Tuesday, August 10, 2010
An intriguing discussion with a friend provokes questions about how - as an architect and designer - the ever-increasing accessibility to information, resources and cultures challenges traditional notions about locality and 'sense of place'. On one side of the coin is the fear that globalization leads to homogeneity (and yet continued misunderstanding), and on the other it could also be an argument for an exponential opportunity to gain complexity and nuance in the pursuit of meaning and beauty. During a time sometimes referred to as the 'ego-boom', the questioning of one's world view becomes increasingly important. During this discussion it was difficult for me - trained for years as an architect to believe in the paramount importance of the specificity of 'place' - to consider that there is also a mutability and commonality within perceived differences that can transform ideas about context and authenticity, placing the onus on the individual to continually clarify one's own position in the world. It is not a simple subject, and one I haven't fully resolved in my own mind, but it is important to evaluate with every project, no matter where it might be.