Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s “Aphorisms on Architecture and Form” (1923)
Translated from the German by Philip
Johnson. From Mies van der Rohe.
(Museum of Modern Art. New York, NY: 1947).
• • •
We reject all aesthetic speculation, all doctrine, all formalism.
Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space; living, changing, new.
Not yesterday, not tomorrow, only today can be given form.
Only this kind of building will be creative.
Create form out of the nature of our tasks with the methods of our time.
This is our task.
[From G, No. 1, 1923]
We refuse to recognize problems of form, but only problems of building.
Form is not the aim of our work, but only the result.
Form, by itself, does not exist.
Form as an aim is formalism; and that we reject.
Essentially our task is to free the practice of building from the control of aesthetic speculators and restore it to what it should exclusively be: building.
[From G, No. 2, 1923]