Week 4 Question

From my point of view, historic preservationists are generally more aware of the fact that buildings must die via either decay, obsolescence, disaster, ruin or demolition than architects. In the book “Buildings must Die”, Cairns and Jacobs argues: “architecture’s persistent natalism comes from the foundational link to creativity by design,” so death has been much repressed in the literature of architecture owing to the profession’s investment in the idea of creativity. How do we relate the practice of historic preservation to the idea of creativity?

The authors attempt to stimulate architects to design and build with building’s inevitable death in mind. For me, the point is to view the life of a building as a biological cycle. After all, there is no real life without death. What is our profession’s role in this biological cycle, and how can we preserve a building while simultaneously prepare the ground for its new life?


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