To me, a good architect is like a good chef. The chef gathers ingredients, combines and presents them. An architect gathers materials, combines and presents them. The ingredients are usually familiar, not new. There are very few “new” ingredients. The chef’s materials are produce and meats and spices and flavorings that have existed in most cases for centuries. They can be combined in the same old ways or they can be combined in new ways that may be reminiscent of the old, yet bring surprise and delight to the palate.
There are some truly “new” materials available to the architect and with the growing consciousness about sustainability many of the old, reliable, tested materials are finding their way back into the marketplace. Today we have an extraordinary cornucopia of products at our disposal. Construction combining these materials in new and refreshing juxtapositions that are yet reminiscent of the old has always been the essence of thoughtful, intelligent design.
Good design provides us comfort and enables us to pursue our personal or public endeavors unburdened by the ego of the architect. Great design may even inspire us to go beyond ourselves.--Warren Ashworth
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