An educational theory. A way of doing the things | Jorge Meijide


Louis Kahn in the Yale University Art Gallery, 1953. (Courtesy of Lionel Freedman Archives)
Louis Kahn in the Yale University Art Gallery, 1953. | Courtesy of Lionel Freedman Archives

A way of doing the things.

“I love the beginnings. The beginnings fill me with marvel. I think that the beginning is what guarantees the attainment. If this one does not take place, nothing might nor would like to exist. I take a great respect as the instruction because it is a fundamental inspiration. (…) The will to learn, the desire to learn, is one of the major aspirations. It does not thrill in equal measure the education. To learn is nice, but the education is something that always is in discussion because no system manages to catch the real meaning of learning ever”.

Louis I. Kahn1

First of all the clear things: A project is a process.

A process that follows an evolution in the time. A gradual process in constant development nourished by the gradual acquisition of knowledge and skills. A process directed to the accomplishment of the work of architecture.

If a project is a process it seems to be coherent that the teaching of the same one it has to be also. We have to deal to the project, in his evolution, as agglutinative of intentions, of interests and especially of knowledge, valuing his character propositive.

The formation of an architect is long and continues, since it it is that of the person. To think that in what the stay of the pupil lasts in the School we have formed an architect is, when less, ingenuous. The same thing that to think that we have formed a professional for the mere accumulation of certain skills and knowledge. We are speaking about quality and not about quantity.

A process as complex as the formation of an architectural personality, it is a question of a long and internal process of maturity and reflection, as well as of big doses of serenity and self-criticism.

Goethe was saying with regard to the maturity of the young poet,

“the fault of the majority of our young poets, it is that his subjective personality is not interesting enough still and they cannot find in objective matters for his works, at most they find mediocre matters that answer subjectivity to his own young woman“.2

We have to be conscious of that a project teaching based on a succession on increasing difficulty tipológica of corrected and evaluated exercises, does not look like a good way to achieve the looked end.

We have to promote and to value the process as tool of production of the project more than his final result. We have to promote also the integration of all that that it enriches, of all that knowledge that they lead to the formation of an architectural spirit complete and capable of developing this work of deserving architecture of being a part of this exchequer of the architecture about which he was speaking Kahn to us.

To value the work of the process in yes same and not the result is the way of understanding it, but not as an end in yes same, but as the catalyst and agglutinative of experiences, knowledge, desires and longings. It is a question of promoting the motivation and the longing to thrill.

Project and Workshop.

The project must agglutinate and integrate in yes same and concerning if same all those disciplines and knowledge that make it feasible, in a continuous and constant flow of influences. One workshop3 agglutinative, understood in yes same as a form of work, must organize in a gradual way, so much vertical as transversely, the long of the career, distributing his contents, not for his apparent complexity, but for his conceptual contents that include the different scales of the work proyectual and the diverse complexities and overlaps that the architectural fact carries. A plot thread with different degrees of commitment in which the pupil has to go penetrating and interfering.

The teaching is a way of double direction. It is a process that takes place in continuity with the daily experience. An education in which you learn, you discover and re-discover. It is learned and is taught simultaneously. To teach to searching and across it to deal and to learn to see. The process prospers and retroalimenta, generating illusion and complicity.

It is necessary to develop and articulate a set of fundamental values that substancien the process like work. It is necessary to promote the critical practice with debates brings over of the intrinsic content of the things, his essence and his reality.

The architecture is a creation of the thought and the work his concretion. Both, it designs and work, they are indissolubly joined in an honest relation and for ende real.

A project of architecture is a personal and intransferible, inevitably intimate process. Any creation is an act of intimacy, a solitary act, any act of creation, any act of comprehension it is. Any feeling is individual, any sensation it is. It is a question of the search towards an emotional approximation to the architectural fact.

One does not learn anything that is not a part of yes same, was saying Kahn.

A work of architecture understands an ethics. An ethics of the occupation that owes to his process itself. The time, the maturity, and the knowledge forge a thought; a thought that reveals the interests, the affinities and the needs, and that perfects and delimits the way of seeing the things and the ways of doing.

To Kahn me liked the beginning, and also…

A Kahn le gustaban los comienzos, y a mí también…

Jorge Meijide . Architect
Coruña. December 2017

1 I love beginnings. Kahn’s presentation in Reel, June, 1972, about “The invisible city”.

2 Eckerman, Johann Peter. Conversations with Goethe.

3 The name already indicates another attitude of work, of collaboration, up to of crafts.

Text elaborated for a day of work on the project teaching, organized by the Project department of the ETSAC, celebrated in Lóngora’s Country house, To Corunna, in June, 2011. Checked in November, 2017.

Arquitecto por la ETSA de A Coruña desde 1991. Colabora en el estudio de Juan Navarro Baldeweg entre 1991 y 1992. Máster de proyectos integrados por la fundación camuñas, madrid 1992. A la vuelta A Coruña se incorpora al estudio de su padre, Carlos E. Meijide Calvo con el que trabaja hasta 2001. Desde 2004 hasta 2009 colabora con los arquitectos Patricia de Marichalar y Fernando Martínez. En el año 2009 forma, junto con Patricia de Marichalar meijidedemarichalar arquitectos. Desde 2014 trabaja en solitario colaborando con estudios y arquitectos amigos. Es profesor de proyectos arquitectónicos en la Escuela Técnica superior de Arquitectura de A Coruña desde 1997; es tutor de proyecto fin de carrera y ha sido presidente del tribunal de PFC. Colabora con blogs y publicaciones de arquitectura.
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