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Theory and Criticism
 
Vernacular deconstructivism
I am writing my dissertation about New Vernacular Architecture. In a nutshell, I have identified the principles on which vernacular architecture is based:

1. availability of materials
2. response to need
3. response to function

Globalization has resulted in practically everything being available all over the world, and I have even found essays confirming my point of view of a globalized vernacular, as contradictory as it may sound to many people.

However I have taken this a step further; I am in favour of an application of vernacular principles in the twenty-first century, i.e., taking into consideration current needs: sustainability is perhaps the main topic on the list.

Also considering the fact that Modernism and the International Style are over, but we are still left with the effects of it, the result being Deconstructivism. How do you view this as being vernacular?

Please keep in mind that in the above text I have tried to compress a lot. I have already written a few chapters regarding every few sentences above, so bear with me; to anyone who knows what iI'm talking about, let me know your views. I say this because it's a bit of a delicate matter!

Thanks and Regards,
Bernard Vella
Bernard Vella
Responses
 
Vernacular deconstructivism
Let me begin with a caveat- I understand that you have compressed a lot and hence some things I say or object to, might have already been dealt with in your dissertation. With that part out of the way, let me give my opinion about it.

Vernacular architecture is much more than response to material, need and function. If I take the simple example of a mud house- there are vast variations in form and space if one compares houses in Africa, West Asia, America and South Asia. Although vernacular architecture does take all these three things into account, the final form is a result of many factors like culture, myth, climate etc.

Ideas on re-interpreting vernacular or continuities of tradition are very interesting. Hence I find your line of thought about vernacular and sustainability very interesting. For a moment if I were to stop talking of form and space and look at other aspects of the vernacular, an interesting picture could emerge. You could look at how vernacular architecture has dealt with sustainability in the past. There is a certain immediacy and ad-hoc quality to vernacular buildings in the way they deal with construction, growth and change. I feel that some of these facets of vernacular architecture are relevant issues in contemporary architecture.

Personally, I do not quite understand how you bring deconstruction in this whole debate. Are you trying to imply that deconstruction is in some sense an interpretation of vernacular architecture? I am also not sure about deconstructivism and sustainability either. Though my knowledge of deconstruction is rudimentary, I have not heard of sustainable deconstructivist buildings. On the other hand, I have heard about a lot of these buildings which are completely unsustainable in terms of material and energy use. I will be very keen to hear from you on this issue.
Vishwanath Kashikar
Vernacular deconstructivism
Bernard, "Globalised Vernacular" is a contradiction in terms. Vernacular is a much over-used Latin-based word for "home grown," as in the micro sense of being specific to and locally made by the common people of a culture.

The Internationale Style was a disaster as is any trend of architectural design which lives not in the real world but in the clouds of utopian idealisms.

Deconstruction is a 1980s term made up to confuse and overawe people. A far better term (the original one) would simply be 'analysis of (something)'.

Your list of principles completely misses the whole meaning of vernacular which is that it is ALWAYS a localised phenomena. Vernacular architecture is created in rsponse to local conditions and the conditions are (a) Environment and Ecology, (b) Climate and Weather and (c)Language and Culture.

Todays' ideologies push the "Global / Universal / Absolute" which operate as "One size fits all (systems)" and will destroy vernacular architecture as the Internationale Style has already.

The reason WHY humanity has survived this long is because of the diversity of languages and cultures. Any attempt to create a universal global uniformity in any thought system actively destroys diversity and the future of humanity.

There are two completely different ways of looking at any situation. One is by analysis which is reductive and the other is by synthesis and is holistic. Your list of principles is reductive by basic function, whereas the list I gave is extrapolative and holistic.

To give you an example, for about ten years I used to buy books to create my own personal library (I now have about 1,500 reference books) and I bought and listed the books by function regardless of the environment, climate and culture from which they came. One day to my horror I realised I was missing the point, which is that in order to evaluate any environment/climate/culture, it is necessary to group the books by these factors to obtain a holistic understanding of each complete (vernacular) system and not just as isolated and abstract functions.

So please think about it, do you want to destroy vernacular architecture?
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
Dear Vishwanath,

Regarding my list of principles, by response to need I also meant cultural needs and societal needs. Even climate is within the 'need category'. Sustainability is a need nowadays which we cannot do without. So please bear with me and consider these terms broadly.

