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Architecture is… (II)

In the previous article, I began telling you about my journey into architecture and how it has shaped my design thinking so far. This is the conclusion of the article as my team of editors (read friends) said the original article was too long.


The environmental factor described in architecture, in my opinion, should have a harmonious relationship with nature as well as take into consideration the surrounding areas and how architecture would impact it. This is because there is always an effect, and the question lies in whether it is negative or positive.

This can be interpreted in so many ways, the first is sustainable architecture, particularly passive design, which is of great importance to me. The features of the built environment should be able to exist such that they have as little impact as possible on the surrounding environment, for example in the energy used and the level of emissions. Another way to examine this is the ability of architecture to unite people with their environments (the external environment). It is also important that architecture should be minimally invasive and should help people appreciate their environment instead of cutting people off from it. in my home country, there are instances where buildings and other structures actually prevent people from enjoying what their environments have to offer. A good example of this is the flyover bridge near broad street Marina, that separates people and the beach in my city, Lagos. 

The socio-economic factor, on the other hand, is the understanding that good design as a whole and good architecture, in particular, should be accessible to everyone regardless of where they are, who they are or what they can afford. this requires new ways of low cost and sustainable (as emphasized from my previous point) ways of building. this can be explored in terms of design, construction method and most importantly, materiality. The socio-economic context is probably most important to me and has greatly influenced my desire to explore innovative ways to help solve housing problems. Lagos, my city, is currently experiencing a huge housing deficit and from my research, there is no indication of the need being filled in the nearest future.

I still consider my philosophy of architecture- based on what I have discussed in the previous paragraphs- an attempt to unite people with their environment and with other people. I am currently brainstorming on how I can bring it into my final design project, which is based on the relationships between spaces and various parts of a building, from served space to a serving or servant space perspective. I am currently working to unpick this but from my preliminary research, it is safe to say that this relationship is present in every building on a small scale and every part of the urban environment on a larger scale.

I have spent the last 5 years studying to become an architect and through these years, I have seen, heard, experienced and have been influenced by a myriad of things in both my immediate and virtual environment. These have helped to shape me into who I am and the philosophies that I currently hold dear. However, because the people, events and situations can change, these philosophies are also subject to change. But for now, I strongly believe in the right of every human to good architecture, and the onus lies on the architect to bring this to reality. I also believe in the ability of architecture to unite people to people and people to nature. finally, it is important that in trying to fulfil their duties, the architect should as the leader of the design team ensures that the surrounding environment is properly understood and is not negatively affected by design and construction activities.

Whew! Aren’t you glad I broke it? I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What is design/architecture to you? I would like to hear your thoughts below.


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