Lebbeus Woods, Slow Manifesto


Lebbeus Woods (1940-2012) is the author of several books published by Princeton Architectural Press books. Woods was an architectural illustrator.

A curation of Woods blog became a book edited by Clare Jacobson: Lebbeus Woods, Slow Manifesto


The slow movement principles applied to architecture.


The new cities demand an architecture that rises from and sinks back into fluidity, into the turbulence of a continually changing matrix of conditions, into an eternal, ceaseless flux

architecture drawing its sinews from webbings of shifting forces, from patterns of unpredictable movements, from abrupt changes of mind, alterations of position, spontaneous disintegrations and syntheses

architecture resisting change, even as it flows from it, struggling to crystallize and become eternal, even as it is broken and scattered

architecture seeking nobility of presence, yet possessed of the knowledge that only the incomplete can claim nobility in a world of the gratuitous, the packaged, the promoted, the already sold

architecture seeking persistence in a world of the eternally perishing, itself giving way to the necessity of its moment

architecture writhing, twisted, rising, and pinioned to the uncertain moment, but not martyred, or sentimental, or pathetic, the coldness of its surfaces resisting all comfort

architecture that moves, slowly or quickly, delicately or violently, resisting the false assurance of stability

architecture that comforts, but only those who ask for no comfort

architecture of gypsies, who are driven from place to place, because they have no home

architecture of circuses, transient and unknown, but for the day and night of their departure

architecture of migrants, fleeing the advent of night’s bitter hunger

architecture of a philosophy of interference, the forms of which are infinitely varied, a vocabulary of words spoken only once, then forgotten

architecture bending and bending more, in continual struggle against gravity, against time, against, against, against

barbaric architecture, rough and insolent in its vitality and pride

sinuous architecture, winding endlessly and through a scaffolding of reasons

architecture caught in sudden light, then broken in a continuum of darkness

architecture embracing the sudden shifts of its too-delicate forms, therefore indifferent to its own destruction

architecture that destroys, but only with the coldness of profound respect

neglected architecture, insisting that its own beauty is deeper yet

abandoned architecture, not waiting to be filled, but serene in its transcendence

architecture that transmits the feel of movements and shifts, resonating with every force applied to it, because it both resists and gives way

architecture that moves, the better to gain its poise

architecture that insults politicians, because they cannot claim it as their own

architecture whose forms and spaces are the causes of rebellions, against them, against the world that brought them into being

architecture drawn as though it were already built

architecture built as though it had never been drawn




A classic long list manifesto based on the slow movement. This time applied to architecture. It’s a good example of a philosophy – slow – being applied to a range of new areas.


Christopher Richards, The Slow Movement

Academic Slow Food Manifesto


Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice Manifesto

Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice Manifesto for Taliesin

Creator: American Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright

Purpose: As a guide for the architecture apprentices that worked at his Taliesin studio/school.

Frank Lloyd Wrights: Apprentice Manifesto

1. An honest ego in a healthy body.

2. An eye to see nature

3. A heart to feel nature

4. Courage to follow nature

5. The sense of proportion (humor)

6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work

7. Fertility of imagination

8. Capacity for faith and rebellion

9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance

10. Instinctive cooperation


Blog Article from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project

Original Source: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Autobiography (Amazon)

Image from blog of Travelling with MJ


Dave LeBlanc: The Architecture Lover’s Manifesto

Dave LeBlanc: Architecture Lovers Manifesto

Creator: Dave LeBlanc writes on architecture trends for Toronto’s Globe Life.

Purpose: A dozen things to consider to as you consider purchasing, renovating or demolishing a new house – for the sake of your home or building’s future owners – and the neighbourhood.

The Architecture Manifesto Lover’s Manifesto (Selected Highlights)

You love architecture. You’re proud of your home. Maybe you own a few commercial properties and are proud of them, too, even beyond the money they make for you.

But be honest: In our increasingly nomadic culture, another decade – maybe two – would be a pretty good run before you downsize, wouldn’t it? And you probably won’t own your commercial building your entire life, either.

So have some respect for your personal architecture because it benefits all of us. Below are a dozen things to consider. Clip and save, and pass these along if they resonate with you:

  1. In this age of soaring energy prices, I will ask myself if I really need 4,000 square feet and more bathrooms than people in my home.
  2. I will consider buying an older home over a new one.
  3. Before I demolish, I will Google “embodied energy.”
  4. I will try to think of myself as a steward of my home or building rather than master of its fate.
  5. What will the next generation think of the renovations I’ve done? Am I jumping on a bandwagon or am I considering the true needs of my family or business?
  6. …What am I saying about my own values if I demolish something that’s still usable?
  7. Related to No. 6: If my heritage commercial building no longer serves a purpose, I will rethink selling to condo developers.
  8. Related to No. 7: At a dinner party, would I rather be the person who says, “Yeah, that was my building, but I knocked it down to make some quick cash,” or, “Yeah, it cost a bit more money, but we saved that big ol’ beast and reworked the plan; now I’m getting higher leases in the heritage building.”
  9. Do I want my home or building to be featured in the eventual sequel to William Dendy’s Lost Toronto?
  10. Even if it’s only once a year, I will go on an architectural walking tour or visit Doors Open because the enthusiasm of the guides is contagious.
  11. While I may think the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library is ugly, I will endeavour to understand why other people like it.
  12. Any friends who say they are too busy to think about architecture will be brought to my architectural “happy place” – whether that’s the grand hall at Union Station or a friend’s arts-and-crafts living room – and then asked if they don’t feel inspired.

…Just one person can hold a shovel, so I would argue that our future lies with you.



Manifesto as article as published in the Toronto Globe and Mail, June 30, 2011

Image of Robarts Library, University of Toronto


Architectural Centre Manifesto

Architecture Centre Manifesto

Creator: The Architectural Centre is a voluntary organisation of architects, artists, designers and the like with an interest in the built environment in Wellington, New Zealand. They formed in 1946 with the aim of creating a manifesto, although nothing was completed or published. This one was completed on the 60th anniversary of the organisation in 2006.

Purpose: The general aim is to improve the urban environment in Wellington, New Zealand.


The Architectural Centre: Manifesto for Architecture

  1. Architecture must be better than what it replaces. (Fresh air is better than some buildings)
  2. Architecture relies on intelligent government. (Mindless bureaucracy will only create mindless architecture)
  3. Architecture needs an assertive public. (Architecture will only thrive if the public demands this)
  4. Urban Environments must be planned (but not only by planners)
  5. Recycle Architecture; Good architecture is elegant environmentalism (Continued human existence relies on having planet earth in our future: ditto for the next planet)
  6. Architecture must facilitate better living. (The delights of good design – light, warmth and pleasure etc – must be cherished)
  7. Bad building must be eliminated. (Wellington is too important for soulless buildings; buildings designed heartlessly for profit are not architecture)
  8. Architecture must be celebrated. (New architecture is our future heritage)
  9. Architecture has an obligation to challenge (Controversy has a positive role in architecture)


Architectural Centre Inc: http://architecture.org.nz/about/

Image: Geoff McDonald, Walter Read Reserve, Oxford Street, Sydney