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160. Restoring Traditional Architecture – Zach the Architect Interview

The art of architecture has been corrupted. It is no longer aiming at beauty, but either purely utility or novelty. Instead of aspiring to lift up people’s hearts and minds to beauty, ugliness that adheres to leftist ideology is put forth as architecture. So, I talked with an architect about the problems he sees with the art and the industry – as well as some solutions to the problems he sees.

Several Problems with the State of Architecture:

  • Architecture schools are ideologically possessed
  • Modernism encourages novelty over beauty
  • Traditionalism is scoffed at or ignored
  • Architects in the professional world are beholden to their clients
  • Traditional buildings are expensive to build

“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

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The goal of the architect should be to combine beauty and functionality. However, that’s not what we find. What we often get instead is insolent designs, many of which serve no other purpose than inflating the architect’s ego. So, we need people to step up and push for beautiful architecture again. Then, we might actually see a change.

Buildings like Penn Station attract our protective instincts not only because of their beauty but because we fear what will come to replace them.

-Roger Scruton

Examples of Traditional Architecture:

What Solutions Are Available?

Well, the fact is that solutions will require a lot of energy and determination to bear fruit. With dedicated and talented people, things can change. Here are a few things Zach and I discussed. There are surely more potential solutions, but I figured it would be good to offer these for your consideration.

Firstly, we can promote traditional schools of architecture like Notre Dame’s. Secondly, professional architects should educate the next generation in the traditional way. This is easy to do with cheap online courses. I believe there are solutions, but I also don’t have all the answers. If you listen to the episode and have your own solutions, let me know.

Some of the accounts mentioned in this podcast:

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228. Peter Kreeft's Intro to the Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas Conversation of Our Generation

 I wanted to start reading the Summa Theologiae by Thomas Aquinas – until I realized it was a multi-volume set. So, I despaired and looked for another option. And, I ran across A Shorter Summa, Peter Kreeft's work that helps introduce people to Aquinas. Buy your copy of A Shorter Summa by Peter Kreeft here>> Full episode: Peter Kreeft's Intro to the Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas  Who Was St. Thomas Aquinas? Thomas Aquinas is a Dominican friar, Catholic Saint, and a Doctor of the Church. He was philosopher who helped the Medieval Church incorporate Aristotle and the Greek philosophers into the Catholic tradition. He was a spectacular thinker and writer whose impact on the Church is still tremendous. While he's best known for the Summa Theologiae, he also wrote numerous commentaries, the Summa Contra Gentiles, and much more. What is the Summa Theologiae? Buy your copy of A Shorter Summa by Peter Kreeft here>> Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae is his largest work. Aquinas wrote the Summa to be a beginner's guide to the faith. Today, we would think it is rather comprehensive and hard to grapple with. It argues in favor of belief in God and the teachings of the Catholic Church as well as speculate on moral and theological questions. How Peter Kreeft helps read the Summa Theologiae What I found helpful about Kreeft's summary of the Summa Theologiae is how he broke down the questions. Kreeft's offered insight and background to questions, but didn't talk down to the reader. I found his notes helpful in understanding the context as well as the methods and jargon used in philosophy. His glossary of terms helped me grasp the concepts because Thomas didn't write in a way we'd be familiar with. Unless you've read and studied Aristotle (which I barely had at the time), much of what Aquinas wants to say is muddled. By leveraging Aristotle's system, he took on his terms and methods. Kreeft translates that in the notes, helping the layman like myself make better sense of it. Buy your copy of A Shorter Summa by Peter Kreeft here>> — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
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