"Just like in the Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Lucien Steil’s miniature Capricci are not mimetic sketches of a singular object but sublime agglomerations of detached images and metaphysical recollections of his memories of place, space, and time. His are not paintings but painted-drawings. His imaginary universe is represented through a collection of ideal archetypes; archetypes which make us feel at ease with their unique degree of inventiveness and yet with their strange sense of familiarity. A fragmented collection of landscapes, plazas, streets, civic and domestic buildings, towers, roofs, porches, arcades, balconies, rooms, windows, etc. constitute the repertoire of his location-neutral places; his fictional images portray spaces that do not exist today; nevertheless, at a simple glance, his places could very well occupy an existing reality in some sort of parallel universe; these are places we’ve never visited and yet spaces which, with their materiality and familiar characteristics, stir our imagination toward new moral and ethical values". Jaime Correa
Lucien Steil is an author, educator and architect dedicated to the design and building of healthy, durable and beautiful places and buildings in a world of many and diverse inspiring traditions and cultures. He believes traditional cities and architecture have always been the ideals of harmony and beauty in a destabilized, disrupted world. For him traditional cities and architecture have remained desirable models of cultural identity, home, urbanity and civilization. He maintains that the traditional city remains a good and desirable place to live, and that tradition is a good home for modernity and originality. It has proven to be perfectly compatible with modern life, despite an array of pressing challenges, to be considered as opportunities rather than as limitations. For Lucien Steil, “this is both a tangible reality, time-tested and perfected, and a realistic, buildable, operational and necessary project for contemporary civilization”. Rather than becoming obsolete, the traditional city has suddenly gained a new actuality as a remedy to the inconvenient truth of global warming and climate change. Both its morphological and typological components, as well as its socio-economic and convivial patterns and paradigms, etc., seem the ones best adapted to refresh and adjust to the dramatic challenges of a post-pandemic urban civilization and a new ecology of Città Slow and Glocalism. Traditional architecture and urbanism have the organic and inherent sustainability to confront the greatest challenges of the 21st Century and they demonstrate not only a great resilience but also highest standards of the Good Life, modernity, creativity and originality, etc., in their acceptance of Perpetual Becoming. Lucien Steil maintains that contemporary traditional architects and urbanists, provide a counterbalance to an opportunistic architectural and planning establishment that clings nostalgically to past paradigms of Capitalism and Modernism, and has resigned in its social and cultural mission for a better and more harmonious world. For him, they are poets, idealists, craftsmen and artists who invent, design and build places and buildings of durable quality in a perspective of firmitas, utilitas, venustas, allowing people of our time to live in comfort, security, harmony, enlightenment and pleasure.