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Why Architecture Isn't Art (And Shouldn't Be)

10:30 - 8 March, 2016
Why Architecture Isn't Art (And Shouldn't Be), Biomuseo in Panama by Frank Gehry. Image © Fernando Alda
Biomuseo in Panama by Frank Gehry. Image © Fernando Alda

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about what architecture's ultimate purpose might be - with answers ranging from the creation of form to the correction of societal ills. But according to Lance Hosey, perhaps the least useful definition currently in circulation is that architecture is "art." In this article, originally posted to his blog on the Huffington Post, Hosey argues that the concept of architecture as a form of art is not only misleading to the public, but also potentially damaging to society.

In July, I wrote that when architects use the bodies of specific women such as Marilyn Monroe or Beyoncé as "inspiration" for buildings, they objectify both women and architecture. Many readers didn't like this: "Anyone complaining about where an artist gets thier [sic] inspiration dosn't [sic] understand what an artist or art is," protested one. "What's wrong with using the female form for artistic inspiration?" asked another; "I can think of nothing more beautiful." And another: "Music, Structures, Paintings, anything artistic is not degrading. It's beauty."

The message: Architecture is art, and where artists get their inspiration isn't up for debate, since it's personal to the artist.

Luna Apartments / Elenberg Fraser

01:00 - 2 September, 2013
Luna Apartments / Elenberg Fraser, © Peter Clarke
© Peter Clarke

© Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke © Peter Clarke +28

  • Architects

  • Location

    173/177 Barkly St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
  • Council

    Port Phillip cit y coun cil
  • Area

    7000.0 sqm
  • Photographs