A Tribute to Architecture, Old and New, in Europe


Looking at the above video, it makes one wonder about what the human species really is, and where it’s headed.

And, of course, we already live in a grand and bejeweled cathedral.


The Hubble Deep Field image itself raises some architectural questions: If Richard Dawkins is right that life, though appearing designed, is in fact the product of a “blind watchmaker” (evolution), is the cosmic cathedral also the product of a blind process–a blind architect? Are we the only conscious fashioners in the cosmos, or are we made in the image of some larger mind?

Which comes first, mind or elaborately structured and law-following matter?

Now let’s ask the original question with a twist: reflecting on our own architecture in juxtaposition with the architecture of the cosmos, what are we and where are we headed?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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4 Responses to A Tribute to Architecture, Old and New, in Europe

  1. colinhutton says:

    Nice U Tube, thanks. Could, or should, the examples by Pei and Gehry be described as “American buildings in Europe’, I wonder? (retaining a national identity as tends to happen with paintings, musical compositions and novels).

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Well, the religions that came to dominate Europe are from the Middle East, and Georgian architecture in England derives from Italian architecture, etc.

      It seems that the ideas of continent and nation are difficult to draw clear boundaries around (though people try).

      Picasso put African masks in his paintings. And part of Europe’s contemporary identity is to be outward looking, international, and humanist. It would be odd if there were only European architects invited to play in Europe.


  2. You asked what we are and where we’re headed:
    “In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and the most mendacious minute of “world history” — yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.” Nietzsche, “On truth and lie in an extra-moral sense” (Unpublished)

    I like the video. Thank you for posting that. Isn’t it strange: all these buildings in their glass cases, looking transparent when they’re really not?

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      It was the night background that gave me the idea for the contrast of the Hubble Deep Field image, and I like the Nietzsche quote as well.

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