“Everyone should be able to build, and as long as this freedom to build does not exist, the present-day planned architecture cannot be considered art at all. Our architecture has succumbed to the same censorship as has painting in the Soviet Union. All that has been achieved are detached and pitiable compromises by men of bad conscience who work with straight-edged rulers.
The tangible and material uninhabitability of slums is preferable to the moral uninhabitability of utilitarian, functional architecture. In the so-called slums only the human body can be oppressed, but in our modern functional architecture, allegedly constructed for the human being, man’s soul is perishing, oppressed. We should instead adopt as the starting point for improvement the slum principle, that is, wildly luxuriantly growing architecture, not functional architecture.
Functional architecture has proved to be the wrong road to take, similar to painting with a straight-edged ruler. With giant steps we are approaching impractical, unusable and ultimately uninhabitable architecture.
Only when architect, builder and tenant are a unity, or one and the same person, can we speak of architecture. Everything else is not architecture, but a criminal act which has taken on form. If this unity of architect/builder/tenant is lost, there can be no architecture, just as the current manufactured constructions should not be considered architecture. Man has to regain the critical, creative function he has lost and without which he ceases to exist as a human being!
When rust sets in on a razor blade, when a wall starts to get mouldy, when moss grows in a corner of a room, rounding its geometric angles, we should be glad because, together with the microbes and fungi, life is moving into the house and through this process we can more consciously become witnesses of architectural changes from which we have much to learn.
It is time for industry to recognise its fundamental mission, which is to engage in creative moulding! It is now the task of industry to engender in its specialists, engineers and doctors a feeling of moral responsibility towards moulding. This moral responsibility towards creative moulding and critical weathering must already be established in education laws. Only the engineers and scientists who are capable of living in mould and producing mould creatively will be the masters of tomorrow. And only after creative moulding, from which we have much to learn, will a new and wonderful architecture come about.”
Taken from Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s “Mold Manifesto”