Understanding Architecture is like getting punched in the face.
Architecture is complex; there is so much bubbling under the surface that people tend to take it for granted. Maybe it’s because that experiencing architecture is a sneaky little devil – it instantly affects our psyche without us knowing that it is doing so. But if you were to actually study how your brain works (luckily for us, the awesome scientists have already taken the reigns on that one; thanks guys.) you’d find that we understand architecture on 3 fundamental levels. Like unwrapping a present through its layered packaging or savoring a candy bar from crispy exterior to chewy core – the way we perceive architecture is a layered experience.
I like comparing experiencing architecture to boxing, specifically getting hit by a jab-straight-hook combination.
The architect’s life basically revolves around three things – Space, People and Time. We care about designing great spaces for people, that will be experienced over the passage of time. On a technical level, it can be said that architecture is the art and science of the definition and articulation of space. From here, you can see that at the core of everything, space is our medium. Much like how a composer orchestrates music, an architect orchestrates space- making it purposeful, beautiful, and sturdy to stand the test of time.
Good designers think out of the box, even with small details.
Some answers to design considerations are just too routine (placing railings is one of them). In dealing with a situation already encountered before, some are quick to reuse solutions instead of pondering for more effective ones. Let’s have a case study.
Designers have to constantly remember who they are designing for.
While it might sound like a resounding DUH, people who are new to the practice might not be able to imagine how this plays out. The truth is, designers must be able to critically pinpoint unique cultural practicalities to ensure that their created spaces are indeed tailor-fit for the intended users. *nosebleed*
What I’m really trying to say is: there are many things people don’t notice about differences in cultures that make them very different to design for. Remember, we are all people and we all need much of the same thing (a place to sit, a place to eat). But that doesn’t mean design moves that work in the USA will be effective in the Philippines.
Allow me to state an example.
Right now, we need more Umbrella holders than Raincoat holders in Philippine spaces.
If you were to ask a doctor what his contribution to society is, his answer would probably be that his work heals the ailments of many. If you were to ask a businessman the same question, he might reply that his work allows the economy to thrive. A lawyer? His work allows justice to prevail and brings the Chief Justices to justice. How just.
What of the architect? It might seem difficult for most to answer this. Heck, even a number of architects probably don’t know what to say when faced with this question. After all, like other designers, the results of the architect’s labor are concrete and tangible, but the benefits to society are ironically not. I mean, some of those who know nothing of the design process would conclude that design is merely about making things pretty. Really, what does designing buildings and public spaces have to do with the development of a nation other than the obvious aesthetic implications?
As in, the sleeve-ripping, Pec-popping, flying-lat, monstrous wheels kind of jacked. That’s not too surprising, seeing as I was a 5’10, 110 lbs weak little boy in the middle of highschool.
Eventually though, as I got older and my world view and personal philosophy developed, I decided why the lifestyle of a 200 lbs behemoth would be detrimental to what I had planned for myself.
I’ll tell you why.
After struggling with my own personal insecurities and ballooning up to a chunky 185 lbs Powerlifter, Life slowly gave me some valuable realizations. I’d eventually gravitate down to a lean, comfortable 170 lbs with a great strength-to-bodyweight ratio, and a newfound fortitude.
saw that what I truly wanted wasn’t to look big – it was to be strong, prepared, and ready to face the challenges that life threw at me.