Archive for February, 2012


ROLE OF AN ARCHITECT IN SOCIETY – THE CHANGE OVER TIME

To have a shelter became a basic human need since the nomads started settling down. Over time it was evolved into considering not just the functional value of the buildings but its aesthetics. Architecture started to be considered as a living form of art. From the people making their living space it was transferred to the artists or architects to bring in the aesthetic beauty to it. The various art movements influenced architecture like any other art throughout the 18th century and hence forth.

In the earlier days only the upper class who occupied wealth felt the need of architecture as such. But as time passed by, in the present society, even a common man building his house feels the necessity of concepts for his house design and so on. in the present age its not just the aesthetics or function that matter the most, architect have evolved to cater to the builders and their economic satisfaction and there are also several architects who design only typical buildings for big companies like the outlets for our all-time favourite KFC or Mac Ds. May be this restricts the creativity of the architect but all these different types of architects are needed in the present society.

The space designed by an architect is the space for daily human needs. And it hence is very true architect do play a very crucial role in the making of society. We all have studied about the demolition of the early housing complexes in the US due to the improper design and blindly following the art movements of the era. the  infamous Pruitt Igoe urban housing development in St. Louis, Missouri is a fine example were it was designed based on Le Corbusier’s principles of modernism but in just five years the whole area turned into a danger zone with all the illegal trafficking happening. This is an example as to how important a role the architect plays in safe guarding the society. There are many more instances were architects have stopped the antisocial behaviour through their designs.

In today’s world were land is a precious as gold, it becomes architects job to effectively utilise each cent of land and also to make the building profitable for the builder without compromising much on the needs of people living in the building. This has become a new role for architect today. Like the doctors have ethics even architects have ethics. Since we are all part of the society and wish to continue so abiding by the ethics and at least should have a consideration of not to harm the society for our own benefits if does not intend to be a part of the betterment of the society. One could easily say that over the years the responsibilities and the role of an architect in the society have only increased immensely.

Advertisements

As like any field, role of architecture /architects on society  has also been  deeply  affected by the commercialisation of the profession.  Even in the olden times, Architecture was all about  spaces, people and feelings related to it.But the way in which society look at  these processes have changed or we might even say evolved,  bringing in both  positive and negative impacts for the true profession.

Earlier it was like, the people themselves alter their life arranging the spaces in the way they want. This is more appropriate as they are the one who knows  the necessities. Art movements start within a region that shares common aspirations. There, the architects originates within the society itself  and are part and parcel of the society agreeable in all comments made because architecture is not limited to anything particular but is a mixture of activities of the people.But nowadays, even the client has a pre notion that the architect is an outsider well-kept who can show certain magic that will lead to their ultimate success.

Even now there are two parts to the evolution. The negative part is that in the name of being innovative, the effect of design on the society is ignored to create a spectacular piece of work that is different from the mainstream style. Long term aims are not kept in implementing most of the commercial projects which will finally become a dark mark on the architects side.

The commercial part of architecture /design now is neglecting the fact that architect is not only a builder or service provider  but also one who frames the livelihood of the client in such a way  that the project  brings maximum satisfaction to the client with limited resources.

So,i would say that , in order to maintain the earlier prosperity of architecture,one should probe deep into all aspects of the society while doing any project,rather than sticking to the infrastucture aspect and expecting only commercial benefit.

 

The role of architects in the society

In my opinion , an architect is the one who should serve the people or society as a whole in terms of their comfort, livelihood , shelter and may be health also i.e. he must be able to transform the society with his/her design of spaces. One’s works makes the one respectful in the society. Through the years, decades or even centuries, we could see the far reaching divergences or changes in the way the architect works and designs.

An architect’s role is to motivate people to change their mind on issues by explaining to them, as an expert, the ill effects that their actions have on the environment, or may be towards their own life. The forms of architecture that an architect build or put forward should satisfy or fulfill the human needs and deeds. He should successfully interpret the client’s brief, apply your expertise as an architect, and create a design that satisfies the client’s/user’s needs, one that is economically feasible and is aesthetically pleasing.

