ArchNewsNow: Delicately Rearranging Intangibles in Public Space: The Art of Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers in Learning Through Practice
Delicately Rearranging Intangibles in Public Space: The Art of Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers in "Learning Through Practice"
A new monograph highlights transformative designs by a firm strikingly dedicated to re-enchanting public space.
By Norman Weinstein
February 12, 2015
Please join me for an imaginative reformulation of architectural history for the sake of discovering new pleasures, architecturally, in public space. Move over, Vitruvius. Make way for Lao Tzu, your Asian forerunner who wrote in his Tao Te Ching, a 6th-century, BC, spiritual, as well as practical guide for living lightly:
We make doors and windows for a room.
But it is these empty spaces that make the room livable.
Thus, while the tangible has advantages,
It is the intangible that makes it work. (John C.H. Wu translation)
Juxtapose that 6th-century, BC, utterance with the following statement by architect and urban designer Robert M. Rogers, the founding principal of New York City-based Rogers Partners Architects+Urban Designers, found in Learning Through Practice (ORO Editions, 2015):
We delight in the impact of small things, understanding that authenticity involves much you can’t or don’t see, that what we open is as critical as what we enclose, and that our overall impact on culture matters.