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An Invitation in Disguise

Recently I had a chance to visit this nearly 100-year old building designed by Keiichi Morita, the architect who initiated a field of study at Kyoto University, namely, theory of architecture. According to him, as a field, theory of architecture is about the following purposive inquiry:

What is good architecture for humans?

One might dismiss this as being too broad or impractical.

But my take is that in practice it is more of a touchstone for architects.

The word "good" suggests not only values in utilities and aesthetics but also moral values. And the phrase "for humans" orders those values to be objective beyond generations and cultures, which seems to be crucial particularly in the context of Kyoto.

Thus, to me the inquiry sounds like an invitation for architects to pursue higher objective values. And if in Kyoto, perhaps the values are expected to match Kyoto's cultural wealth.

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