Finding Form & Missing Space – 1

From the very beginning, we architects were trained to find form, but somehow along the way we forgot the space. Externally… yes, we view things only externally! Buildings are getting to be huge and complex. You cannot see a building in one glance anymore these days.

It is the building that we architects desire to see. The architectural style would be commented upon…I like it or it’s ugly! As I drove by, I view the street-scape in a frame by frame montage of building fashions. That is how I learned to appreciate the architecture. So I am lazy?

Non-architects’ architecture is not architecture with a capital ‘A’. Who said so? There must be a precedence in theoretical and historical research and writings, but it can be argued.

Are plastic furniture and polycarbonate canopies worthy to be deemed as architecture? Must we take them seriously? They must belong to the cluttered masses and the uneducated then. But then surely they could engage in design in the most basic way or at the very least intuitively engage with the built environment.

There are very many of these, Architecture of the Informal Economies. Hawker stalls, street vendor carts, mobile architecture with mini roofs, tarpaulin rigged from tree to lamp posts…

These products of little businesses do create spaces…fluid, organic, meandering flow of spaces…pockets of tightly woven spaces…

Urban clutter? The poor man’s makeshift shelter?

I am not saying that there is order in this chaos. However we can argue that it is generative architecture although rudimentary and mundane. There are some ingenious ones though. But we cannot say that it is not architecture.

Perhaps we need to look with another eye at these things…

Stall at Jalan Raja Muda Musa, KL

Stall by the roadside

A gateway to a foodcourt at Kampung Baru, KL

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