Architecture and intellectual development

In (2012)


Architecture has an ethical responsibility to facilitate intellectual development. This proposition might seem surprising since architecture is generally expected to provide shelter, accommodate activity, and be aesthetically pleasing—as Vitruvius says in De architectura to take into account firmitatis, utilitatis, and venustatis. But Vitruvius also says that “Both in general and especially in architecture are these two things found; that which signifies and that which is signified. That which is signified is the thing proposed about which we speak; that which signifies is the demonstration unfolded in systems of precepts”. Architecture is the organization of space using mathematics and geometry; it is an intellectual act, and therefore it must necessarily signify something, as does any language. Architects have an ethical responsibility to pay attention to what is being signified, along with providing firmitatis, utilitatis and venustatis.

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