Beggars and Architecture

Letís not use the word architecture in any narrow sense: pretty buildings, utterances of power and domination, buildings as the focus of property, a lordship of the eye.


Architecture is our background, a background that we have created in whatever way. A landscape becomes architectural when we derive a sense of place from it, by distinguishing, naming and recognising features. Allowing the landscape to become familiar and homely That word says enough.


Architecture is the shell of society, it channels our activities and moulds our habits to particular places. The physical structuting of our daily life is architectural.


The truth of this proposition can be easily proven by a look at the down and out in Kingston. People who are mute, whose life has withdrawn into itself, but whose habits strucutre the environment with an extraordianry rigour. (Beggar at KFC)


Bags are placed just so, favourite waiting places have an invariable configuration and demandsregular commuting, a fire place, a rubbish dump, a place for excreting, their house without walls is rigidly furnished.


Architecture without walls? Surely. Many of the traditional Anglican churches in Jamaica lie abandoned, in disrepair. The healthy Church crowds itself into a place, not defined by walls, but by the poles of a tent: rigorous points of reference between the outside and the inside.