Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A game of Go

What has a game of Go to do with Architecture, one might ask. For those familiar with the chess game of Go (Weiqi), one will relate to the principles of STRATEGY, PATIENCE, FAR-SIGHTEDNESS, ETHICS.

But, there is more. Let me share this rare moment of personal relevation.
I was re-watching one of the ending episodes of Hikaru No Go anime (about the Weiqi chess game) when one particular part of the anime touched me so much, it actually made me tear.

A quick introduction before I elaborate. This anime is about this boy who learnt the weiqi game and became very passionate. However he experienced a setback(his mentor left the world) and decided to quit the professional world of Go. But a sudden turn of events made him realise his undying love for the game and the support from his "friends/comrades" in the world of Go. He decided to return to the Go matches after a prolonged break. Upon his return, one of the master instructors who has been following the boy's development made a brief but deep comment to another instructor:
(here's the exchange of words between the 2 instructors, A & B)

A >> Friend, do you know that Go is a two player game? B >> Of course I know that A >> No, you don't A >> You can't play Go by yourself .... B >> I said I know that A >> No, you don't. You need two people .... A masterful game cannot happen with just one genius. Right, friend? You need two people with equal genius. Two....... When you have two, you can finally take a step towards the divine move.

I would like to paraphrase this:

Friend, do you know that Architecture is a multi-player game?
You can't play Architecture by yourself ... You need many people. A masterful stroke, a meaningful design, an impactful outreach to humanity through architecture .... cannot happen with just one genius.
Right friend? You need many people, many with passion, intellect, will and drive. Many people playing the game .... when you have all these people, you can finally take a step towards the divine move.

I am not sure how clear I am able to express this. Maybe it is already something several of you have felt. Maybe it's just a naive thought of my own. Nevertheless, it has struck a chord within me and ... .... very few things in the world can actually make me tear...