What is the value of architecture? Is it worth the expense? Is design dispensable? Maybe design has become synonymous with luxury and the high street, and its role in making ordinary objects desirable and expensive has overshadowed but the truth is that a good design is making, places safe, understandable, durable, energy-efficient and affordable.
The evidence assembled here counters the argument that design is a luxury in the production of the built environment, especially in straitened time. What this blog brings in to light is the true value of good architecture. Design that resolves problems and answers needs will pay for itself over a building’s lifetime. Good architecture has its price. But bad architecture will cost you more.
What I feel is that architecture is not just a subject but a way of life. The architects can shape architecture in various forms, but what should they really do is to FIRST see the end users and the Earth…(if you break the harmony of the nature, of the earth there will be no space for architecture).
I believe that we have to create buildings that use minimal natural resources. I do not believe, however, that the path to sustainable architecture necessarily runs through the mitigation use of scarce resources in either construction or occupation by using gadgets or expensive variations on standard building technology to, for instance, store heat in walls.
I think that we rather, first, have to ask the question in all cases: Do we really need more buildings? The challenge to architects is to find ways in which they can use their skills and knowledge not just to produce buildings on demand, but to find ways in which they can contribute to a better (in a social sense, above all else) environment by finding ways to reuse existing buildings and materials, or perhaps to find solutions for companies, institutions, governments, or individuals that do not involve the construction of new space. Sometimes you don’t need a new building, just a better conception of who or what you are and how you function. This is the fundamental dilemma architects must face: How not to simply build, but to make our environmental and social situation better—and still get paid.
What it means to be beautiful or to work well are, of course, subjective questions. I do not think there is one style or one approach that has all the answers. I am wary of what I think are pseudo-scientific approaches to measuring such things, though I am open to ways in which we can more clearly articulate and judge what is good and what works. However, instead of taking solace in formulas or a rote recitations of traditions, we should always ask the question what is appropriate, what is needed, what is possible, and what are our dreams and aspirations. We should build with what we know, for a reality, but also towards a better—again in a social, environmental, and aesthetic sense—reality.
I believe that architecture can make our human-created world better. It can make it better in a social and an environmental sense. It can create spaces that are open, accessible, and sustainable. It can create the stages on which we can act out the roles we feel are ours to play with those we recognize as our fellow actors.
Architecture should be neither weird nor boring, neither alien nor alienating, neither wasteful nor wanting in the qualities that make us human. It should be GREAT.