Thursday, 9 February 2012

Aldo Van Eyck's insight into the Unchanging Condition of Man

"It seems to me that past, present and future must be active in the mind’s interior as a continuum. If they are not, the artifacts we make will be without temporal depth or associative perspective…. Man after all has been accommodating himself physically in this world for thousands of years. His natural genius has neither increased nor decreased during that time. It is obvious that the full scope of this enormous environmental experience cannot be combined unless we telescope the past…. Architects nowadays are pathologically addicted to change, regarding it as something one either hinders, runs after, or at best keeps up with. This, I suggest, is why they tend to sever the past from the future, with the result that the present is rendered emotionally inaccessible, without temporal dimension. I dislike a sentimental antiquarian attitude toward the past as much as I dislike a sentimental technocratic one toward the future. Both are founded on a static, clockwork notion of time (what antiquarians and technocrats have in common), so let’s start with the past for a change and discover the unchanging condition of man."
—Aldo Van Eyck


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