Words of Wisdom

But an institution cannot be built of wholesome usage, until its precise mission has been determined. An institution is a machine in that its whole structure and functioning must be devised in view of the service it is expected to perform. In other words, the root of university reform is a complete formulation of its purpose. Any alteration, or touching up, or adjustment about this house of ours, unless it starts by reviewing the problem of its mission—clearly, decisively, truthfully—will be love’s labors lost.

—José Ortega y Gasset. Mission of the University, 1930.
(Cited in PKAL Volume III: Structures for Science, 1995.)


The architect is a sort of theatrical producer, the man who plans the settings for our lives. …the architect’s work is intended to live on into a distant future. He sets the stage for a long, slow-moving performance which must be adaptable enough to accommodate unforeseen improvisations. His building should preferably be ahead of its time when planned so that it will be in keeping with the times as long as it stands. …The architect, too, works with living things—with human beings…. If they cannot thrive in his house its apparent beauty will be of no avail…. Indeed, one of the proofs of good architecture is that it is being utilized as the architect had planned.

— Experiencing Architecture. Steen Eiler Rasmussen. 1964.