What is architecture to you?

BIG_The Spiral

I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently as to what architecture – in its basest sense – really is. This is what I’ve come up with.

Wikipedia defines architecture as “…the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings and other physical structures.” To me, this definition only just starts to hint at what the true essence of architecture is and what it aims to accomplish. That being said, I’ve laid out three criteria that I believe are essential aspects to any definition of architecture.

Architecture is and should always do the following:

01 Promote social welfare

This might be considered “low-hanging fruit” but I truly believe that it needs to be stated. Regardless of end use or intent, the aim of architecture should always be to promote overall well-being and cater not just to necessities but to niceties as well. We see the manifestation of this through adherence to code regulation and client desire.

02 Evoke emotional response

Architecture must engage the public in a way that goes beyond what we see on the surface. Some might call this a project’s “wow” factor,  but I like to call it emotional response. We must continually strive to push the idea envelope, make new discoveries in the process, and uncover the things we never thought were possible before.

03 Embrace sustainability

The overall goal of architecture should be to achieve timelessness, not trendiness. When we design and construct, we need to consider not just the users of tomorrow but the users of a decade from now. As advancements are made in construction techniques and materials, it has never been more critical to consider the long-term goals and adaptability of a project.

All things being said and done, I feel compelled to ask the question: what is architecture to you?

Happy designing.

*image courtesy of designboom.

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