I used to dislike bricks. I thought bricks were such an old fashioned and obsolete material for construction, I thought of bricks as boring and outdated.
It was not until I was told that bricks are beautiful material with its beautiful colors. This simple statement was uttered by my teacher when I was in Singapore Polytechnic. Yes, it was just a purely simple statement of his opinion but it stroke me hard. The thought of bricks as obsolete was so obvious to me that I did not even consider it as possible for people in the contemporary period to regard it as beautiful. My obviousness was shattered, how could I see things so shallowly?
Then there came Louis Kahn with his conversation with brick:
You say to brick, "What do you want, brick?" Brick says to you, "I like an arch." If you say to brick, "Arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete linter over an opening. What do you think of that, brick?" Brick says, "I like an arch."
The significance of the conversation lies in our respect towards materials. We cannot just do whatever we like towards the materials, because materials, too, have feeling and pride. It is our task as architects to bring out the best in it, Our skill will determine how good the materials will be once constructed.
I had the urge to record this thought because I happened to come across an article at Domus about brick. I thought and daydreamed of how wonderful it will be if I have a chance to do a building with just bricks.