How I Learned to Stop Studying Architecture and Love Free Software

After finishing high school, I was destined to continue my academic life studying one of the fine arts I always loved: Architecture. I took special art classes to get prepared to study it, and so I did; I entered the architectural school at my hometown in the Canary Islands.

In their first year, all students learn about the Bauhaus school and their impact. I knew about them, but in that year I learned about their philosophy in detail and I became sanely obsessed with their work. During their difficult social/political time, Bauhaus revolutionized the world of architecture, design, and art. Their modernist designs were centered in functionality, simplicity, rationality, and taking art to everybody through mass production. In summary, making our day to day habitats and tools better, cheaper, simpler, and available to all.

So through most of my first year I asked myself “Where is the present-day Bauhaus?” I was certain to find the contemporary equivalent and join in. My personal drive isn’t to live forever, rather my goal is to create something that will. After searching for months, I couldn’t find any new history-changing movements in architecture or art in general. One day in my second year, I discovered free software through a friend who showed me how valuable a tool Linux can be. Being a computer enthusiast, I knew the term, but not the philosophy behind it; once I learned about it everything clicked: I’d found what I was searching for. The next year of my academic life I started studying Computer Engineering, and the rest… well, simply fell into place.

A few times every century a social changing movement arises; right now, the free software movement and the emergence of open source software in mainstream business and culture is defining our tools and rights in a world rapidly switching from analog to digital. Much like how new ideas introduced during the Bauhaus movement changed the architecture and design industries, open source software and the free software movement are changing how we develop modern technology; I feel very proud and lucky to be a small part of it.

Author: Luis de Bethencourt

Luis de Bethencourt is a freedom-loving technocrat who has always enjoyed programming and playing around with video. Luis sees open source software as the best way to enter the innovative technology community.