Citation:Austin, M.R. (2015, February). Open architecture. Paper presented at Pacific Spaces: Annual Conference of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3292
The history of architecture revolves around the notion of closure. It is concerned with shelter, protection and differentiation. A history of openness in architecture has yet to be written. It does not see origins in the forest or the primitive hut but instead in the ocean and the boat. Open architecture is not concerned with closed rooms courtyards or squares. It is instead about platforms, decks, terraces, and beaches Hodges, the artist on Cook’s first voyage, was confounded by the aesthetic appeal of Pacific and Asian architecture which couldn’t be explained by reference to the architectural canon of ancient Greece. Oceanic societies lived in a way that contradicted traditional European architecture. This architecture of the new world introduced the notion of the open and provoked the introduction of the modern. The skyscraper, the suburb, the freeway are New World examples of open architecture. The negatives of openness are well known; the boredom of suburbs the waste of the freeway and the banality of the skyscraper city. Nevertheless the outcomes are sometimes sublime. The architecture of openness endlessly strives for porosity, connection, or view, rather than enclosure, shelter, or containment. The positive story to be written is about the achievement of openness as a way of examining the architecture of the Pacific Islands.