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Bruno Taut, "An Architectural Program" (1919)

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IV. Other Buildings.

[ . . . ]

b) There should be no distinction between public and private buildings. So long as there exist free architects there should only be free architects. As long as there are no governmental master potters there is no need for governmental architects. Everybody can build public as well as private structures; commissions should be assigned as suggested in Ic or by competition—not an anonymous competition, but one in which the candidates are invited to participate and are awarded prizes by a council as suggested in Ic; no unpaid projects. [ . . . ] No majority decisions by the jury for the prize; if there is no agreement, each judge is individually responsible for his vote. The best would be one judge only. Final selection, perhaps, by plebiscite.

[ . . . ]

d) No titles or honors for architects, such as Doctor, Professor, Building Supervisor, Geheimer Rat, Wirklicher Rat, Excellency, etc.

e) In all these matters creativity should be given priority. Once an architect is commissioned he should not be subject to regimentation.

[ . . . ]

g) Only such architectural fraternities as thoroughly observe the principle of mutual cooperation are to be eligible for the council or are to be considered of good standing and to receive public recognition. They will also advise the building inspectors. Only mutual help can make an association productive and efficacious. This is more important than the number of votes, which is meaningless without social union. It excludes inartistic and, therefore, self-interested competition.

[ . . . ]

VI. Architecture and the Other Arts.

[ . . . ]

c) Also, consequently, the introduction of architectural students to the creative “new art.” Only that architect is of importance who grasps the whole realm of art and who understands radical tendencies in painting and sculpture. Only he can help bring about a unity to the whole.

The architect’s greater importance in public life and his holding of more important offices and the like will result automatically from the carrying through of this Program.

Source of English translation: Ulrich Conrads and Hans G. Sperlich, The Architecture of Fantasy, translated and edited by C.C. Collins and George R. Collins. New York: Praeger, 1962, pp. 135-36; reprinted in Rose-Carol Washton Long, ed., German Expressionism, Documents from the End of the Wilhelmine Empire to the Rise of National Socialism. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1993, pp. 194-97.

Source of original German text: Bruno Taut, Ein Architektur-Programm. Berlin: Arbeitsrat für Kunst, 1919.

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