Regarding the deconstructivist bit. No, I am not implying that deconstructivist is vernacular. I am simply saying that in considering the new vernacular - of nowadays and what style is now contemporary i.e. Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind etc ... who are all Deconstructivist Architects, what sort of relationship is there between these two! How can the language of deconstructivism, its forms, elements and components being all sooo flexible, be used in keeping with vernacular principles. Deconstructivist architecture is really and truly reflecting today's society ... deconstructivism certainly emerged out of needs of society - otherwise it wouldn't be so popular in today's architectural scene. This is responding to today's society's needs. It was in fact Zaha Hadid who once said in the manifesto 'The Eighty Nine Degrees' (1983)- "The 20th century triumph of technology and our accelerating and ever-changing lifestyles have created a totally new condition. These changes, despite the difficulties, have a certain exhilaration which is yet to be matched in architecture."

Apart from the above, I would also like to state that I am totally against conservatist approach towards traditional vernacular architecture. I think vernacular architecture can be seen in a much more dynamic way. I am not trying to destroy vernacular architecture. I believe that people who look at vernacular architecture in a conservative manner are the ones who are putting an end to it by making it static and freezing it! The reason being that the traditional vernacular cannot accomodate today's needs as we know it. There is a need to reinvent it...hence keep the tradition alive and continue it as it's definition implies contrary to what many think!

Thanks,
Bernard
Bernard Vella
Vernacular deconstructivism
Deconstructivism is neither prevalent nor popular by any means. Less than 0.5% of buildings constructed today or in the last 10 years are even remotely related to deconstruction.

It is the written word and the proactive nature of these architects that makes deconstruction so popular amongst students. Deconstruction has not arisen out of society's needs. If it were so, deconstruction would have been popular in the real world rather than the virtual world.

Deconstructivist buildings are not flexible. If you want to touch upon flexibility, study Habraken, Hamdi, Kendall and concepts of open building and support systems. Curvaceous or free form is not flexible building!

Please don't take this as an attack on you or on deconstruction. I find some of their works interesting and thought provoking. But I think you should not get enamoured of it and start attributing qualities to it which it does not possess.

I am also not saying that we should preserve vernacular buildings or traditions. That is a different debate altogether.

My advice to you would be to study this issue objectively and not rely solely on accounts given by architects. Study the space and not the written word.
Vishwanath Kashikar
Vernacular deconstructivism
Bernard,

Yes, Vernacular Architecture is seen by many people as being the past and so there is a tendency to believe that vernacular or traditional designs are a useless hangover from the past which has to be preserved (fossilised) in showcases from the past.

But this approach is worthwhile because both vernacular and traditional forms of design have been badly hammered and in some cases totally destroyed by the utopian (nowhere) Internationale Style.

In Britain, many areas of traditional urban buildings in Britain were simply wiped off the map to make way for the Brave New World of concrete housing and today, people recognise and bitterly regret this wholesale vandalism.

The whole rationale for keeping some vernacular traditional designs intact, is that such design is the end result sometimes of thousands of years of design for a specific environment, climate and culture. To wipe this body of knowledge away as the Internationale Style did is wholesale vandalism.

Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, etc. are symptoms of architecture gone crazy because the Internationale Style wiped out the rationale for both architecture and design. The Internationale Style was soul-less, style-less engineering.

Personally, I think that the terrible horror of the First World War was so inextricably linked with tradition that tradition became a total anathema. When millions of people died, then the whole the cultural fabric was so disrupted that normality died and abnormality became seen as the way forward.

Now to argue your case for you. Yes, there is a need for live or progessive vernacular design. And I want to see live vernacular design, but this can only be achieved by using the valuable body of knowledge already available in the cultural traditions, techniques, processes and skills which were in use BEFORE the Internationale Style.

This is a new century, let us use this opportunity to leave the Internationale Style behind as a mass abberration and move forward with neo-vernacular design and regain the continuity of cultures.

Vernacular Architecture today is regarded as a static product by Western architects because it predates the Internationale Style (which killed vernacular design stone dead).

