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Artificial Ecologies: The Work of MVRDV

The question of the relationship between creativity and engineering is a highly debated issue in philosophical practice. There are many studies on the subject, including Artificial Ecologies: The Work of MVRDV. The subject matter of this work is closely related to the possibility of integration into artistic and logical types of thinking. As a model combining these aspects, the American psychologist Allen will cite the profession of architect. Despite rather extensive analysis, the main idea that the author has laid down in the article is related to the potential rethinking of the concept of the architect. This essay is the response to Artificial Ecologies: The Work of MVRDV by Stan Allen, an article on the phenomenon of working processes in a Dutch architectural company.

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The text of the research work devoted to the phenomenon of the architect when reading to a certain extent, similar to the artistic work. In the first two pages of the article, Allen dedicates to praise the great artists and artists for their unique ability to think as if beyond the limits of a typical imagination. In fact, behind this is the concept of conflict of artistic and logical thought. As representatives of the creative world, artists reflect the most characteristic features of the creators: a love of their own business, partly frivolous and romantic. At the same time, the public often encounters misunderstandings when trying to get explanations of artistic works from the authors. Artists live in the plane of creative thinking, and the borders of logical structures rarely accompany their activities.

The other side of thinking is represented by people engaged in scientific activities. With more advanced logical and critical thinking, researchers rarely have the imagination to be guided by templates and algorithms. From this perspective, the concept of the architect as an opportunity to combine the creative process and engineering solutions is exciting. Allen claims that the work of the architect, in particular within the Dutch company MVRDV, involves the integration of creative thought and engineering. It is hard to disagree with that statement: indeed, the architect’s method is a kind of synthesis of innovative methods of the artist and analytical techniques of the researcher. At this point, it is essential to understand that scientific and artistic techniques are not derivatives of each other: in the process of architectural creativity is their interpenetration. Typical attributes of engineers, such as graphics, diagrams, and statistics, are mixed with creativity that goes beyond the usual. For this reason, Allen is convinced that any, even the most pragmatic architectural case is a pleasant surprise for the client (Allen 26). The secret lies in the fact that yet the most refined and verified orders are added creativity. This leads the reader to the idea that the role of the architect in solving the contradictions that arise in the process of creating an architectural work from the original idea to the completion of its nature, is paramount and overriding.

In distant parts of the text, having finished the thought with the integration of two different methods of problem-solving, the author additionally tells about the profession of architect. Analyzing these parts of the article, we can conclude that the concept of architect and the modern world is undergoing serious changes. More than twenty years have passed since the publication of the article, and taking into account this time, it is not difficult to understand that Allen was not mistaken. Modern architecture had lost its classic look when people in strict suits spent all their working time standing at the engineering canvas. To replace the classic, the time has come for a qualitatively new profession, combining, as it was written earlier, not only creativity and logic but also the ability to communicate effectively in a dialogue with the client. Allen leads the reader to the conclusion that today the architect is a multifaceted personality, developing in many ways.

Work Cited

Allen, Stan. “Artificial Ecologies: The Work of MVRDV.” El Croquis, vol. 86, no. 4, 1997, pp. 26-33.

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