In an essay entitled TheHedgehogandtheFox, Isaiah Berlin quotes the Greek poet Archilochus, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (Berlin 7). The essay was written as a commentary on Leo Tolstoy’s view of history, however, the text can offer an understanding for how one might practice architecture as well. For us, this understanding reveals itself in perceiving the environment as a fox and believing in it as a hedgehog.
Perceiving the environment as a fox requires “plenty of full light” (Albers) and a methodical rigor aimed at exploring forces and processes including climate, culture, economy, atmosphere, and material.
Believing in the environment as a hedgehog requires a confidence and trust that the projects we build and discussions we nurture “feel the pull of life” (Martin 159) and contribute positively to the world around us.
Albers, Josef. PoemsandDrawings. Ed. Nicholas Fox Weber. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. Print.
Berlin, Isaiah. TheHedgehogandtheFox;anEssayonTolstoy'sViewofHistory. New York: Mentor Books, 1957. Print.
Martin, Agnes and Briony Fer. AgnesMartin. Ed. Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell. London: D. A. P./Tate, 2015. Print.