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ARCHITECTURE BEYOND BUILDING We need architecture beyond buildings

Architecture must go beyond buildings because buildings are not enough.

They are big, wasteful accumulations of natural resources that are difficult to
adapt to the continually changing conditions of modern life.

Worse, most buildings are not designed by architects. They are the result of
economic considerations, they are put together by formula, and they are the
final result of endless negotiations. For that reason most buildings are ugly,
useless and wasteful.

Yet architecture is beautiful. Architecture can place us in the world in a way

no other art can. It can make us at home in modern reality. It offers and
shapes that most precious and luxurious of all phenomena in the modern
world: space.
It is just that buildings are very bad at giving us what we need from
architecture. How can this be?

Aaron Betsky
11ª Bienal de Veneza
ARCHITECTURE BEYOND BUILDING We must start by clearing up a bit of confusion. Architecture is not building.
Building is building. It is a verb. A building is a structure. Architecture is
everything that is about building. It is the way we think about building; how
we organize buildings; how we make buildings; how buildings presente

Buildings are obviously the most complete ways that architecture appears.

But by the same token, they are the tombs of architecture. It is difficult to
find architecture in buildings because buildings are defined as much by codes
as by the theories of architects. Building codes, safety codes and access
codes, but also financial codes, the codes of the context, and codes of
behavior, not to mention the computer codes that maximize building
components in the design process even before value engineering, define
what we experience when we see a building.

So we must look beyond, within, before and after buildings to find


Aaron Betsky
11ª Bienal de Veneza
ARCHITECTURE BEYOND BUILDING What do we want from this thing called architecture? We want it to do what
buildings are no longer capable of. We want it to make us at home in a
modern world that is increasingly changeable, confusing, and seemingly out
of our control. We want it to help us know that world through the particular
framing devices proper to architecture. We might even hope that, through
the structures, cadences and rhythms, and the choreography of space, we
might find our way though that modern world.

We must find architecture beyond buildings. We may find it in pure

experiments in form, structure and space. We may find it in the deformation
of our physical reality or its revelation. We might find it in utopian, dystopian
or heterotopian visions. We might find it by restaging our world so that we
can play the roles that we want to enact. We might find it in temporary or
enigmatic structures, through actions that make space our own or in simple
cocoons. But we must find it.

Building or Architecture. Buildings can be avoided

Aaron Betsky
11ª Bienal de Veneza