“It seems a fantastic paradox, but it is nevertheless a most important truth, that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect.” – wrote John Ruskin, whose 200th birthday will be this year on February 8th.
While most surely not too many architects, today, are interested in the “nobility” of their buildings, we still think that the theme of “imperfection” is quite important, especially today.
So we invite you in this year when we will celebrate the 200th birthday of John Ruskin to imagine:
THE HOUSE OF IMPERFECTION
We invite you to explore, consciously, the theme of IMPERFECTION.
That very imperfection that excessive trust in reason, in comfort and a simplistic understanding of what “perfection” means.
In a way, we ask you to explore the great virtues of deficiency, that obliqueness that infuses life, meaning, the breath of life, in the inhibiting “perfection” of “controlled outcome.”
Yes, let’s celebrate imperfection, let’s celebrate difference, let’s celebrate “accident”, let’s celebrate disorder, let’s celebrate even “uncleanness”, let’s celebrate warm blood, let’s celebrate “mistakes.”
Yes, let’s design THE HOUSE OF MISTAKES, a beautiful HOUSE OF MISTAKES.
Let’s embrace Imperfection and Mistake, let’s make them our friends, just as, on an old Gothic façade innumerable human “errors” celebrate God in the most convincing and enlightened way.
Perhaps we need today much more Imperfection and Error than the cold perfection of “streamlined” obsessions.
Let’s build a beautiful ERRCHITECTURE, one that would please Ruskin and ourselves alike.
Err, dear architect, err!
Indulge in your errors, enhance them even, love them!
Yes, build THE HOUSE OF ERRORS.
THE HOUSE OF “MISTAKES.”
THE HOUSE OF IMPERFECTION.
That is, THE HOUSE OF LIFE.
Be even “ignoble,” if being “ignoble” means being ALIVE, true to truth, not to the appearance of truth.
In other words, do not make your house white. Reject whiteness, since whiteness can lie, giving the impression of a purity which quite often is not there.
Build imperfectly in color, even dirt. BUILD IMPERFECTLY.
And most importantly, reject SYSTEM. No system would be allowed!
Build a House for John Ruskin. A non-systemic house. An “imperfect” house.
Please send your work to [email protected] by April 24th, 2019. Please register before the deadline in order to receive a registration code with which to anonymously identify your work. Please use format A0, vertically oriented, maximum two sheets. If you have any questions please contact us.