What is ‘Loveable Architecture’ and Why Is It Important?
Today’s guest on the Beautiful Futurists is architect and author Steve Mouzon. He’s a bit of a hero of mine. His architecture is beautiful, elegant and timeless. And I consider his books to be basically required reading for everyone alive in North America, and any other place that’s are overrun with sprawl, mediocre design, and that’s feeling the health and psychological effects of growing up and living in car-culture.
The Original Green is a great concept for people interested in ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’ architecture. It shows that the answers to making better buildings are not necessarily magical new technologies, but things we knew all along, and simply forgot in our modern race to make things faster and cheaper. Making something simple, elegant, and using the wisdom passed down through the ages results in buildings that people love looking at, living in, and taking care of for the next generations.
His book ‘Traditional Construction Patterns’ is a bit technical for non-designers, but technical in an eye-opening way that I think anyone can pick up and learn from. I think it’s a book everyone should have on their coffee table, and, if they did take the time to leaf through it once in a while, it would totally change how they understand the world around them.
The Necessity of Uniqueness
One of the biggest issues in Architecture is this concept that Steve has coined ‘the Necessity of Uniqueness.’ The modern idea is still the doctrine in Architecture schools. Basically it means that as an Architect, your duty is to invent every piece to a building. From scratch. Every time. In any other profession this would be insanity, but in Architecture, it’s cool for some reason.
The biggest problems with this dream are first, that you are ignoring thousands of years of trial and error, and are losing historical resonance and connection by abandoning historical forms, and second, you are perpetually making juvenile level buildings.
There’s not necessarily anything cool about traditional or classical architecture. It recognizes that we are building for people, and building for generations, rather than a passing fad.
Why We Love Architecture
Architecture is one of our main topics on the Beautiful Futurists. One of the main reasons I do this show is to connect a few things that I think are most important to our life experience, health, lifestyle, architecture, design & art. These connections aren’t always that clear. It’s easy to get focused on one category or another. People in the health world don’t necessarily think much about architecture. Or, at least, the connection isn’t always obvious. In my opinion architecture is a key piece to the puzzle. We can talk about food, health treatments and therapies, and so on, but if we build a world around us that is drab, depressing, plasticky, uninspiring, or toxic, what’s the point.
When we look around at our buildings and cities we realize that we are missing a huge opportunity to do something great, and to shape our lives in a meaningful way. Not every building needs to be the most grand, most heroic thing ever done. But every building should be good.
On today’s show we talk with Steve Mouzon about:
- the search for Living Traditions in Architecture,
- the Original Green and what sustainability really means
- Making buildings and cities that people love (and why it’s important),
- and taking the idea of ‘walkability’ to the next level.
Where to find out more about Steve Mouzon:
Books and resources mentioned in this episode:
(Click the links below to learn more…)
The Original Green – Steve Mouzon
Traditional Construction Patterns – Steve Mouzon
New Media for Designers + Builders – Steve Mouzon
A Living Tradition, Architecture of the Bahamas – Steve Mouzon
The American Builder’s Companion – Asher Benjamin