Whereas non-Western architects regard (or should regard unless influenced by western views) Vernacular Architecture as a dynamic design process.
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
Dear Vishwanath,

Thanks for your contribution. I was in fact trying to get another point of view regarding the matter. I must admit that deconstructivism somehow does appeal a lot to my likings. However I do realize that this might result in a biased opinion and this resulted in posting this letter in the forum :) Really and truly I believe that Deconstructivism still somehow reflects very much the cosmpolitan lifestyle. What I am unsure of is whether this would truly work for today's society. I recently looked up manifestos of contemprary architects, and in the last section, 'New Modern' all manifestos where written by Koolhaas, Hadid, Libeskind, Eeisenmann etc...This to me strongly suggested that Deconstruvism seems to be still on the forefront.

Recently there is an emergence of a deconstructivist-influenced style (organic flowing kind of thing) which manipulates these shapes and forms for climatic considerations. An architectural firm following this train of thought are Jarmund Vigsnaes architects ... if interested go to their official site at http://www.jva.no/ and click on PROJECTS, then LARGE, then click on the 4th project 'Svalbard University'. Am I not right in saying that this style is Deconstructivist influenced or does it have a different name?

Regarding your letter Frank...I totally agree with what you're saying regarding objecting the wiping out of the existing traditional vernacular because if not for anything else...one must keep them as a record let alone the possibility of being useful in the near future. I also agree with your point of view regarding Deconstrucivism.

As I stated earlier, I am defending Deconstructivism to get a different point of view to make sure I am considering all aspects in my opinion. I am totally against the International Style but one cannot neglect the effect this had upon societies in general. What I am proposing is perfectly in synch with what you're saying Vernacular Architecture as a dynamic design process! :)

Please tell me your comments regarding the work of the architectural firm (the link of which I posted above) in relation to this discourse.

Thanks and Regards,

Bernard

Bernard Vella
Vernacular deconstructivism
Bernard,

I agree with the fact that any building process is dynamic with regard to time and technologies.

I do nt think that if we define Vernacular as static 'home' grown, we would be here today,... we would be still living in caves for that matter.

What you define as vernacular is important. Is it that what has been here for last 25 years / 100 years / 1000 years?. Please quantify. It sounds nice to be abstract, but quantification, even if it is not 100%, still helps.

Building technology improves over time. Hence the 'vernacular' architecture also changes. As far as anthropometrics and response to social and human needs is concerned, it varies. Social and personal values change with utilities and functions being defined differently over the ages can be quantified.

People have stayed comfortably in mud houses that are no more than 4-5 feet high and are 1-2 room houses.
So have kings, in palaces much larger than the govt. accommodation given to the prime minister or the president, who probably commands much more power today.

If you study the changes in 'vernacular' architecture, due to time, social changes, technological advancements, I think that would help.

Try to quantify...
Chitradeep Sengupta
Vernacular deconstructivism
Hi Bernard,

This is turning out to be an interesting discussion. I saw the website and the project. There is insufficient detail on the website to do a fair criticism of this project. Hence, the views I present here are not necessarily based on this building.


Deconstruction, as espoused by Derrida, is an attack on structuralism. Derrida talks of looking at 'the text' in a new way. Amongst other things, he says that there isn't a single or authentic way of looking at a literary work. Even meanings and impressions conveyed by a text change, and are dependent on the reader who might interpret things in a different way. In effect, he is attacking the heart of the written word and its singularity of meaning.


Let us now look at how this can be related to architecture. The simplest and perhaps the most naive way of looking at it is to simply talk of physically deconstructing the building. This naturally takes the form of trying to make the building 'look' different, perhaps as faceted and broken in appearance as possible. This is as superficial a way of dealing with architecture as post-modernism, which simply attacked modernism by trying to look different.


Probably a better way of looking at deconstruction would be to strike at the very heart of intentions of space making. Space is never perceived or used by people in a unified way. Space is often interpreted and used in ways never imagined by the architect. One example would be dwelling place. In contemporary cramped urban houses, or even in rural settings, do we use one space for one function as often mentioned in architectural drawings? Does such a thing as a bedroom or living room exist? Sleeping and entertaining exist as activities, but is there a singular and sacrosanct correlation between function and space? This is just one aspect of space that I am giving as an example. I am sure there are many such realities of space inhabitation that can be questioned. This would lead to a meaningful act of deconstruction.

