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אדריכלות ישראלית


קטגוריית מחקר

פרויקט השנה -



At a time in which aesthetic solutions

are easily supplied by computers, one

might suggest replacing the anachronistic

question of “Is it beautiful” with “Is it right”.

That is, does it fit the declared purpose

in terms of the entrepreneur’s economic

calculations, customer needs, or the

designer’s aspirations? Is it at all possible

to speak of feelings and intentions when

computers produce realities?

The debate on aesthetics is an essential

chapter in philosophy, particularly with

regard to art, where angles range from a

‘universal aesthetic’, to a ‘personal aesthetic’

and from fine arts to applied arts.

Although practical in nature, architecture

is understandably designed to embody a

certain degree of creativity, or it remains

outside the “picture”. In this context, it is

worth recalling Louis Kahn’s frequently

quoted phrase: “What does the building

want to be, ”which clearly indicates that

the building is meant to express intention,

emotion, and desires.

The inherent connection between the

factual and the expressive is discussed

by art historian, Erwin Panofsky, who

pointed out three levels of creativity where

inter-connection is stronger than any

imaginary expression: pure forms; cultural

iconography; and content. According to this,

culture is not only a response to problems,

but a set of schemas embedded in early

stages of life that can produce an infinite

number of variants adapted to different


Following the September 11, 2001 memorial

concert in New York given by the Vienna

Philharmonic, American philosopher and

aesthetician, Nicholas Wolterstorff, criticized

the loss of the dimension of feeling, asking:

“Why is it that the philosophy of art can

no longer express touch and tears?”

Wolterstorff contends that the notion of the

‘aesthetic’ and especially the meeting point

between theory and practice that deal with

feeling, must be re-examined.

Such a meeting point naturally occurs

in schools of design and architecture,

where, deficient in professional knowledge,

students tend to inundate their projects

with subjective content, phrases like "it was

important to me" and "I felt a need" come

at the expense of functional rationalization.

Consequently, many teachers tend to

reinforce rational thinking, while diminishing

the importance of a subjective view. In

many cases, the actual result is a marked

abandonment of any aesthetic expression,

that until recently was considered the very

essence of art work.

The status of the aesthetic in schools of

architecture and design was discussed with

four professors - Hillel Schocken, former

Head of the School of Architecture at Tel

Aviv University, Micha Levin – Head of

research at Shenkar, Yael Moria - Head of

the Department of Interior Design, Building,

and Environment at Shenkar, and Zvi Efrat,

former head of the School of Architecture at


Some interviewees claimed that the artistic

element is notably absent from overall

architectural work, but is naturally present

beneath the surface and, in some cases,

takes over the building. Others argued

that architecture today provides no room

for personal expression since it is no

more than an act of organizing theoretical

content in physical reality. That is, since

the instrumental aspect lies at the center, it

should be the sole reference. In this reality,

the aesthetic remains an expression of

changing fashion, primarily adapted to the

exigencies of public taste.

The conclusion of the research is that the

manufacture of industrial, mechanical

and duplicated architecture relates to

instrumental efficiency while ignoring

local multi-cultural traits, which generates

deficient spaces, thus diminishing the

traditional role of architecture as a reflection

of emotional expression.

The study suggests that in order to cure

architecture of its deficiency, we should

consider returning to subjective architecture,

instead of favoring objective instrumental

creation that lacks expression.

deficient spaces -

synthetic schools

of architecture

Asher Elbaz