Interviewed in Rome, May 31st 2004
ORIS: Bruno Zevi, your distinguished teacher and friend, asked you once in an informal conversation: “…beside architecture, what will you be doing in the next ten years?”. This question made you think and eventually inspired the theme of the 7th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale “Less Aesthetics, More Ethics”.
Fuksas: What does it mean to be an architect? Being a good architect, or even an excellent one is not good enough if we want to meet all the requirements set before us. Today’s interpretation of the term of architecture and the architect is strict and limited. Architecture is a popular topic these days. You can find it in plenty of magazines, and now even in TV shows and newspapers. It looks as though architecture is there for the public. Now it belongs to the world of the public more than to the real world. Or to make myself less bland, to the world of fashion. The architect today is more or less preoccupied with the building alone. He has forsaken the three themes of architecture: the first is HABITAT, that is, its development; the second is the development of LEISURE and the third is the development of the WORKPLACE. “Less aesthetics, more ethics” was the message to all architects, myself included, to join a new, interesting and affirmative process intended to change the status quo, and this is what architecture is about. We are aware that this will not change the world, but it can make it a little better.
Today’s future will take a few of the following minutes, a few hours perhaps. There is no longer some storybook future raising hope for change.