Another interesting facet of this attitude towards deconstruction is linked to vernacular notions of space. If for a moment I were to stop looking at vernacular architecture as a set of unique forms or spaces and instead focus on attitudes towards space and its use, some interesting correlations of continuity can be observed; continuities that were disrupted by the International Style and are still persistent in other contemporary styles.

Or you could just go back and do what the flashy post-modernists did. All their spaces are essentially similar to modernist space; it is only the sticking of colour and pediments which somehow are supposed to make them different!

Deconstruction is not about angular/curvaceous forms and faceted buildings; it can go beyond stylistic considerations and truly emerge as an alternative to modern architecture.
Vishwanath Kashikar
Vernacular deconstructivism
Dear Chitradeep,

I fully agree with you that in such discussions and analysis, one should talk in quantities in order to make the research itself more tangible an evident. However, this goes beyond the scope of my dissertation.

I do however have a good book which was recently published by Marcel Vellinga and Lindsay Asquith from Oxford Brookes University (same University as Paul Oliver) entitled Vernacular Architecture in the Twenty-first Century. This book contains a number of write-ups by various people correlated to vernacular studies, some of which also involve actual monitoring and analysis [quantities :)] of vernacular studies.

Besides the lack of time and going out of point in my disseration, I believe that such anaysis do require an substantial amount of experience in various departments, even anthropology which is a whole world of its own!

However I would like to thank you for your response. Very much appreciated.

Thanks and Regards,
Bernard Vella

Bernard Vella
Vernacular deconstructivism
Bernard,

I looked at the Svalbard Univ. projects website and it simply looks like all the other kitschy pastiches which plague architecture today in the exact same way as the Internationale Style plagued architecture.

The very uniformity of the irregularity bores me and I dislike the way many of these buildings look like horrors from the aftermath of an earthquake.

You could put any one of these utopian decon designs anywhere in the world as there is no context, not environmental, not climatic and not cultural.

Humans are only human because we have culture and live within the context of culture. Take the cultural context away and you strip our humanity away and we become nothing more than animals.

The Internationale Style robbed people of their cultural context and stripped away their humanity and today we are still reaping the rotten harvest of this absymal disaster in pseudo-scientific social engineering.

Advocates of the Internationale Style have yet to apologise for the social havoc they have caused and cause. And I am quite sure advocates of the various Deconstructionisms will not apologise now or in the future for the similar havoc that they are now creating.

In fact, ideology and politics have no place either in architecture or in architectural education, because architects are responsible for the physical context of cultures.

Throwing the cultural context away is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Or, removing all the trees in an orchard because some are rotten.

Architects should never be wholesale revolutionary social-engineers. Whereas, architects should follow the evolutionary way of gradually pruning the worst designs and planting better designs within the cultural context.
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
I am inherently against the "international style" as a form of esthetic homogeneity which the world could well do without; however, I support Bernard Vellas' inventive term "globalized vernacular" in the sense that it
1) reflects the communicative nature of architecture in general and

2) offers a specific term to describe a global 'language of construction' of common elements of engineering and design.

I would suggest that while these elements may reflect their cultures of origin, they are not applied as specific ideological expressions. We find all kinds of domes everywhere on the planet, ergo it is part of the 'globalized vernacular' as opposed to being an 'international style.' Of course, there will be the inevitable critic who says "so what, 'doors and windows' are part of the vernacular as well.

My response is 'architectural expressions' which have found a pervasive niche in the globalized world are now part of 'globalized vernacular' independent of their origins.
Anthony Stewart
Vernacular deconstructivism
Anthony,

"globalised vernacular" is a contradiction in terms. "Globalised" means universalised and "vernacular" means homegrown. And a "universal homegrown" is like saying a "generic specific".

I would agree that civil engineering technology is spread throughout the world and likewise the "lowest common denominator" material of concrete is similarly as widespread. So that there is an automatic tendency for building design to become universally uniform.

BUT, the world is not flat and neither has exact same climate nor the exact same environment everywhere. Specific human cultures all over the World have evolved through thousands of years to adapt to specific conditions. Yes, modern civil engineering technology is useful, but it is a servant of cultures and not the master.

Today global media spreads globalisation faster than anything else. People around the world see TV, videos and films and subliminally and uncritically absorb the images of the more modern technologically advanced cultures as being THE way forward.

Whereas, what is done in the more modern advanced cultures is simply one type of cultural specific response which does not need to be imitated for the developing countries to advance.

