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Riverine architecture, 1994


Sediments and settlements

(tekst van een voordracht gehouden aan boord van workship Holland, op weg van Frankfurt naar Rotterdam, 1994, gepubliceerd in Riverine architecture, p.75). Download bestand.


The river as methaphor

The  design is not an expression of will, a seizure of power, but a completed stream of thought. The stream that flows through psychic layers deposited in the mind of the designer in a lifelong process of sedimentation. These layers are frozen memories of cherished places, knowledge obtained through study, skill acquired by well-considered experience. The passage through the landscape of the designer's personal fascinations gives the stream of thought its peculiar propensity and course. The stream is nourished with external data as well as carrying with it a great deal of useless junk. It runs up against barriers, changes course, undergoes accelerations and overflows its banks. It comes to rest, finally, in the design.

The fascinations, chosen areas of professional reflection, determine the direction the design takes. They allow the designer to find new and unexpected ways of solving problems. The fascinated glance, the unimpeded yet reflective regard - here lies his secret source of strength.

(Riverine architecture, p.22)