CULTIVATING A CULTURE OF CONGESTION, MSc Architecture - Concentration Design Theory, 2007-08


Prof. Johannes Käferstein

Historical value, transcendence, pertinence, or sheer importance in the professional work of the architect derives from a developed capacity in relating each of our multiple tasks to the world we live in; preparing, adapting, measuring, articulating, composing the possibilities of human existence to the ever changing nature of the universe we happen to inhabit.
With little doubt, future human development points at a more efficient use of our resources in as many spheres of work as our generation can deliver. For architecture and its consequent production of the city a more efficient use of resources relate to land consumption, energy consumption and the influence these factors have in the life quality our job claims to produce. The professions supposedly in charge of elaborating our environment must today abandon all irrelevant preoccupations of postmodern contempt. An architecture that will endure the future must engage in an endeavor pertinent to our increasingly demanding epoch and develop eloquent critical alternatives towards more economic and qualitative modes of living.

With few honorable exceptions, earlier attempts in history aiming at similar ends of densification and optimization raised a level of public discontent that still affects the credibility of our profession. Today, those acts of social irresponsibility are in part accountable for the opted urban dispersion that has our landscapes submerged in the unsustainable ambiguity of being neither ”nature” nor city. A proactive cultivation of a culture of congestion, and its probable positive effects in a global scale, prompt us to learn the lesson and enthusiastically overtake the task we started back then towards a win-to-win situation accountable in the various scales our interventions perform.