Hui Rong Liu, The Cooper Union, B.A.
I believe that the formation of one’s ideology is a retrospective process rather than a constructive one. A student’s ideology develops from architectural exercises in the form of studio prompts and criticism from the professors who set these frameworks. One can argue that given frameworks are nothing more than starting points, since individuality can been observed through the comparison of students’ responses to these prompts. This process can be, however, destructive, as we all can most likely recall experiencing a semester in which we really struggled and had second thoughts on architecture school.
For me, the more interesting question is whether individual ideology in architecture is important. Given the cooperative nature of architecture as a profession, the architect’s word can only go as far as the drawing communicates. A good portion of the realization of a project is in the hands of people with different interests and perhaps conflicting desires. If we accept that the medium of architecture is through buildings (Herzog and De Meuron), how can any “architectural statement” be the manifestation of the ideology of a single individual? Shouldn’t it always be the result of economic and social forces, which make any architectural work inherently a collective manifesto.