Archive | January 2012

Less Visuality, More Feeling

Given a list of “less and more” kind of opposing ideas in architecture, this pair struck me as being more profound than a first glance might suggest. Less Visuality, More Feeling. To me, visuality is what an average person takes away from a building experience. Anybody not educated in the field of architecture or design will most likely only care about whether it looks “cool” or not. An architect should be concerned about much more than that. A building should do more for a person than stimulate their eyes. How a person uses and feels a building is a much more intimate design problem. Every aspect, from lighting, texture, color, materiality, scale and space, and more come into play. Holistic design should contemplate all of this. When an architect is attempting to secure a job, the client obviously needs to be impressed. The visual look of a building matters too, but it is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. If an architect can get a person to “feel” their building beyond how it looks, that impression will last longer and be more significant than a postcard snapshot in their memory.

Questions

What is an architect in today’s society?

Someone who works to solve problems through built form.

What is an innovative architect?

An innovative architect is someone who can satisfy the needs of the client, both requested and implied, while at the same time creating a work that is sensitive to the environment, the site, its surroundings, etc.

How should one practice architecture?

A person should practice architecture with passion, pure and simple. Without a drive to be the best possible, architecture would not have the momentum needed for improvement.

What are the architect’s responsibilities?

An architect is responsible for a variety of things. Of course there are the essential requirements like coordinating the design and construction of a building. On top of that though there should always be more. Ethical and moral responsibilities should be considered as well. Efforts of sustainability, considerations for future building use or recyclability, the desires and needs of the client, and many other things should be on the architect’s mind. The job is rarely as cut and dry as it seems.

What or where is architecture’s laboratory?

The laboratory of an architect exists within his or her mind. It is the concepts and ideas that start out as little kernels in the brain, that germinate on paper and in sketches and drawings. A drawing board and a full complement of tools is not necessary to be creative. Sometimes the best ideas come at unexpected times or in unexpected ways.

How can architecture be taught today?

Architecture can by taught today through hands-on application of information. It’s not enough to study well-known buildings in a book, or learn the proper way to install flashing on a roof. That information is only information until someone takes it and applies it to the design of something new. That information then becomes architecture, as a student learns to create the best that he can using all the resources available to him. The job of the professor is to ensure that those resources are there for the student.

6 Words

If given only six words to describe yourself, what would you say?

As a man of many words, I find it hard to pare down my thoughts easily. Imagine my difficulty at having to describe myself in so few words. Not only do I have to define who I am as a person, which is hard to do objectively, but to do so in only six words.

Take this as you will, but this is both something I try to live by and what I consider to be good advice.

 

Live to the edge of life.

Appeal of Architecture

College of Architecture & Planning

There is always a moment when people take the time to envision what they could be doing 10 or 20 years down the road. When deciding a college major and possible future career, that time is very well spent. I decided to pursue architecture because it appealed to me for a variety of reasons.

One of the main reasons is the variety and creativity that the profession offers. An architect is not restricted to one thing or another. Their work can be as diverse as focused as they want. Also, the profession is not a static one. If I filed tax returns for a living, I would not count on much excitement or change throughout my career. As an architect, the possibilities are constantly changing and adapting. Office work, client meetings and presentations, and site visits, along with other work, will keep me engaged and constantly striving to better myself in my career.

I have a chance to do work that can benefit so many people, and that is a large motivating factor as well. Buildings have a large impact on the earth and the people that use them, and being an architect gives me the opportunity to be a positive influence.

In the end, architecture will end up being more than just a career, it will turn into a lifestyle.