Purpose

This entry follows on from the excellent dialougue started by Monsieur Fincham, where he argued, amongst other things, that creating Architecture is an inherently intellectual activity and that Architects should be more aware of this.

I take something of a big-tent approach to design and architecture and prefer not to spend too much energy following the seams and fissures in language which are used to divide disciplines, and so I’m quite comfortable with the idea that design is an inherently intellectual activity.

I’d like to renew this discussion by exploring a specific aspect of these statements.  I am personally rather ambivalent about the need for Architecture or Architects to realise the intellectual component of their disclipline as I find the concept of Intellectualism, or the Intellectual rather void of meaning until there is some content poured into the phrase.  For my mind being intellectual is a means, not an ends, and is a rather neutral position until the ends are more explicitly explored.     So I’ve become curious to understand what the purpose of intellectualism is?

Purpose is itself an interesting word which in this context is meant to suggest force and direction rather than a neat resolution.  It asks what is the tractory of intent of Intellectualism?  Where does it lead?  I fear if we don’t ask these questions, and answer them honestly we risk becoming trapped by our own language, becoming imprisoned in our own textual constructions.