Comment on Retroactive Manifestos

rene Tue, Aug 18, 2009

Thanks for the great rant by Hundertwasser whose interventions in the appearance of existing buildings are without precedent. One of his radical notions was that

"a person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm's reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm's reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door."

A while back I wrote a piece for a book about pioneer of generative architecture Greg Lynn, the introduction of which struck me as appropriate in this context:

"Besides an occasional landmark building, the cities in which we live aren’t all that different from the urban environments we’ve had to contend with since the day we were born. Perhaps the only change you might remark on is that there is more of the city today than there once was. But for those of us who engage with culture as an ever-changing expression of the Zeitgeist, it can be frustrating to live in a time capsule that exhibits the frozen relics of an otherwise long-forgotten past. There are, of course, many reasons for this—among them the various demands and requirements of clients, politicians, urban planners, contractors, etc.—but the most fundamental is architecture’s inherent immutability. Once erected, a building’s walls rigidly maintain the status quo, whereas culture at large constantly reinvents itself."