Architecture and its Ethical Dilemmas by Nicholas Ray

By Nicholas Ray

A forged of major writers and practitioners take on the moral questions that architects are more and more dealing with of their paintings, from functional concerns in building to the broader social context of constructions, their visual appeal, use and position within the narrative of our environment. This publication supplies an account of those moral questions from the views of ancient architectural perform, philosophy, and enterprise, and examines the consequences of such dilemmas. Taking the present dialogue of ethics in structure directly to a brand new level, this volume provides an accumulation of numerous evaluations, targeting architects' activities and items that materially impact the lives of individuals in all urbanized societies.

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Third-hand, I suggest. 10 The direct inheritance for architecture is from the fine artists, who during the last twenty-five years of the nineteenth century and the first twenty-five years of its successor gang up in groupuscules and produce reams of manifestos. It costs less to be a free artist than a free architect; you can make paintings in your garret but not buildings. Therefore the groups and the manifestos start with painting and then move into architecture. Forming cliques and writing polemics is an ageold habit among artists.

The delivery of records of the building as constructed, always a task within the architect’s remit, is now a matter to be checked and countersigned by others. It is part of the story of Stirling’s building both that he worked within the then ‘traditional’ framework, which tended to adversarial relationships, and that he himself seems to have been resistant to an easy dialogue with his contractors. Nevertheless, one of the major contributions of the building is in the way in which it pushed the boundaries of the available technologies to achieve its ends.

The sense of moral drift palpable in architecture since the 1970s is probably more the effect than the cause of this shift. Nevertheless it is not without cause, nor just because of art, that architecture today is still regarded as a liberal profession. A progressive cause or two is always lying about somewhere at its edges, to attract those architects who need to find their justification in some sort of wider usefulness. The most obvious such cause at present is the ecology movement. If the present eagerness of architects to plunge into this field seems to take as its point of departure the premise that ecological responsibility entails changes to the form and look of buildings, some such incentive may always be necessary to draw them – and others – into moral-political issues.

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