There's only one cardinal sin in architecture, and that is not thinking. Though it's seldom recognized, thoughtful architecture has little to do with style, taste or the sort of inane aesthetic minutiae that small-minded design-review boards like to busy themselves with. Over the centuries, there have been hundreds of architectural works that offended contemporary eyes, but are now seen as works of brilliance. That's the point: Thoughtful architecture has nothing to do with the fashions of its time. Rather, what every great work has had in common -- what all great architecture has in common, whether familiar or unfamiliar -- is that someone has taken the time to think about it. But it isn't just "great" architecture that's worthy of thoughtful design. On the contrary, since dwellings make up the overwhelming share of architecture on earth, it's all the more important that we think about them as carefully as we would some vast public project. The additive impact, after all, is much gr...
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