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On The Liberation of Architecture

The tiniest fragment of everyday life says more than

Walter Benjamin on “The Author as Producer”

EARLY IN 1969, AN ANNOUNCEMENT in the Canadian press invited architects to participate in a competition for the design of an Air Force Memorial. The competition called for a Memorial which was also to be a museum to air flight, and a place for meetings of Air Force veterans.

The program of the competition allowed for only one type of design solution: a building. Any other response to the problem, one which might, for example, involve modes of experience other than those circumscribed by the form of a building, was clearly beyond the scope of the competition. What would not “look like” a building most certainly would not reflect architecture.

Since these conceptual limitations are characteristic indeed of the condition of much of contemporary architecture, this competition offered as good an

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