The manifesto is dead! The manifesto long live!

Politicians' indifference to the built environment is perhaps the greatest challenge edgy in the architectural profession. Until they are awakened from their toast speeches, nothing happens


Go far beyond manifestos! Architecture is not available on prescription! And yet - we have always tried to regulate our work. Pressure begets counterpressure, and although the architecture has been pushed forward every time, the time motivates rebellion a few years later. The world of architecture is no different from other arts, and perhaps it is becoming the time again, time for rebellion............... the time of the manifestos.

"One is Charts to Understand, Another Ship to Lead" - Ludvig Holberg

The practice of the subject can lead you the right way, and after countless attempts, through trial and error, the weight builds up, and thus the inner chart is formed. But the map is damn deft to carry from the start. You can cut corners, and for example, the restoration subject's methodologies around valuing good guidelines for the inexperienced, - although their charters and dogmas also have the character of the manifesto and consequent bursts.

To seek the paths of architecture is still to establish a solid foundation and from here work towards the goal. But you never know if you are pouring into the solution around the first corner or whether you have to go down major detours to reach it. You never know if the solution will be based on immediate intuition and lie in front of your feet or whether it will be heavy and hard detective work that eventually wrests away from a place its secret and precious treasure, around which the architecture can be created. And it is in this quest that all the magic is hidden.

Drop the Icon!

The last 10-15 years have been characterized by 'here I come' architecture. All the new (high)houses in urban harbour areas are described as unique works with iconic qualities, but they lack the root, the human nerve and generous thought of giving back to the city and the citizen. Instead, the individual buildings speak so loudly about themselves that you cannot hear what the others are saying. And when Starchitecture rules, the rebellion is necessary. Especially since politicians have only bought the populist angle of architecture' s work. Politicians' indifference to the built environment is perhaps the greatest challenge edgy in the architectural profession. Until they're woken from their toast speeches, nothing happens.

Meanwhile, building heritage disappears with the approval of the municipalities when the development renderings show happiness on the ground. We're taking away the story we're going to live on in the future. We are removing the traces of the past, what we have managed and been able to construct. In future, we must think less about our own imprint and give the past more answers to the future. The roots must be included, both the place and the history. The roots are literally sustainable. It is their imprint that must be prioritised.

Rårup Kirkehus, 2010, Photo: Martin Schubert

"Architecture is humanity's greatest metaphor" - Per Kirkeby

Sustainability lies in the natural, in nature's simple logical contexts and thus with man hidden in the architectural expression. Because man prioritizes differently, makes different impressions and clues, a narrative enriching diversity is created. It is the interpretations, it is the small characteristics that make the architecture readable and human, and perhaps even a 'mistake' sneaks into the details. For Cubo, the visibility of the history of genesis, of the road from chaos to goal, has always been important. Kay Fisker said that architecture is orderly in chaos - agree, and thus prioritization, - that not everything is equally important.

Architecture is frozen time. About society's visible ambition, for better or worse, reflected in physical form. Architecture is images of ourselves, about the way we inhabit and relate to the frameworks and surroundings we live in and with on the small planet. So architecture should reveal how we will conserve earth's resources for the future, it will require continuous development and new answers. Surely we must mirror human life in our architecture - like fine glimpses in the large galaxy from which we point, set a course and correct when reality presents itself.

Arrival Centre, Old Town, Aarhus, 2018