The Architecture of Life: A Sad Story in Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazine

The Architecture of Life - Christopher K. Travis

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Sad Story in Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazine

Michael Cornelius writes a sad and sensitive tale of lost love that results from pursuing a perfect home, rather than a better relationship, for the largest subscription daily in Germany. It is called Too Nice to Be Close To: A great love broken.

Here is an excerpt translated crudely from the orginal German:

"...Houses talk to us," believes the philosopher Alain de Botton. "Why do not we hear them?" People think too much about style, he writes in the book happiness and architecture, "rather than the question of who we want to be."

"Still, there are no statistics on how many people the beautiful houses have broken heart. In the 1990s researched at Berkeley architecture professor Clare Cooper Marcus of the phenomenon. Whether we are at home or not, they concluded a decision on our childhood memories. Her book House as a Mirror of Self in the U.S. inspired the movement of the so-called emotional architecture.

Since Freud's grandfather triumphed over Gropius' Bauhaus manifesto. Form follows psychology.

"Christopher K. Travis from Austin, Texas, sees itself with its Firm Sentient Architecture primarily as a therapist. Sentient, was so much like "sensitive" means, is the supreme principle. Not "bricks and beams" were crucial for the construction of a house, he says, "but the spaces of our emotional world."

"Before Travis builds a new house, he sends his clients, therefore to the couch. Only when he personally in many meetings has clarified what the client relationship to her mother and whether the builder probably has an Oedipus complex, the architect begins with the design of the kitchen.

"Even the legendary architect Richard Neutra explored the secret yearnings of its customers with a sophisticated questionnaire. Then, he still clouds floating homes with glass fronts. In his biography, Life and Shape, he told of the eccentric idea of the director Josef von Sternberg, 1935 for which his house in the San Fernando Valley a special moat desired. Cannons and spiders should chase uninvited guests away.

"If this mistake occurs, follow my advice: Never make where you live too perfect!”

The rest of this sad story is in German. You can use Google Translate to read it if like me, you are a provincial and do not read the German language.