Literary Dose #43

"Huge, drab buildings suddenly started to pop up like mushrooms all over the place. It was if nobody had created them, as if they multiplied by themselves. Sometimes, when we visit other cities and countries, we ask ourselves where the beauty of the olden days has gone. In some places we get the impression that all buildings have been designed by structural glass manufacturers; all the roads by asphalt companies; and all the parks by lawn mower firms. It seems as though the architects sign on the dotted line but are excluded from the decision-making process. We ask ourselves why everything has to be planned in one go and built at top speed right up to the last minute. In our opinion, things only work if they are allowed to evolve -- and that requires time. Perhaps it would be practical to oblige all architects and clients to live for a time in the buildings they construct. If you don't like a painting, you can take it off the wall, or put it away, or even burn it -- but architecture stays standing for at least fifty years and it is impossible to ignore its presence. We should and must do it better."
- "A World Without a Manual" by Jan Körbes (REFUNC.NL) in Rematerial: From Waste to Architecture, by Alejandro Bahamón and Maria Camila Sanjinés (W. W. Norton, 2010, p. 183)

See Places: Design Observer for a slideshow of REFUNC.NL's "Return of the Fridges" and other projects in the book.


  1. The only problem is that "evolving" architecture costs some money. Would he be ready to pay for it?

  2. I'm guessing that he would argue his buildings would be cheaper, since REFUNC.NL works almost exclusively with recycled, reused materials and products.


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