On exploring the pure aesthetics of Red Bricks.
'If you think of Brick, you say to Brick, ‘What do you want, Brick?’ And Brick says to you, ‘I like an Arch.’ And if you say to Brick, ‘Look, arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over you. What do you think of that, Brick?’ Brick says, ‘I like an Arch.’ - Louis Kahn
But what if the brick didn’t “only” like an arch, Louis?
Perceived as pure ugliness, the red brick is the most “commonly used whilst hated” material in Egypt, a material that threatens the eyes and minds of its viewers. Surrounded by beliefs that it should be covered, painted over or demolished; red bricks in Egypt reflect poverty, chaos, ignorance, dirtiness, shame, and incompleteness.
But again, If you think of Brick; “A brick is a type of block used to build walls and other elements in masonry construction.” So why is it hated if it’s only a building material? Why would people hate a building material?
“Because a building material should not be a finishing material”
It’s not uncovered because of a conscious design decision; and when left uncovered, it gives the impression of an unfinished piece of work, and here relies the issue. Brick has always been shortchanged but never honored for what it really is. Exploring the pure aesthetics of red bricks as a finishing material, this project follows a solely visual perspective. This project is the question and never the answer. A question addressed to me before anybody else. A mirror in the face of my thoughts and beliefs. The end of many questions and the beginning of so many others.
Maybe the problem was never in the material but rather in the use, the form, or the context. And maybe not.
Maybe it has never been stripped out of all what was consciously and subconsciously associated with it. But maybe it won’t matter if it does.
Maybe this is another chance for the brick to be seen, sensed, and heard differently. And maybe it won’t make any difference.
Lots of maybes and a continuous “what if” that won’t make me stop.
This project is a tribute to the BRICK.
I never wanted form to follow function or cared about function following form. I didn’t want to think about the function or cared about creating one. I just wanted to create a form. A silent form that is perceived for its pure aesthetics only.
A form that was finished with an unfinished material.