Speaking about the architecture during the ancient period, the first architects that comes to our mind is the Egyptians and their building of pyramids as part of their own beliefs. All ancient civilizations have contributed in some way to the development of modern society as well. Then the Greeks, Romans etc contributed to the architecture of the world  and that served the people of that century to the maximum and those building built at that age are still serving different functions of the modern society.

It’s our duty as architects to provide helping hands to those people who are still homeless , change the scenario of the future of the country.Serve….Support…..Survive……

Role of architect

Role of an architect has, indeed changed with time. But, we can still find that very common connection which defines an architect from all eras, ie, they create spaces. They ultimately use the same mind to imagine and think to create designs and build spaces. But, there is a big difference in the way of representing designs and the way to check whether a design would actually work functionally and technically in the given environment.

 

But if we see the present scenario of architecture as it is practised in modern cities of our country, we do see that a lot is only mathematical calculations about land area value, client requirement compared to estimated budget and other rules and norms as specified by the country laws. So , the essence of building a space and imagining new ways to solve a given problem is diminished. Pragmatic approach goes in the background as we are surrounded by used models from all over the world which we just modify a bit and use it over and over again. Earlier, when man had no examples to look up to and when man felt the urge to try the unknown, then they could push the barriers and find new and innovative ideas to solve a problem.

So in the end, i would like to say that though architecture is a field where free minds should operate, but it should learn from what is already present, analyse the design, solve the existing problems and come up with a better solution so that future generations can actually look upto you for guidance. It is a changing field, guided by the changing times, but the very essence remains the same.

Role of architects in society,has there been a change in way?

Architecture has been existing since the origin of the world, and anyone who builds could be called as architects in the historical context. But there has been a drastic change in the role of architects. Earlier people used to do all kinds of works irrespective of their fields of experience. But now the scenario has changed. The term ‘SPECIALIZATION’ is given utmost importance. This has affected architecture also. Architects, now days has variety of fields to specialize in and this is the current trend.

 

According to Vitruvius ,a good building should satisfy the three characteristics : Durabilty, Utility, Beauty. He says that an architect should strive to fulfill each of these attributes. So the role of architect was to do justice to these attributes in their designs by focusing on all of them. At present we have architects who focuses only on sustainability, only on aesthetics etc. They neglect the other aspects and gives importance to certain things.This is the current scenario.

 

The architects have a specific role in society. The building designed by them is the end product of a creative manipulation of all elements like space, mass, volume, light, texture, shadow, program and materials. They also take into account construction, technology and cost. And thus, the architect achieves something, which is functional, aesthetic and most of the times artistic too. They can be the servants of their client’s instructions and the needs of the society. The opportunity to contribute something of beauty to the locality also rests with an Architect .His/her aim is to do good planning using imagination and experience, with sensible adaptation to changing styles. Thus, the relation between Architects and Society cannot be neglected. They are the part of the society and the society is benefitted by them.

 

.

Based on the changes of the profession and the emergence of new social and ethical approaches to the practice of architecture, the traditional view that architects have the right to decide what society needs, is changing.

A new role is emerging for architects is evolving which could be called an interpreter or a facilitator, one who gives the mob what they wants or the one who help them decide what they want. The intent of this role is not to solve problems but to create a process that enables people to solve their own problems. The objective of this role is to encourage considering different viewpoints and helping develop a common understanding and consciousness.

The ‘facilitator-interpreter’ role involves shifting from the architect as a problem solver to the architect as a facilitator of solving problems, who interprets and then personally responds to the value system through the understanding of socio-cultural influence.

In conclusion, the profession should take specific steps to evaluate the current status of its delivery system. There is a serious need to shift from concept where an architect is an artist and a scientist, to a more responsible position. The profession needs radical change to respond to our changing environments and the society’s needs. 

