Thursday 18 April 2019

How Simple Can Architecture Be?

During a design workshop with a school I was asked by a disgruntled sixth-form student

'Why do you architects make out that your work is so complicated?  All buildings have to do is look good, function and last!'

It's true!  Why do architects overthink certain areas of their work more than others, to the detriment of a 'whole-process' strategy of thinking?  Architects need to ensure that their projects:
  1. will look good
  2. function properly
  3. will last
This staring point is simple and makes a useful framework to work from.

How simple can Architecture be?
Developing this with an idea-gram, the simplicity quickly becomes populated with lots of more complicated procedures and areas of work, but bringing them in to the framework of these three points gives them relevance, importance and establishes context.

Some considerations added to this simple framework
This idea-gram was thrown together with ideas considered relevant to this context.  Every Architect will have a different response.  Several of the areas included here extend beyond the standard Architect's scope of work, suggesting greater integration with project management, construction management, logistics and service & maintenance areas for example.   To ensure these three headline criteria are successful,  perhaps architecture does require a greater degree of involvement with other parties engaged in the construction, operation, service and maintenance of a project?

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