Dear J-

There’s all kinds of movements you can attribute: architecture (modernist, revival), energy (green, renewable, flexible), food (regional, rustic) … we all have our roles to play and places to be, right? What’s the equivalent of a media consumer for structures and buildings?

I like photographs of structures at night but perhaps it’s more that I like the honesty of lighting; when the sun’s up you can see everything but the lights at night are of your choosing and reveal more of what the designer/architect was thinking. Here it is, partially veiled with what I choose to show and this alone; some lighting is purely functional, done to comply with some code that dictates this many lumens over that many square feet for safety and compliance, yessir, and you fill those with nearly-monochromatic sodium vapor arcs; other times the user has chosen something else for their functions and needs so that’s where you get lights hanging off in strange dimensions.

Stark functional nature belies the aesthete in all of us; you do have an eye for proportion and harmony, and you know when it’s instinctually right, don’t you? Even the aircraft navigation lights on tall structures serve a higher function (pun not intended) but there’s nothing to say it can’t be arranged at least just so in order to make the proportions work. (There probably is. You shouldn’t be getting your architectural code advice from a blog.)

The shape and spill of light and the way it plays over the surfaces, revealing (concealing) texture and deceiving color; all these things are important and true while not being overbearingly ridiculous, aren’t they? You spend enough time around facts every day; sometimes it’s important to let your feelings be known, flying upward and onward beyond simple considerations of time and practicality.



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