricity and sewage, which doesn't sound like a natural thing, but we couldn't survive without that.

I think maybe to just, to tiethat to what was said before, there's a way in whichwe make spaces for people to be happy, but it's notjust, I think, to be happy.

We make spaces that allow thewhole human range of emotions.

So we make spaces for peopleto be sad, and to be happy, and to live, and to be ill, and to die.

So to me, that's oneof the wonderful things about being able to becreative in this medium of creating space, whichis to try to make spaces in which we feel comfortabledoing all the different things we want to do.

And I think if we only created spaces that were beautiful andhappy, we'd be very, we wouldn't be doing the right thing.

Humanity would be suffering, in a way.

And so there's a way in which.

it's kind of like modern art discovered that you can also make artout of the ugliness of life, it's not just portraits of royalty and images from the Bible.

And I think in the same wayarchitecture needs to accept that we deal with all the beauty and organization of society, and also with all the othersides of it, the messy parts.

And we need to think abouthow to deal with those things, like not always raising theissue of violence, and poverty, and war, what does that meanwhen you're designing a home? – [Voiceover] Any other questions? Alright, well thank you so much.

(clapping)We really enjoyed it.

– [Voiceover] Thank you.

– [Voiceover] Thank you.

Source: Youtube

Incoming search terms: