Many problems in today’s architecture world would vanish if every once in a while it was clearer what is meant by good architecture. The ‘crisis of criticism’, for instance, is a symptom – seldom recognised as such – of the impossibility of knowing (or daring to know) what good architecture is. The assumption, critical in itself (and certainly useful), that each architecture project has to be judged anew each time has led everyone to unquestioningly assume that there is no values model for architecture. It has also ensured that the last models for evaluating architecture (modernism and postmodernism) are been followed merely by perversions (supermodernism, retromodernism, etcetera) or by ideals made into science (sustainability, mathematical models and regionalism).
Nevertheless, it is impossible to work with architecture – in design, theory or history – without making assumptions about criteria for quality. Just because a unique values model no longer exists does not mean that different values models cannot exist side by side. This issue of OASE uncovers and makes explicit the assumptions underlying these models, by posing the simple question ‘What is good architecture?’ in different ways and have it answered by people whose ‘main occupation’ is architecture.
Of course the question of good architecture cannot be answered unequivocally and definitively. But simply because a question is certain to have an infinite number of answers does not mean it should not be asked. This issue of OASE can be like a banquet at which each guest selects something entirely different from the menu in a well-reasoned and forthright way – and so keeps the architecture party going.
THE NEW DEADLINE FOR HANDING IN YOUR ABSTRACT FOR OASE #112 IS: 15 JUNE 2021
OASE editors Bart Decroos, Sereh Mandias, Elsbeth Ronner and Kornelia Dimitrova wrote a Call for Abstracts for OASE #112 with the theme “Ecological Aesthetics”. This
issue of OASE is interested in contributions that investigate the role
of aesthetics in contemporary ecological practices and discourses in
architecture. Deadline is 15 June 2021. Read the full text of the OASE #112 Call for Abstracts in the pdf-files below.
OASE editors Asli Cicek, Jantje Engels and Maarten Liefooghe wrote a Call for Abstracts for OASE #111. The theme is:Staging the Museum. Deadline is 10 January 2021, 18:00 CET. More information in the PDF file below.