Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lebbeus Woods, 1940-2012

One of my greatest philosophical influences has passed away at age 72. As long-time friends of Burnlab know, the work of architect, theorist, disruptor, artist, teacher, terrorist with a pencil and Michigan native Lebbeus Woods has appeared on these pages more than a few times. Woods was an erudite iconoclast of the very highest order. He was an intellectual with punk ethics throbbing in his blood. There is so much I could say, but I will leave you with his own words. The following brief manifesto "was read aloud on the steps of the burned-out Olympic Museum in Sarajevo on November 26, 1993, in full view of Serbian snipers and artillery gunners."

Architecture and war are not incompatible. Architecture is war. War is architecture.I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms. I am one of millions who do not fit in, who have no home, no family, no doctrine, no firm place to call my own, no known beginning or end, no “sacred and primordial site.” I declare war on all icons and finalities, on all histories that would chain me with my own falseness, my own pitiful fears. I know only moments, and lifetimes that are as moments, and forms that appear with infinite strength, then “melt into air.” I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, a sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, a silhouette against the darkening sky. I cannot know your name. Nor you can know mine. Tomorrow, we begin together the construction of a city.

Lebbeus Woods blog

Without Walls: 2007 BLDGBLOG interview

BLDGBLOG tribute

The Guardian tribute

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