The world will be a throughly boring place when universal uniformity (aka globalisation) replaces all of the differences between cultures with deadly dull and anodyne sameness.

The ancient Chinese curse of "May you live in interesting times" (aka, may you have many problems), will become turned upside down as "May you live in uninteresting times" (aka, may you be metaphorically bored to death because you have no challenges in life)."
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
Salam alaykum,

I think you are missing the point: 99.9% of the time, pofessional technojargon gets in the way of communication. If you want to be a linguist, be a linguist!

For instance, your definition of 'globalized' is not the working definition in common use. Sorry, globalisation refers to the growing economic interdependence driven by technological advance, the rising importance of transnational cultures and ideologies over nation states. Even more specifically it refers to the American neo-liberal agenda which has little to do with, if not diametrically opposed to fine architectural traditions OR innovations.

Furthermore, if architecture does in fact constitute a form of communication, communication will be its salvation in the face of mediocrity. So let's not go there.

Language, like architecture, remains fluid. There is nothing wrong with clarifying terms, defining common concepts in a way that is accessible.

Yes, I like the origins of 'vernacular' - I am probably one of the few here who actually has 'grown' their own house - but certainly I don't think running an Alaskan mill has anything to do with a globalized architectural language!

I offer whatever perspectives I have on terms, merely so any important, even misleading connotations can be avoided when they if used within a specific discipline.

The nice thing about great artists is they usually don't lump their work into any one label; that's what art critics and historians are for.

If there is a logical, rational reason to not use a term, by all means 'spill the beans,' but when linguistics gets in the way of real innovation, design and debate we should get back to the real issues: architecture and design.

ma salemah!
Anthony Stewart
Vernacular deconstructivism
Anthony,

Nothing I have said refers to linguistics other than to put modern pop jargon into plain English language.

Please note I was not criticising you.

Architecture is, as you say a form of communication and the globalising effect of the mass media actively works against any type of vernacular.

The bottom line is that while modern technology can and does bring help in many fields; there should not be any automatic linkage which either overtly or covertly implies that the culture from which the technology comes from is superior to other cultures.

But the sad fact is that as pictures tell a thousand words, people absorb globalising satellite pumped images and this actively pushes vernaculars in decline because vernacular is seen as the old style used by "have nots"; whereas, the globalised universal style represents the "haves". So that there is growing tendency for people to want the modern "have" styles at the expense of their own culture.
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
Salaam, Frank - is this okay with you, I never asked...

I apologise if I seemed a little 'hot under the collar.' I am relieved, and happy to have found at least one kindred spirit who understands that globalisation is destructive to the vernacular. It is in the inherent diversity, among vernacular styles, whether they are 'al dobo' in Arabic, or 'adobe' in Spanish which gives the most hope to the 'have nots' of this world.

ma salemah!
Anthony Stewart
Vernacular deconstructivism
Anthony,

Thank you. For myself, the power of the human species lies in our ability to be flexible enough to adapt to diversity and flourish. The modern juggernaut of "globalisation/harmonisation" is therefore a backward step because it actively destroys the human powerbase of diversity.
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
So then, there exists for sure two schools - architects who value the "human-power base" (diversity) and those who value "client-patronage" (globalisation...). Should an architect feel that the values of civilisation are preserved in its buildings and monuments, this puts designers on the front line.

As they say, we cannot separate the philosophy from the vernacular.

But to reconcile the adaptation, adoption of quality innovation without removing construct out of original cultural context? No longer purely vernacular, not purposively 'international' but accepted into the mainstream..?

A true architectural statement will achieve its own identity long after the architect is dust...

A perplexing, philosophic problem...
Anthony Stewart
Vernacular deconstructivism
Anthony,

Vernacular architecture or contextual design has continuity even though there is constant adaption to the context with current knowledge.

Contextual design is dynamic and should not be viewed as static. Yes, there is value in conserving elements of the past vernacular fabric and the value is continuity of context. But there is also value in creating neo-vernacular design within context.

Culture, language and philosophy are dynamic and integral, so to disturb the balance of context and continity with non-contextual designs as "social engineering" has done causes severe disturbances in the balance of life.

The argument against the "unnecessary universal uniformity" (UUU) created by the juggernaut of globalisation/harmonisation is a practical one.

