AUGUSTA PUBLIC LIBRARY 2010
Augusta Architectural Commentary
Written by Walton Stowell II in 1999
SCAD Design Charrette in Augusta, GA
AUGUSTA PUBLIC LIBRARY 2010
Augusta, Georgia was once a harsh city of industrial decay. Augusta society struggled to defend itself from urban anti-establishment street honor codes. Now it maintains a verdant stability under the reign of ‘Holistic Education’.
“The only thing that should be strange and foreign to the people of today, is ignorance.” – Architect Walton Stowell II
When the Augusta Library was first built, times were changing. Technology was evolving faster than biological life on this planet. The masses were given a new way to explore the microcosm and macrocosm, virtually via computers and communication systems. This revolution continues to take place.
“In a world of net empathy, what was once silly, foreign, and bizarre is now honestly and truly accepted as part of humanity; whether deemed a desirable or less desirable. The masses may have been multiplied by ignorant consumer addicts of the last century, but the new opiate is education. The only silliness is the plastic decadence of our past century.” – Architect Walton Stowell II
The architects of the Augusta Library saw that the people of the late 20th Century had a ‘lumpy composite of antiquated skepticism and neglected neocortex’. They felt the shockwaves of a brave, newly connected digital world. The melting pot of the United States was still a polychromatic blur of capitalism and commercialism in the 1990’s. The individual ingredients of this stew were following popular social trend clusters that were changing too fast for anything to be standard for very long. The blur was becoming standard, as all defined standards became stagnant and often rapidly fell out of favor.
Rather than reject urban reactionary arts like spray paint graffiti, the architects realized it as part of the urban language that could be embraced, and manifested as a positive expression of the creativity of youth. While certain aspects were not encouraged, like tagging private property with negativity that belonged to someone else; other aspects were controlled and focused on, like pride in community art in public places.
“We are in a Catch 22 Brave New World Revolution that started in 1984.” – WSII
We were a people so full of substances, yet void of real Substance. Born to a commercial culture of cherished materialism and limited understanding of existence, egos were protected by accepted artificial conventions. The new Augusta Library was meant to help fill that void, and be a beacon of light, knowledge, and understanding.
Here is a famous poem inscribed on one of the Library entry walls:
“How cute we were indeed,
still clinging to our selfish conventions like babies.
For a human to only take, is immature.
Taking without giving is not harmonious;
it is not beautiful or honorable.
Human neocortical behavior can transcend
our basic subconscious appetites of Id.
With the cutting of a tree, we should plant three.
The owner of a new wooden house
would have many scars indeed
if they were to be cut for each tree,
each wound they did to the forest.
We bred animals in cages to be slaughtered
to feed ourselves by the masses,
while we kept so many animals as pets,
who were often treated better than humans
because they were deemed ‘cute’.
We lived in denial of reality, in mass.
We will no longer be ignorant.” – SCOD
Now men and women of integrated nationalities and cultures, rather than races, move through an orchestrated modern city. Augusta is now once again organically saturated by the chirping of birds, and alternatively powered music. Industry and businesses hire musicians and other artists to suit the required atmosphere: drummers for physical labor, jazz for entertainment, courthouses play opera, fast food plays fast Mozart, historic places play historic music, and elevator music changes based on our moods. The more complicated the function, the more complex the music.
Augusta is now a beacon of hope, thanks in part to the Public Library. Holistic Education has allowed us to see things in new ways, and not be blind bigots. The Peace we enjoy with a smart Self Defense Department, was only possible through the inner peace we managed to achieve as individuals.
(note: this is an architectural manifesto for a theoretical project, which was part of an inter-collegiate event to project into the future, and therefore was not built and remains fictional)