10 ways Architects can contribute in creating better world

In an earlier blog, I quoted Mr. Winston Churchill, ““We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” That post was referring to the importance of passion in the profession today. I again quote him today,

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.

This time I literally mean this.

The incident of Peshawar where 100s of innocent young children were killed by terrorists has stunned me. What kind of world are we living in? If we believe the quote above, then we as architects are also responsible for violence, unhappiness and instabilities all over. Architecture might not be the only reason behind it, but as said, it influences our behaviour, our perception and our sub-conscious.

We should pledge to create spaces which generate happiness and peace. A person all tired and gloomy after the daily chores should get strengthened and cheerful because of us. The spaces should thus be designed to generate positive vibes.

10 easy ways to ensure the same are:

  • In the process of maximizing the usage of FSI/FAR and creating more saleable space, cities often tend to forget the relationship of humans with nature. The spaces should have a direct connection with the outside for all senses.
  • It has been studied and established that daylight creates a healthy state of mind and thus a cheerful person. Ample daylight should be confirmed for all the working spaces.
  • Proportions in an urban scale should be broadly kept human-friendly. It generates a sense of belonging with urbanity around. A large number of monumental spaces put people in awe and they start striving to establish themselves at par with it pointlessly.
  • A pallet of vibrant colours if used effectively, tend to attract people and generate a generic blissful feeling.
  • Level of oxygen around, directly impacts breathing process and thus the body; lower levels put people in stress. Therefore, it should be ensured that while creating spaces people shouldn’t be overloaded which would in turn create oxygen insufficiency.
  • If all the five senses are at parity while realizing a space then a feeling of content is established within that space. Aesthetics is always considered by architects while designing, however a stress however should be laid on creating spaces as a delight for all the senses.
  • Arts and crafts should be made an integral part of architecture. Renowned sociologist Richard Sennett has written of the virtues of reviving ‘craftsmanship’ in the modern world: “The craft of making physical things provides insight into the techniques of experience that can shape our dealings with others.” Integral crafts in buildings make people more sensitive in their regular activities. It keeps us connected with our roots.
  • Vernacular elements in a building make it friendlier. Massive glass and metal make a building more distant and detached and thereby the users. The visitors feel unsociable in such spaces and users develop a tendency of appreciating isolation.
  • While planning spaces, interaction pockets should be created. These pockets should be desirable and inviting. This will lead to conversations and a worthy conversation not only relaxes but also relieves from the internal melancholy.
  • In conclusion, as architects we shouldn’t be reserved for a particular segment of the community. As a part of our social responsibility, we should open for all kind of people with varying economic background. Creating a sense of satisfaction and bringing a smile on a face is a great reward.

If by doing these few things, we can transform a few lives and contribute in creating better human beings than all our endeavours are worth it.

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