In case you were wondering what Architects do

Yesterday in class, we were asked what do we really do. I was quite shocked with the misconception that we design the outside of the building, the skin. I found it unfair and disheartening but I will take it as a challenge. Our training in school in comparison with interior designers is different. Not to say that designers have it easy, but our focus and our way of tackling spaces is different.

Architecture is both the process and the product. It is a service-oriented profession geared towards better living by design. It shouldn’t be about the designer. It should be about the people we design for.

Nothing is by accident. It should all be done with an educated intent

Architects create a background for life. (Ballantyne, 2011) We create lived spaces in collaboration with other disciplines because it is not all about aesthetics. It is a balancing act. We have to make sure that it is safe, beautiful and functional. We relate the site with the built environment. We associate the built environment to culture, history, behaviors and psychology. We deal with transitions from the outside and stitch it with the inside. It’s the totality of the project as well as the details. Again, we cannot do all of it alone. It is a collaborative work subject to laws.

There is more to it than what you see but it is not just about the buildings. We help you mold your stories and enable everyone to build on their own narratives. More than the built structure, we form habits through the spaces we design.

For more details of the Architecture practice in the Philippines, click here.

Interior designers told me that how I defined our profession can also apply to them.

  1. We cater to the same clients.
  2. We both design for people.
  3. We both design spaces.
  4. Our professions work as an art and a science.
  5. It is both more than the technical side.
  6. It is both a collaborative profession.

What I would like to underline is that our focus is different. Architects work at a macro scale. We associate every single room with each other. We compute for spaces so that their transitions become smooth and that it fits the user profile. Interior Designers work at a micro level. They relate furniture with space, they relate the space to the interior environments where like us they are bound by laws, mensuration, beauty, elements of design etc. Why do we need to fight over the right to design spaces when our functions are very different?

*This is not even the entire explanation of what we really do as professionals. I just wanted to share a preview of what we can offer.

The best way to learn is to understand first.

Sources:

Ballantyne, A. (2011). The Aesthetics of Architecture: Philosophical Investigations into the Art of Building. Edited by David Goldblatt and Roger Paden. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 43-49

Hiller, B. (2007). Space is the Machine: What Architecture Adds to Building. London:  Cambridge University Press. 10-38

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