By Nicholas Ray
A solid of major writers and practitioners take on the moral questions that architects are more and more dealing with of their paintings, from sensible concerns in building to the broader social context of structures, their visual appeal, use and position within the narrative of our surroundings. This publication provides an account of those moral questions from the views of old 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 critiques, targeting architects' activities and items that materially impact the lives of individuals in all urbanized societies.
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A forged of prime writers and practitioners take on the moral questions that architects are more and more dealing with of their paintings, from functional concerns in development to the broader social context of structures, their visual appeal, use and position within the narrative of our surroundings. This ebook offers an account of those moral questions from the views of historic architectural perform, philosophy, and company, and examines the consequences of such dilemmas.
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Extra info for Architecture and its Ethical Dilemmas
The traditional trick in such cases is to give hints of, draw attention to or ‘express’ things that cannot be directly seen or understood; or, in cases where the means and connections of construction can indeed be seen but might not have much notice taken of them, to exaggerate or wilfully display them. This sleight of hand is as old as architecture. But it came to be seen by architects as a moral duty for well over a century after 1850. Expression of this kind is often a deception in the strict terms of truthfulness, as sterner or more cynical critics like to point out.
It represents a value in itself for people engaged in living their own lives as creative individuals. Architects will certainly recognise that imperative: of the project that demands their time – of and for itself, not merely because the client requires it – just when other duties call most pressingly. How to reconcile these differing values is obviously the problem Nagel seeks to address. How can individuals reconcile the conflicts of obligations, rights, utility, perfectionist ends and private commitments?
This topic takes us into deeper, more international waters. 6 Here is a neat summary of one of the oldest propositions in the architectural armoury, to the effect that architecture ought in some sense to be truthful. The precise terms of Pugin’s formulation we must leave aside, though it may be noted in passing that the tricky word ‘propriety’ is ethical to the core, and recurs all through classical architectural theory. Truth too is a tricky word. It slithers between epistemology (what we know to be true), metaphysics (higher truths) and ethics (truth-telling and falsehood).
Architecture and its Ethical Dilemmas by Nicholas Ray