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Technology + Architecture


Technology and architecture. Architecture and technology. In today's world, both are interwoven. Some of our newest architectural feats rely heavily on cutting edge technology while some of our newest technologies are designed specifically for architects. They coexist and complement each other. But is technology all "good?" And if indeed technology can be "bad," what does that say for architecture?

In the Postman reading (which I have yet to put up discussion questions, etc. for I have noticed...), the idea of a Technophobe and Technophile are discussed (-phobe = afraid and skeptical of technology, -phile = one who is obsessed with technology). I have to say that I, personally, am somewhere in the middle; I believe technology is beneficial, but I have my doubts. I really can't say that technology is all good or all bad. Nor can I say that one certain technology is good or bad. I wish I was passionate about either the benefits or downfalls of it, but I honestly am very unsure. For example, it is one thing to say, "Stem cell technologies are evil and wrong!" But what if I had a child dying in the hospital that could be saved from such research? Would I still be so inclined to call it "the work of the devil?" The issues surrounding technology are what makes it a difficult situation.

I am not saying whether or not I support stem cell research, but am merely pointing out that the usefulness and value of a technology really depends on the morals and perspective of each individual person. I could say that the toothbrush is a good technology and that the atomic bomb is a bad technology. However, to a five-year-old, the toothbrush might seem completely awful while the idea of an atomic bomb blowing stuff up could be “awwwwesomme!� Until the day we are all android clones trained to think in the same manner, I do not think we will ever have one definite answer as to whether or not technology is good.

I do, however, believe that the advancement of technology is key for the future of architecture and our society. Since the dawn of time, technology has been a catalyst for progress. Few could argue that we would not be where we are today if it were not for the invention of the wheel and stone tools. In our reading, Postman, in short, also argued that technology simply does what it has been designed to do. I disagree with this. Though "writing" was designed for communication, I don't think it was ever meant to spread hate literature or racial degredation. Technology is what it is, but people are constantly finding new ways to use it. They are constantly reinventing it and finding their own uses for it. Technology is not inherently evil because of it's design. Technology can be good or bad, all depending on how it is used. Similarly, the practice of architecture can be good or bad, all depending on how it is performed. In response to that, I can only say that all technology and architecture should truly be used responsibly and all consequences should be thoroughly considered.

(Images combined on photoshop from http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/images/architecture.jpg and http://www.cnq.ca/Page.asp?PageID=749&SiteNodeID=160&BL_ExpandID=1391)