Take a group of companies (in various different fields); a group that has been slowly gathered together. Each company has its own "inhouse system" and flourishes using their own system. One day, a silly person at Group HQ will decide that it is too much like hard work having to understand the many different "inhouse systems". The the order will go out to all the companies in the group to "harmonise" their inhouse systems, so there is only one inhouse system. This means that the database for "the one single inhouse system" immediately expands enormously and not only means more work for everyone in the companies, but the expanded database is so enormous that typing errors, etc become normal and then gradually the creativity and productivity of the whole group goes downwards and the whole group collapses completely.

The above paragraph is what happens to groups of countries which amalgamate and the greater the amalgamation the greater the will be the collapse, because finally there will be too many people simply servicing the system rather than producing anything.

Empires collapse for the above reason, because the motivation of empire is to centralise control using "one single inhouse system" and when the system uses more manpower to service the system than to produce the necessities of life then "the empire" collapses.

"Globalisation/harmonisation" (to paraphrase Karl Marx) "carries within it the seeds of its own destruction."

Human diversity and the many contexts created by that diversity is what will enable humanity to adapt and survive.
Frank John Snelling
Vernacular deconstructivism
Dear Bernard,

I happened to come across the discussion that you have initiated here.

"Sustainable Contemporary Vernacular" happens to be an area of interest for my research as well. I would like to know more about your topic and the status of your dissertation.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards, Sneha Gurjar.
Sneha Gurjar
Vernacular deconstructivism
I would like to know your comments on the new term "glocalisation". Could it be something close to what the discussion on "globalized vernacular" is trying to imply.
Brinda Sengupta
Vernacular deconstructivism
"Globalized Vernacular" is an oxymoron that veils the grounded values that underlie all that is truly vernacular. I see this and "glocalglobalism" as a sign of the times... a desire to have our cake and eat it too.

I had hoped to read some responses engaging the speculated link of the vernacular with sustainability and I'd like to contribute by challenging some underlying assumptions presented. The idea that sustainability has become a driving force cannot be substantiated as of yet, and the signs of such a sea change are not visible in any meaningful way. It is in fact a concept with great potential that we can perhaps anticipate with some optimism, but the world of architecture is largely defined by consumerism and the growth paradigm at this point in human history.

Clearly, architecture and architects won't be a determining force or even a leading factor for a paradigm shift on this scale. It is important to ground our thinking in that reality. The reality is world events and timelines, primarily economic in nature, bracket the trends and possibilities in architecture and provide windows in which the "right" architect at the right time can make a big contribution by assembling seemingly random elements into a contextual mosaic that resonates with a people.

Modern times seem to have tended to be increasingly unstable (comparatively rapidly evolving and changing materials, access, technology and economic realities contributing to an inflated sense of abundance) often resulting in flashes of genius, the values of which tend to privilege the artistic over utility.

Globalism provides a very entertaining and very safe climate for us. It means that anything and everything goes and so it usually does. Anything, that is, that feeds into consumerism. Craftsmanship and quality, for example, are inefficient mechanisms at supporting consumerism and globalization and are therefore largely denied to us. A paradigm shift to sustainability may change that if outside pressures truly make it the driving economic force bracketing our reality.

If this happens, that paradigm will renew demands on us to sort out and contribute to responses that are likely to become grounded in a way that makes our contributions bias back toward utility instead of consumption and frivolity. Is our profession prepared to react and lead a return to the kind of value-based design this would call for? Will we be comfortable returning to tradition for inspiration and guidance?

To me, the linking of sustainability and vernacular architecture suggests a likely synergy with tremendous potential for the profession to revisit substantive values and move forward with clear direction once more. But, if you embrace a sustainability paradigm at the height of the consumerism and growth paradigm you cannot really be expected to deliver anything meaningful to be widely embraced and the underlying systems do not really exist to deliver on it. Tricky that.
G Pazak
Vernacular deconstructivism
"Globalisation" = the lowest quality. The qualities of human dignity, human difference, human diversity are the opposites of the lowest quality.

If every human on this planet was the same physically, mentally, spiritually. Then there might be an excuse for pushing unneccessary universal uniformity upon humanity. But, humans are naturally diverse and so human complexity only defeats those who prefer one single final solution.
Frank John Snelling
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