Following a long early run this (Sunday) morning, I prepared a high protein breakfast with egg whites, spinach, onions, garlic, and cheese, and then took my time in getting to the caffe for a coffee and reading time. I have made more time to read the last three days as I've been absorbed in a nice peice of writing (and reading) called "How Architecture Works - a Humanist's Toolkit." Ten chapters each of which is a pasted together collection of bits and pieces - a story really made up of history, texts, experience, and annecdotes. The collection aims towards an "adding up," adding up to a meaning of something like "Style," "Setting," or "Skin."
As I began reading the final chapter on "Taste," I looked up to see a couple in their late-twenties sitting in front of me. He had his arm almost uncomfortably reaching accross the table to hold her forearm. Why this stuck with me wasn't the seeming affection but my sense that it was forced and not genuine - while at the same time, it may have very well been unmemorable if I did not look down into my book and read Rybczynski open the chapter with a quote from Edith Wharton -apparently once know as "the grande dame of American Letters" - in her coauthored work "The Decoration of Houses"(1897).
"Rooms may be decorated in two ways, by a superficial application of ornament totally independent of structure, or by means of those architectural features which are part of the organism of every house, inside as well as out."
Setting can never be seperated from a meaning. Everything assembles together as one whole organism.
*Rybczynski, Witold. How Architecture Works: a Humanist's Toolkit. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. New York (2013)
I picked this up a couple days after my piece "Style Considered." I was browsing at "Talking Leaves" on Elmwood and came across the chapter on Style and walked out of the store with it. After paying.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture