Without stretching the truth very far, I think one can say that gardens, monuments, and ruins, those most imaginary and uncompelled categories of building, are machines too, which perform the essential services and are by now irreplaceably part of the equipment of life. There are some things one can’t imagine life without, and one can very easily imagine life without these three. Yet when one looks for cultures which have forgone any of them, one is driven surprisingly far afield. Still, a lover of these things is tempted to make outrageous and therefore probably embattled claims for them: in spite of all appearance they are the most useful things in the world, to our physical health. Or, uselessness is the most sublime of human constructs, and art fulfills itself in floating miles above every desperate human involvement.
— The Built, the Unbuilt and the Unbuildable, Robert Harbison