Short answer: No. Some people will always be strong enough to make it anyway.
Long answer: We can be uplifted by a beautiful and harmonious view of a city even though we know that, just like every other city, it is full of wretched, bickering, greedy, and dishonest people. But the shortcomings of its inhabitants do not spoil the joy of a divine urban scene. Likewise, you can grow up in an impoverished environment and still be an outstanding person. And even the most well-designed environment provides no guarantees about the quality of life. To believe otherwise is a form of determinism. As Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Luckily, this is not always true. We push back, suppress the dreadful, mask over it, or we rebuild. If the architecture isn’t there from the start it will come, as long as people get the chance to make their mark.
This short excerpt was taken from Rasmus Wærn & Gert Wingårdh‘s new book, “What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions.” This week, we’re sharing seven questions from the book, with one new excerpt released each day. “What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions” will be on sale starting September 1st.