The Glass House is one of modern American architecture’s great icons. Originally built in 1949, it served as architect Philip Johnson’s own residence or weekend retreat until his death in 2005. Now a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it is the site and symbol of a continuing conversation about architecture, design and society.
Glass House Conversations is the online version of the spirit of the foundation continuing the dialogue there. In their definition of purpose, they say that “each Monday, a host posts a provocation. People have only five days to respond. The boundaries of the conversation are set to just one week, ending on Friday evenings. After comments have closed a “Final Word” is chosen from the replies.”
This week, for example, Paddy Harrington, Creative Director in Bruce Mau’s office in Toronto, has asked the following question –
“A recent episode of RadioLab on the subject of cities discusses the importance of difference as a catalyst that allows life to flourish in an urban context. Similarly, the complexity of global systems bring new challenges, demanding that disciplines that have traditionally worked quite separately now work together to find appropriately complex solutions. The result is that the boundaries between disciplines seem to grow blurrier every day: architecture merges with graphic design merges with strategic consulting… Do we gain more by protecting the integrity of our practices from possible deterioration caused by outside forces, or are the possibilities generated in the friction caused by difference too great to ignore?”
In your opinion, is there still a benefit to boundaries between disciplines? Why or why not?