About the Book
Truth, as philosopher Richard Rorty suggests in the quote, "Truth is what your contemporaries allow you to get away with," is not only a relativism, but a conceit. Can architecture lay any claim to truth through form? What is questioned here, is whether the constant redefinition of the architect’s paradigm through the generation of ‘new and improved’ formal techniques, is necessary. Architecture as a profession seems to be measured less in terms of content, in other words, its impact and success in a cultural context, but rather by its visibility. How formal attributes sell space, so as to satisfy what is often a transient cultural commodification, resides as an uncomfortable conflation with the apparent fixity of the built form.
This academic portfolio, does not attempt to posit any answers, although a position is taken. Pedagogy is interpreted, against a larger set of criteria, in order to establish limits, since it is at the uncomfortable edge of one’s paradigm, that true learning can occur. I entered the program naively hopeful that design could be reduced to a convenient formal singularization, yet I exited more determined to qualify form as a constituent, rather than a sum of parts. Architecture is a social, spatial profession. This should mean that form does not equate as architecture, and that a solution demands of the architect, participation, rather than resolution through branding. Evidently as a profession grounded in the Renaissance, we are not asking the right contemporary questions. In answer to the question posed, Why do Architects wear Black?, architect, Alison J. Clarke replied, “Unspoken social anxiety. Those with the most knowledge of style are the least able to express it.”
Brendan Sheehan is a freelance designer with backgrounds in architecture, horticulture and landscape design. He has designed various award winning urban gardens and holds degrees from Tshwane University, South Africa and Pratt Institute, New York. Sheehan has self-published various academic and professional portfolios. Specialties Architectural design, urban landscapes, publishing, writing, research, photography.