“[Life] is a property of form, not matter, a result of the organization of matter rather than something that inheres in the matter itself.
– Christopher Langton, Artificial Life, p. 41
“There is… a well-defined difference between the magical and the scientific imitation of life. The former copies external appearances; the latter is concerned with performance and behavior.”
– Grey Walter, The Living Brain, p. 115
The importance of form is perhaps one of the most contentiously debated subjects in contemporary architectural discourse. However, the conceptual divide between those (like the author of this essay) who question the validity of “formalist” architecture, and those who embrace form as a fundamental aspect of architectural production, need not (and should not) represent the equivalent of an ideological impasse. For both, form matters; what is in question is how and why it matters.