Making is given attention again in architecture. In the recent past, the Maatwerk and Ensembles exhibitions have attracted a lot of attention, with the curators underlining the current value of architecture as a craft. There is a clear interest in the maker’s hand. People are looking for authenticity.
“Even though the hand is legible in craftsmanship, the end result is defined. Mastery in art and architecture transcends craft and methodology by the grace of the decision to lay down the brush, chisel or pen. In other words, the decision where and when the making ends.” Wim Goes
In Mechthild Stuhlmacher’s opinion, the mastery of the architect and the mastery of the craftsman are often regarded as synonyms. In countries whose architectural culture is largely characterized by the skill of execution, the mastery of the architect consists of an intense collaboration with and the creation of an appropriate stage for the maker. The architecture of countries such as Switzerland and Austria, for example, is inconceivable without the specific craftsmanship of carpenters and concrete specialists and is largely determined by the correct applications of craftsmanship techniques. Innovations are based on known craft conventions. “In Flanders, a completely different kind of mastery has developed in recent decades, the mastery of the designer. In my view, the best Flemish architecture is open-minded to the mastery and conventions of the maker. The best Flemish architects paint with space and material, question conventions and possibilities, programs and places in a sometimes inimitable individual way and look at both the simplest and the most complex spatial sequences or material connections with an individual unprecedented view.”