Architecture – the ‘YES’ profession par excellence – can deeply and critically learn from the culture of ‘NO’.
What if the architect would systemically cultivate the uncomfortable yet urgent art of saying ‘NO’? How many architects really acknowledge that declaring ‘NO’ to irrelevant briefs or other impertinent opportunities is a fundamental social responsibility of the profession? And can this ethical ‘NO’ be considered productive for the public good? The self-evident though elusive answer is: ‘YES’, of course.
This small-scale series offers an inclusive stage for architects, artists and policy makers who have claimed ‘NO’ at a crucial point in their professional career. It wishes to put to the fore the rewarding but scarce praxis of critical abstinence.
The quote ‘I prefer not to’ originates from Herman Melville’s short story ‘Bartleby, the scrivener: A story of Wall Street’ (1853).