‘Every day the Everyday’ – a lecture by Kees Kaan at ENSA Nancy
On April 6, 2021, Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Nancy will host an online lecture by Kees Kaan titled 'Le Quotidien - Every day the Everyday'
Read the full statement and join the lecture at the link below!
“Architecture should aspire and reach out for the better; there is no doubt in my mind about that.
Society changes permanently, which reflects in our built environment and, hence, in architecture too. In that sense, we could argue that architecture is the protagonist of change. However, this begs the question: is architecture a product of change or its driver?
The start of an architectural venture is often an initiative fuelled by the zeitgeist. Yet, its result arrives years later as a loud booming echo of the timely spark that caused it. Architecture is slow by nature and, as such, not suitable to be the protagonist of change, but rather a witness after the fact.
Every project has a reason why it started in the first place, often articulated as a question for which an answer is solicited. This question is explained in a brief that contains urban conditions, requirements, specifications, etc. However, the particular issue that sparked the process is likely to have disappeared or became less urgent once the project is finished. The architectural project tends to answer questions from the past. As a result, architects seem to design for the wrong question. So how can we find the right answer?
Every day we work on projects for the everyday life of people. Our designs become settings for wide ranges of different activities. The power of architecture is to generate settings that make every day feel remarkable and uplifting, comfortable and emancipated. Like good food, a great book, or any work of art can do. Architecture cannot change a life, but it can upgrade the quality of the everyday. This is not achieved by being extravagant or extraordinary, but by being appropriate and good, functional and beautiful, generous and sustainable.
Whether urban or rural, architecture always navigates the boundaries of different domains, from the very private to the very public. Architecture has the potential to put these domains in perspective, to ‘build’ relations. That is the very objective of architecture.
Architectural innovation serves no purpose unless a proper balance between private interest and common values is established. With this lecture, I will critically reflect on the contextual narrative as the driver of the architectural concept that generates a self-evident relation between the city, building, construction, and detail as well as between shared and individual interests or pleasures.
The question of beautification will be used as a vehicle to explore this statement.”
To join the lecture on April 6 at 18.00, follow the link here.
The lecture will be given partially in French and English.