A few days back, as I was getting ready to leave from work, a couple of friends began to question the role of an architect. Most laymen are indifferent to the design of a space. By design, I mean anything beyond aesthetics. People have certain requirements of a space (primarily functional and economical) and rarely look beyond its scope. Buildings built by civil engineers cater primarily to these requirements, making the job of an architect seem redundant. This led my exasperated friend to proclaim that “Architecture is a lie.”
After all the toil and thought that goes into designing a space, people don’t realise the difference between a designed space and a functional space. Or do they ?
My friends kept wondering where the validation for an architect comes from. Being validated by fellow architects is different – they’re trained to see things the way we do. But is there any validation from the laymen ? Or are they always indifferent to the space they inhabit ?
I think the answer to that is simple. A layperson isn’t meant to experience a space the way the architect has designed it. He does not have to appreciate the track of thought the architect has employed. For all we know, he does not even realise that there is a track of thought.
Let me further explain this with an example – A bedroom is designed by an architect in such a way that one wakes up everyday morning to some mild sun rays that hit the wall as one open’s their eyes. The person who sleeps in that room does not need to have a realization that the space has been designed this way. However, subconsciously, if that image of a wall washed by the sunlight has triggered a better mood in the person every morning, the architect has done his job right.
Photo by Jesse Bowser on Unsplash
Architecture is a profession of many many intangibles, including its validation. It lies beyond a realm that can be quantified easily. It’s our job description to make your quality of life better.
That interspace between functionality and economics ? That’s it. That’s where it counts. That’s where an architect makes a difference.