A group of architecture students who were not pleasing themselves
My discussion with the students lasted about half an hour. Gradually, by the end, I had led them to admit that, in the sense that I meant it, in the ordinary sense, they really did not like what they had done, or what they had been doing — that indeed, the conditions of their work had never emphasized this point at all, had made no provision for it, and that it had never even been suggested to them, while students, that they should like, or might like, what they were doing. That was just not part of the professional discipline being taught to them.
And yet, I said to them, “How terrible! This means you can expect to live your life making buildings that you do not really like.” And, even worse, that the others in society, who live with the buildings, made in this loveless spirit, will spend hours, days, years, living with these products of an unliked and unlikable architecture, done only because it was the thing to do, the way to get jobs, the way to impress one’s fellow architects.
I think, by the end of that afternoon, some of the students had begun to wonder very deeply about what they were doing. One or two, perhaps, had resolved that they must find a way of making buildings where they could, afterwards, stand up and say, honestly, “I like what I did. I truly like what I have done. It pleases me.”