Quote of the Week: Roger Scruton, “The Aesthetics of Architecture”

Roger Scruton

roger_scrutonContemporary architects often speak of ‘design problems’ and ‘design solutions’, and in that notion of design is encapsulated, as a rule, precisely the attempt to which I have referred, the attempt to either banish aesthetic considerations entirely, or else to treat them simply as one among a set of problems to be solved, either wholly or partially, in the derivation of some ideal, or ‘optimal’, design. ‘Design’ is not what it was for Alberti, a process through which aesthetic values permeate the entire conception of the architectural task, but rather a complex, quasi-scientific mode of functional experiment. Aesthetic considerations are most often admitted not as part of the aim of design, but as its unpursuable by-product.

▪ Roger Scruton, The Aesthetics of Architecture – Princeton Essays on the Arts (Princeton University Press, 1979) extract from page 25.

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