Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Architecture & Stories

I have been aware for a while that all verbal and written communication is about telling stories - even when it takes the most simple form. This is also clearly true in other areas, such as music and visual arts.

Whether we are aware of it or not, our communications always contain stories. These are stories about our culture, about our personal experiences, and the human mind and experiences of the world. Beyond this, they are stories reflecting the evolution of our species and the structures and processes of this universe.

I am becoming more aware of how true this also is for architecture.

When we present a project, either verbally or visually, it is obviously about telling a story. We tell the story of the background of the project - the people who are going to use it, the physical conditions, and the physical and cultural context. We also tell the story of our own approach to the project, what we see as important, and the processes that led us to the current design.

And we tell stories that goes far beyond this. These are stories about our personal worldview, the worldview of our culture and subcultures, about the history of building that we are part of. We also tell stories about our biology and our planet.

There are no absolute boundaries, and all scale levels reflect each other.