I am convinced that between architecture and building exists a profound difference.
One can have good building without architecture, as well as excellent architecture without building. Piranesi and Boullée, just to quote the best known examples, are evident proves of that.
Building is the product of pragmatic thinking, architecture of the symbolic thinking. Nowadays, the most exalted and exhibited symbols are high technology and global market. In our Italian and European cities this looks like the alarm clock hanging from the neck.
More and more often, the contemporary architect is not what Adolf Loos would have liked, “a mason who has studied Latin”, rather a surveyor who, in best cases, has studied a bit of English. From that: the predominance of pragmatic thinking over the symbolic one, of building over architecture, of technology over art.
What interests me is, therefore, a symbolic universe that has little to do with technology and globalization, much more, instead, with the inheritance of Greek-Roman culture. Besides that I feel much more sympathy and curiosity for all the matters concerning the idea of taste, rather the one of style; i.e.: I am more interested in the “how”, rather then in the “what”.
I am, in fact, deeply convinced that architecture is something similar to good cuisine and good manners, meaning: the historical product of social conventions that are not indispensable, but that make human life much more agreeable.
For this, I am very interested in studying the Architectural Orders. Such a study has led me to re-edit, in digital form, the Rule of the Five Orders of Architecture by Vignola, through the website: www.architecturalorders.com