chapter  1
13 Pages

Maintaining Frames: Architecture-as-art

From within the canon of architecture, the discipline is regarded as an art form, a high-culture practice in which the essence of the age is expressed and given form by individual designers with “natural ability.” In the quote above from Vitruvius’ Ten Books of Architecture, which is thought to have been published about 15 BCE and which remains a foundational text in architectural studies, he challenges the architect to be the “perfect artist”—not just skillful in drawing and geometry, but also knowledgeable in history, philosophy, music, medicine, law, astronomy, and theology. Yet, for a list so long, it is conspicuous, at least from a contemporary architect’s perspective, that technology, administration, climate change, and politics are all absent from this litany of knowledge deemed relevant to the discipline.