The Contemprary Conundrum

In thinking of future research in the architecture field, I wonder how other architects might be curious about what “lay people” or rather, non-architects, feel about how things are designed today.  I remember how I felt about certain buildings growing up, and how those feelings changed once I studied them through the lens of taught architectural thought.  I also wonder if architects are so strayed from everyone else, that our proudest designs are really souless and stupid in the eyes of the other 95% of the population.

To be fair, most architects have such a large ego that I genuinely believe they won’t care what most other people think.  I’m no stranger to this–my design work is absolute garbage when I try to impress someone, and absolutely gold when I don’t care what anyone thinks.  Really, I only design to impress myself.  And it’s the worst idea to care what other people think–it’s crippling to the design process.  At the same time, we want to impress our clients, our peers, and glean some self assurance by receiving praise from others.  We need to care what other people think.  Ah, the contemprary conundrum!

If I were to pursue this, I’d pick a series of buildings first.  I’ve displayed the Palace Hotel in SF, and an office building next to an old folks home in SF just a few blocks away, for instance.  A few different eras of design thought and construction, but I’d pick similar juxtapositions, and interview people to get their initial reactions.  Knowing their background would also help (if they studied art, for example, versus physics).  I’m still mulling the logistics and the worthiness of this, but I am curious to explore further.  Comments and advice are welcome!


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