Constraints for Creativity
What can we learn from Wright? What can we
learn from Corbusier? What can we learn from
Aalto? What can we learn from Pei? What can
we learn from Gehry? What can we learn from
What constraints structure the creativity problem in architecture? Louis Sullivan's famous dictum [Form follows function] implies three constraints. Function, like motif, is a subject constraint, synonymous with the use to which a structure is put (to house people, paintings, offices). Form or style is a goal constraint, realized via task constraints on method (how the architect works), material (building stuffs and how they are put together), and site.
This chapter starts with three architects who pursued the same goal constraint, defining the shape or style that [modern] architecture would take. (This meant, of course, precluding the currently prevailing shapes.) Each devised a radically different solution path, developing a series of constraints, as well as a set of working elements or types to be refined, expanded, recombined.
The chapter continues on to museums—structures with a common functional constraint, housing and presenting artifacts. This section will, by the way, nullify Sullivan's dictum: There are many possible forms for any function. There are also alternatives to the museum's traditional function as a container.