RESEARCH IS BLOCKED BY THREE MYTHS
WHY DID SCIENTIFIC MAN NOT STUDY HIS OWN HABITAT?
Is it not strange that man, with tremendous energies, studied and studies
But, why did scientific man never study systematically what is very close to him:
- stars and planets,
- stones and cristals,
- chemical elements and atomic grids of materia, and, worldwide,
- plants and animals
- other races and his own
RESEARCH IS BLOCKED BY THREE MYTHS
The answer is clear: the problem was not even perceived! All was blocked by three myths:
- 1) The early imperial myth: what belongs to the highest ontological values must also be represented in 'highest possible form of monumental architecture' and that the architect must be found in the highest ranks of society.
- This myth remained intact into the Beaux-Arts in France and is still a strong part of 'high carreer architects' ideal (See Kostof 1974).
- We indicated that this myth has its rather 'folkloristic' roots in predynastic village cultures (-> Semantic architecture, -> Settlement core complex).
- 2) The Renaissance myth: the breakdown of the medieval creation myth created a profanised myth of the creator-genius (like Lionardo and Michelangelo) who, as artist-architects, used their God-like reason to create new worlds for man.
- At that time we find also the first 'highpriest' of this new 'aesthetic' pseudo-theology: Pietro di Aretino who praises the new creator and profits on both levels from this new 'heaven and earth' - system.
- Who 'creates' whom? That is the question.
- We indicated that this aesthetic pseudo-theology produces very questionable results in our rural and urban environments.
- 3) The present myth: That this structure is necessarily and eternally so!
We will probably need many more dramatic breakdowns in the style of -> Pruit-Igoe to realise that architecture and urbanism can be studied scientifically, and that this might be wiser than to continue globally on the mythical level of architecture and urbanism waisting our limited sources continuously for our architectural and urban 1 to 1 scale-experiments.
SOONER OR LATER, ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM WILL HAVE TO OPEN THEIR NARROW HORIZONS TOWARDS ANTHROPOLOGY
The recent Congress of the 'International Union of Architects' (IUA) held in Barcelona (June 29 - July 9, 1996) transmitted the impression to the general public, that postmodern architecture and urbanism are "the best world of all worlds possible".
- In contrast to this, we indicated that there are serious problems which should be discussed openly.
- The main argument was, that architecture and urbanism, doubtless the largest domains of any modern national economy, are dealt with in the framework of an extremely narrow and reductionist view:
- they are considered as art!
- We tried to show that this creates intolerable distortions in theoretical terms and imposes a widely opportunistic and very badly controlled urban growth on the general public.
Sooner or later architecture and urbanism will have to question the outdated myths on which they are based. And, sooner or later, they will have to
- rigidly move away from their scattered ideas about architectural beauty and their vanities to build their urban 'orchids' into our vital public environment.
- They will have to open their narrow horizons towards the anthropological dimensions of their professional fields, and
- they will have to concentrate their energies on creating a scientific concept which will allow us to know, what really and objectively constitutes architecture and urbanism in a modern humanistic sense.
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