Lebbeus Woods has clearly seen my project…

June 9, 2007

Actually that’s ridiculous. Of course it’s the other way around – I’ve been a huge fan of Woods since I first saw his work in 1999 – my second year at architecture school. Nevertheless, a few snippets lifted from his recent fascinating interview with the excellent Subtopia blog don’t half resonate with my project:

“Fortunately one of the reasons I am out here today are these blogs – your blogs in particular – but, generally, the internet is a place for some other view of architecture to emerge, and therefore it becomes incredibly important. ”

“I think the role of architecture – not all of it, because we’re still going to have the monuments, the big expensive buildings, that’s just the way it’s going to be – but, if there’s going to be another movement, another direction in architecture, it has to engage people differently. Other than saying, here, look at this, isn’t this amazing? It has to interactively involve them other than as spectators, or, as a ‘society of the spectacle.’ It has to engage them as creators.”

“…I believe people have to choose to do it. I don’t think this is something that should be imposed from the top down. They have to want to do it this way. They have to want to participate. “

…And finally, if we were just to change his choice of words from slum to suburb

“…if we can do something from the outside, for them who are inside the slum, it’s going to be to empower them somehow; to transform the slum from the inside. You’ve got to figure some methods to empower people in the slum to change their own environment. It can’t be us airlifting in ready-made solutions.”

Seriously, if only these quotes were around a little earlier in my project!