Are Buildings Alive?

Are Buildings Alive? - Image 1 of 3
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

This video explores the case for understanding buildings as non-human creatures. While this might sound absurd at first, the concept has a long history and potentially very positive tangible outcomes. Buildings need to be cultivated like a garden; they require maintenance and care. If they are alive, the need for this care becomes more obvious and second nature. This conceit also prompts us to empathize with the people that conceived of and built the building, treating the human labor of its construction with admiration and reverie.

This is also the argument put forth in the book featured in the video ‘Creatures Are Stirring’ authored and edited by Joseph Altshuler and Julia Sedlock. In addition to an interview with the book's author, the video goes on to help build the case that buildings are, in fact, alive.

Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.

Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.

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Cite: Diego Hernández. "Are Buildings Alive?" 05 Feb 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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