Addressing a gathering of architects, Lady Macbeth advised, ‘Screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail.' Then she left the room and never identifying the sticking venue leaving that task to each architect.
Many architects have spent their lives looking for that place to screw their courage to, what is it? Where is it? Here’s what the architect learns:
It’s not the city; it's not the site; it's not the day, but it might be the night.
It ain’t the program nor the cost, wandering there he was certainly lost.
It’s not the doctrine nor the tools, when journeying there he was looking for rules.
From axons to parametrics, ends can’t be the means; the secret most likely resides in our dreams.
It's not what architecture is, he found. It’s what architecture sits on that makes it resound.
Sometimes it’s pleasure, sometimes its pain, sometimes it’s easy, sometimes a strain.
Method won’t solve it when instinct will do, nor is logic the answer when guessing pulls though.
And just when he’d locate Macbeth’s sticking place he realised he’d entered a perpetual race.
You find it, you lose it, you find it again and finally discover there’s no pattern for when.
Where you look you won't find it, and where you find it don’t look, it’s not something discovered in the most learned book.
So surprise ain’t surprising it’s not below or above. He's convinced architecture’s obligated to burn what it loves.
Then like magic he learned the secrets hidden in song, if you sing it you’ll grasp it and never go wrong.
His sticking place search ends and begins with a famous refrain, if you’re looking for architecture set fire to the rain.
- Eric Owen Moss