Building in First Person

From Berlin to Mexico

CoCoon Berlin 

It is said that nothing is as practical as good theory. But it’s also true that nothing is as intellectually formative as good practical experience, so university programs that lead to actual constructions are always memorable for students and teachers alike, whether or not they meet their objectives. Failures can be instructive. A popular structure in architecture school courtyards, the geodesic dome, was born in a Buckminster Fuller class at Black Mountain College that only managed to raise instantly collapsing ‘supine domes’. Most experiences are successful because they force awareness of material constrictions and budget limitations, increasing technical competence and economic good sense, so important in a profession that will sooner be sequestered by dreamy imagination than bow to the discipline of constructive pragmatism...

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