New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

By Paul Zucker | Go to book overview

THE FUTURE OF INDUSTRIAL ARCHITECTURE

By LOUIS KAHN

( Albert Kahn Associated Architects and Engineers, Inc.)

Intelligent appraisal of the future of industrial architecture necessarily implies a clear understanding of its present status.

Since it is a comparatively recent art, a quick summary of the need which created it, and the indicative stages in its development, might also be informative and in order here.

When the so-called machine age required specialized housing for its efficient operation, industrial architecture came into being. Where the machine age goes from here will determine the future road traveled by its concomitant art form.

Art has always had its patron, and commerce has underwritten practically every forward movement in culture and ideology. The patron saint of industrial architecture is the machine.

Because the machine age is comparatively new, so is industrial architecture. But to call it an "art" is no longer a precise and sufficiently inclusive definition.

To design an efficient production layout today the industrial "master builder" must supplement his competence in art with an expert knowledge of many of the sciences.

An additional responsibility has devolved upon him out of the social agitation of the past few years. He now has to add to the art and science of his trade a fine regard for the human equation. The industrial architect who can, by the skill of his physical arrange-

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