Make it Fit: Bringing Local Knowledge

Robert Geddes celebrated his 90th birthday this month with a call to embrace the "here and now" that ties community architecture and institutions together. 

Addressing the privately-initiated planning group Princeton Future, Geddes presented a key idea from his recent book Fit: An Architect's Manifesto (Princeton University Press, 2012).  

“We need a better way to evaluate architecture,” writes Geddes. “It should replace the modernists’ ‘Form follows function’ and the always fashionable ‘What does it look like?’ . . . Architecture should embrace fit — order and organization, growth and form. The ‘oath of architecture’ should be loud and clear: make it fit.” 

It requires local knowledge. As Clifford Geertz, the anthropologist at the Institute for Advanced Study, argued: " one lives in the world in general. Everybody, even the exiled, the drifting, the diasporic, or the perpetually moving, lives in some confined and limited stretch of it — the world around here.”

Full article here.

Clifford Geertz quote is from Senses of Place (1996), p. 262.
Photo from Carmen Ortiz' blog "Baking is my Zen":  Princeton Farmer's Market at Hinds Plaza (September 2011)