The role of architects in society, according to me, is about understanding the history, culture & tradition of the place and its people,that allows him to choreograph comfortable spaces.

The basic aim of an architect is to design spaces in which we live, and this involves the play of both form and function. Pragmatism, as such, is following a set of standards laid down by the experiences of the generations that which helps him to induce function into his designed spaces. The element of function is what makes architecture different from other art forms.

The form which the architect uses in his design is what makes it appealing to the people. It is something which makes the building stand out. It is something which contributes to its beauty and elegance and hence can be compared to poetry.Hence an architect has to be a pragmatist and a poet.

The architect needs to be a great listener. He should be the curious person in the society, the listener in the community. The result of this being the ability to translate, what is literal told and what is unspoken, that are carried in their hearts, which can be perceived in their eyes, into his design skilfully.

Hence I conclude by saying that the role of an architect in the society is to develop spaces that suit the aspirations of the society and its people and thus he plays a major role in the evolution of a society itself.

The role of any person in the society depends on two aspects I would say.Firstly the need of the society for that person and secondly the x factor in that person to create a need in the society for people like him.

Earlier there was a general physician whom everyone consulted for their medical queries.But with the advent of science and creating the fear and need in mans mind,he wanted a ear specialist,a nose specialist,an orthopaedic and so on,though the general physican couldve served that purpose.I would  say that the need of the society was the case in the first case for the physician and the x factor was introduced by someone or something which made people seek for that new trend.

Before I speak about architecture let me quote another example.Cricket was once dominated by the Australian Cricket board,and then it was just like any other game.The need for some entertainment and sports led the people to the stands to watch the game.Kerry Pecker however introduced this x factor .He involved the visual media and radio into sports for the first time and then the game increased in fame by leaps and bounds and inturn the wealth and many other areas of the country.

Architecture..creation of spaces for human comfort is the most common definition seen.But what all is he capable of actually?We wake up in the morning in a room..we go to brush in another room..we eat,we walk we sit we work we play we dance we learn we watch..everything in a particular space. Spaces define where we are and what we do in todays world.We perceive the spaces around us through our senses and our perception creates an energy field within and around us.Thus the spaces around us can be designed to be perceived in any manner we wish to  and it inturn effects our performance to that space.The architect thus draws the space  not just to be perceived by his eyes,but through his sense of touch,sound and smell.These inturn reaches the mind of the perceiver and his mood is effected.Monotony can be induced in him thorugh a design or  active spaces could pep him up and increase his performace.People make the society and hence by tuning a persons frequency he indirectly starts tuning the society’s.

In this profession too the need was in the people for a good house and thus lets call an architect mentality.The architect thus studying the culture of the people,their needs and other factors designed spaces for them.

However,there have been these architects with this x factor,who created a change in how this profession runs and then we’ve seen a large number of people follow that trend until another x factor arrived.The various art forms like Djstile,Art deco,Modernism etc are instances of this x factor,wherein the architect or the artist created a need for him in the people.

An architect can start a war or even end one is rightly said.The spaces he design had so much power in it as people depend on it in their daily lives largely.Anti social activities in a slum regions in Africa were reduced by the installation of street lights in the locality.The mere presence of a street light changed how the people normally reacted to the place.Slum restoration projects as apt examples,were proper site and services leading to better environment and designs to promote interaction can help to remove the tag of the slum that exists and also change the dwellers outlook.

Another role an architect plays like another other individual is to the environment through the society.He could encourage the use of earth architecture and other alternatives to the high energy construction techniques. Ethics also covers the role of an architect in knowing what is right and what is wrong.The Japan Olympics,saw many architects refusing to design the stadiums as it was to be done by demolishing thousands of slums in the region in an inappropriate manner.

The society itself played a role in creating the architect in the person and he now plays an important role in serving back with the aim for the betterment of the society.The role of any person practising any profession should be that of serving the mankind and not merely living,as living is not what matters,but living rightly is what does..With great power comes great responsibilities 😛

ROLE OF ARCHITECTS IN SOCIETY