I wrote Architecture of Jubilation in 1974. It is still guides my work today.
I believe we are passing through a gate from one age to another; one more profound than the changes medieval man faced with the rise of Humanism and the age we call the Renaissance. We have spent the last five hundred years trying to understand the world by dividing it into parts. We now have the task of putting it back together by seeking a vision of a whole world, with ourselves as part of that whole.
Let me describe a world we are entering; a world where equality is seen not as sameness but as uniqueness. Here time is not just ends and goals, but a process with moments to be savored — not separated into past and future. Matter and energy will be understood as inseparable. God can be as much at home in a cup of coffee as in the stars.
In this new world, survival will be achieved not by control or force but by sympathy and understanding. Technology has made morality no longer an option but the only path away from self-extinction. Architecture — what we build — must reflect sympathy and understanding.
Have you watched millions of stars hang in the sky on a moonless night, or seen the wind waver over a field of grass, or noticed dust at play in a shaft of light, or felt the warmth of another’s hand … someone you cared for? This is where architecture must come from. It must take measure of all that it is to be human. Somehow it must count our galaxy and a smile equally, and learn to express this new world in walls, doors, and roofs.
Economics and function are not unimportant, but they no longer express who we can be. We must add our love, our history, our metaphysics. We must add the wind, the sun, and the call of the hills. Our buildings must learn to convey all of this. Astronomers talk about the music of the spheres. I have heard this described as a song of jubilation. Perhaps this is a phrase for our coming age: a time of coming together, of coming back to the whole. We need an Architecture of Jubilation to sing of it! — JTH