& Delight Symposium

“F̶i̶r̶m̶n̶e̶s̶s̶,̶ ̶C̶o̶m̶m̶o̶d̶i̶t̶y̶,̶ & Delight” – a graduate student symposium
Saturday, November 15th, 2014, Princeton University School of Architecture

Guests: Laurel Broughton (Welcome Projects); Mark Foster Gage (Mark Foster Gage + Associates); Andrew Kovacs (Archive of Affinities), Jimenez Lai (Bureau Spectacular); Michael Loverich (Bittertang).

Description: “Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas. Firmness, Commodity, Delight. Infamous words written by Vitruvius regarding the essential elements of architecture. There is a clear hierarchy to these three elements, priority is given to firmness, then commodity, with delight mentioned last. What would happen if we were to flip the order? What happens when delight is given priority?

The Latin translation of venustas defines delight as beauty in relation to architecture, only beautiful when its appearance is pleasing and in good taste, and as long as it follows the correct principles of proportion and symmetry.

However, the 13th century French translation of delight (delit) is “pleasure, delight, sexual desire.” This translation is more accurate to today’s understanding of delight, which implies an aesthetically desirable object of secretive indulgence.

In foregrounding “delight” we would like to loosely establish an aesthetic category without a predefined formal tendency, rule set, or proportion. Through bringing together a group of people whose work might be considered flagrantly formal, insincere, frivolous, and maybe even silly, we would like to explore the potentials of delight as a point of origin.

We are serious about not being serious.”

View the Introduction and Discussion.

Symposium organized by Joanna Grant and Kevin Pazik