Multiple solutions

There may only be one opportunity to provide a solution (because the next time the problem will be different; in architecture there will be a different site, brief, budget or client) and so it is impossible to definitively compare the quality of that solution with another. There is no such thing as one right answer in architecture. To compound this, the knowledge that there is no means of establishing one right answer drives the architect to adjust their process in the endless search to improve upon the last project and explore another idea that presents itself as imperative. He refers to Horst Rittel’s definition of ‘tricky or wicked’ problems, which have no definitive solution. For an architect, the imperative to act is the justification of their existence. This leads to an empirical approach to solving architectural problems. It’s such a delicate thing and if you try and lock it down into a crude, over-presented way, that is an absolute anathema to the way that we work.’
Steve Tompkins, Haworth Tompkins In his book Tools for Ideas: An Introduction to Architectural Design, Christian Ganshirt contrasts scientific thought and method to that of architecture. In addition, if an architect made a comprehensive study of every option available for every small decision in order to solve the bigger problem, there would be no time to act.

Updated: 28.10.2014 — 16:44