We think of architecture as something concrete, a habitat. Natural resources – wood, stone, fibers, metals, even the materials for glass, ceramic, and concrete – enable us to construct and use architecture. In creating our own world, we define architecture to fulfill our personal needs. We want our structures to last, and we arrange them in natural settings compatible with our needs. Both temporary and permanent structures satisfy our basic need for shelter, and the heart of architecture is both utility and appearance.
We see Brutalist, Neo-Classical, Victorian, Craftsman, Masonic, Beaux Arts, Tudor, and other styles every day in DC. We become emotionally and financially invested in the materials that compose architecture and, ultimately, shape our world.
But our lives and cityscapes are not so concrete. Exterior architecture fulfills a broader aesthetic, while the interior satisfies our personal preferences. Nodding to the Arts and Crafts movement, making a beautiful home is art. In this sense, we are all artists. When we invite someone to our home, we share a glimpse of ourselves. We traverse public spaces with as much frequency as we close our front doors at night. The artists in this exhibit communicate how identity, consciousness, and culture, inform architecture and its features. They reach outward, stretch, turn inward, ask for more, and contain themselves in their works. Gentrification, homelessness, and environmental preservation are all interconnected concerns that impact design. The artists in this exhibit reach outward, stretch, turn inward, ask for more, and contain themselves in their presented works.
Due to Covid-19, we decided to place "Not So Concrete" online rather than accept cancellation. In so doing, we push how architecture is represented in a digital format. Home is universal. "Home Page" is even the term used for the entry page of websites. Here (online) is a space made familiar across the world, in infinite information and variety, design aesthetic and concerns for public access.