Thursday, February 4, 2010

Architecture as a selfless act of service

Is this a place for people? What are their design motives?

Public spaces that considered the public's interest.
Our studio culture that we work in helps mold what our idea of 'architecture' really is. It is an everlasting struggle for one to be able to define it, but we can all share a common ground for what we believe the purpose of our practice is as a school of architecture. The principles and values we have on architecture are found in our ethical statement. We are all able to take the idea of what we believe the purpose of architecture is as a constant variable in design, and individually expand upon it in our own interpretative ways by allowing it to lead us in different directions. BUT, it is crucial that we never lose sight of its original intent. The practice of architecture is not selfish act solely concentrated on aesthetics, but a service for people, 'working together for the common good'. Throughout our education, it is important to explore beyond our comfort zone, push boundaries, and challenge our weaknesses so we can become designers of excellence. An excellent designer is one that considers the public interest before their own. A design that only arouses the eye without guiding the heart serves no purpose or functions aside of a glorified object. Sculpture is an external art where as architecture is an internal experience. I believe that our school should uphold architecture as a service for people in our ethical standard for design excellence.

Creating innovative design for people of different interest, cultures, and communities is a challenge that I like to embrace. That is the purpose of a conceptual statement of our studio projects. It provides meaning and clarity to design decisions; which ultimately is a project one can value and respect. As silly as some of our projects may seem in studio, our professors are challenging us to go beyond our comfort zones and explore different boundaries, and expand our education. It makes our designs unique. In the professional world we can apply this to participatory design where the client is intimately involved in the design process. All of these ideas fit into the words we shared in class: excellence, engagement, and innovation. We have responsibility to always consider public interest and cultural values of the communities and people we design for.

Do you think this is a value we need to apply to our ethical standard as a school of architecture or individually? Do you view architecture as a service for people? Is our focus in architecture as a body of students and professors in the right direction?

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