Approaching Architecture


by Guillermina Chiu

A lot of questions come to my mind when somebody asks: What is Architecture? Often times I think of Architecture as a crossroad; its public, as everyone can come across with it, yet personal, as the path taken awakes powerful emotions by intimate awareness.

For me, Architecture has been an unpredictable luscious journey. Its sumptuousness lies in my constant changing perception of the tensions between the forces that drive it.

During my first years as an Architecture student, I believed in the traditional academicism of Architecture, but then I thought that it could no longer have its goal on the transformation its accumulated material. Subsequently my mind was invaded by Hani Rashid’s argument that theory was not a matter of speculation in which the building is the proof. Theory itself becomes the building, in which the computer is manifest.

For a split of a second, I believed that the seamlessness of the architectural process as a mass customization ideal would hold the promise for the profession; but then I thought that true beauty is born out of imperfection. Representation versus Simulation arguments assaulted me last semester. Building Information Modeling almost bought my thoughts and ideals. But then I considered that the limits of parametric automation would constrain my life into a very narrow path.

My constant evolving Architecture has reached a turning point in which perhaps visual and intellectual disappointments are the best words to describe my thoughts. My work has positioned myself off-limits for describing my real time Architecture, leaving me with the question: is the future of Architecture really architectural? Why is it that we have to look into other professions to find the Architecture disclosure compelling?

Today I’m interested in the translation of syntax into actual space. I’m in the middle of another crossroad of my architectural journey…