Role of the Architect in the Architecture of Today Creative Writing

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¶ … Architect in the Architecture of Today

Today's architectural role to society has become more challenging over the years as technology has created many factors in which one must take into consideration when designing. While dealing with the over-abundance of factors in designing, architects have begun to lose a sense of a long-lasting built environment. The structures designers have created over the last half-century are focused more on cheap functionality than a permanent and impacting structure. According to Juhani Pallasmaa in his essay 'Stairways of the Mind', he believes the path architecture has taken is a self-destructive one.

"Our obsessively materialistic and quasi-rational age has turned buildings into purely instrumental constructions, "machines for living," serving merely the practicalities of life." (Pallasmaa) While this is a general accuracy, today's architects are learning from the mistakes of our past and trying to recreate the need for a personalized space that invokes emotion and connectivity.

In order to identify what is important in today's architecture, one would need to question the driving task of architecture and how to achieve this task. How does one create an architecture that embodies innovation with human interaction? Or an architecture that is functional while evoking emotions within the user? An architecture that, for the user, merges the mind and body with the space and creates a utopian retreat that can be used in daily life an adapted for generations. This architecture will speak beyond the cognitive language and ingrain in the subconscious mind creating a strong emotional, functional and adaptive space.

There are two ways to create these unique spaces and are the focus of today's architectural role to society. One being the creation of a permanent and functional yet personalized space, which embodies today's innovation with tomorrow's potential; this structure should be capable of withstanding the test of time and encourage technological growth and human interaction. Through the study of great architecture in the past, one can objectively decipher the positives and negatives of each Architect's style and approach and gage how to use this knowledge with today's abilities to create a new style of great architecture. "

I referred to some justifications for simplicity in early modern architecture -- its exaggerated clarity as a technique of propaganda -- its exclusive, almost puritanical, narrowness as an instrument of reform. But another reason is that things were simpler then. Solutions were more obvious if not easier to attain; the resolute Wright grew up with the motto "truth against the world." Such a slogan no longer seems adequate and our position is more likely than described by August Hecksher: 'The movement from a view of life as essentially simple and orderly to a view of life as complex and ironic is what every individual passes through in becoming mature. But certain epochs encourage this development; in them the paradoxical or dramatic outlook colors the whole intellectual scene…Amid simplicity and order rationalism is born, but rationalism proves inadequate in any period of upheaval. Then equilibrium must be created out of opposites. Such inner peace as men gain must represent a tension among contradictions and uncertainties…a feeling for paradox allows seemingly dissimilar things to exist side by side, their very incongruity suggesting a kind of truth.' And Edmund W. Sinnott has referred to complexity in organic evolution: "Evolution has been primarily a process of increase in size and complexity. Natural selection, I think, has not put a premium on form as such but rather on the increased differentiation and division of labor that makes an organism more efficient and likely to survive. This process has necessarily resulted in an increased elaboration of form, the laws of matter and energy being what they are."(Nesbitt) the evolution of architecture begins with performative architecture and creating not only an alluring wondrous space, but also a functional building that breathes together and becomes a structural metaphor for the human body. It can't survive without the other pieces. With these pieces working congruently, the spaces invoke a more unique experience and create a harmonious structure, which is built of a focus on form, function and aesthetics. The basic tools of an architect, enhanced to today's standards.

There are a few ways to accomplish this to be able to forge a path forward, but they all start with research, including the site and surrounding area, the history of the people, and they possible ways it could impact the lives in its current state as well as future.

"A building has one site. In this one situation, its intentions are collected. Building and Site have been interdependent since the beginning of Architecture. In the past, this connection was manifest without conscious intention through the use of local materials and craft, and by and association with events of history and myth. Today the link between site and architecture must be found in new ways, which are a part of a constructive transformation in modern life." (Holl) One of the essential pieces of architecture is the connection between the people, location and the structure, which is why the first step to performative design is to create and push the integration to new levels. The process of site interdependence seems to be lost along the way by most designers in order to compensate for feasibility of costs and lack of consideration, but over the years, there have been new ways to analyze site and figure out the relation between the structure and its inhabitants. If we learn to step back and figure out the importance of following these key pieces of design, we can have more successful and lasting designs that aren't phased by time.

By invoking the study of site, we create a sense of authenticity by developing a space in which the community can connect with and feel passionate about, even before the start of the design process. Site is the heartbeat that creates a structure as well as what keeps it in survival throughout the years. If we appreciate the surroundings and take many factors of location into consideration, we have the beginnings of a successful modern design.

One of the obvious pieces of architecture is form, which has been a long debated conversation on the way of approach toward form. Does form follow function or function follow form, or neither? The way to create form and an alluring, sensual design is all through concept. Architects have lost site of the need for a concept to create a unique form and allow that to enhance the development of both form and functional spatiality.

"It is the conditions as they obtain for that particular task that foster the idea for a design and the concept distilled from it. Those conditions dictate that the end-product satisfies that idea and that its special qualities get expressed as 'hallmarks'; this way the idea encapsulates the DNA, so to speak, containing the essence of the project and guiding the design process from start to finish. The concept, then, is the idea translated into space -- the space of idea, and bearer of the character traits of the product as these will emerge upon its development." (Hertzberger) Concept is the driving force of architecture, and recently, designers have been faltering from this basic idea of design to make room for money saving opportunities, the quickest way to finish a product, or the easiest way to design a building. In order for architects today to make a lasting impression, there needs to be more thought and care put into the structures built today and not just focus on a globalized version of "design." Concept has been and will always be the driving force of form and that concept will help create a form which speaks to the function and derives how the structure is perceived from the design development stage through years after when it's still an impacting structure.

Once the concept is developed, both form and function will follow simultaneously. The harmonies between the form and layout as well as the engineering qualities have to be congruent in order to create a performative and successful structure. The idea of incorporating all these qualities at once is not a foreign concept, but a difficult task to do successfully, which is why my architects design piece by piece as opposed to all at once. The built environment is like a puzzle and needs to be designed as such; one piece can't work without the other. The form can help inform the structure, mechanical and electrical and vice versa, and while incorporating those entities, the layout will develop simultaneously and easily. Building design is not a quick process, and with time being money, architects forget that quality needs to be the main focus of a design, regardless of the time it takes. This is a message they also need to convey to their clients in order to allow for enough time and effort on one design to create a timeless structure.

Once a performative design is created and a functional structure has been developed thoroughly… [END OF PREVIEW]

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