I was standing at the bus stop by across from Jones Hall, waiting to for a bus to take me back to west bank after lecture today. As I was standing there, two people came up to the bus stop and stood behind me. They were discussing the lecture, but their discussion about it was much different than the one that I had just had with one of my friends in the class. The first words of their discussion that I heard were that the designed environment should not be a required class, and that there should be an architecture philosophy class for people who are actually interested in it. They were talking about how didn't understand the point of this class how it related to the profession of architecture. One of them said "it's just four walls and a roof, man" the other agreed with "yeah, and make it pretty." Their views on the class surprised me, well not entirely, because I know there are people in the lecture who find it pointless and play on their computers the whole time while sitting in the back. But their view on the class is so different than mine. I find the class inspiring. The slides are always filled with beautiful images and the lecture is filled with inspiring quotes and new ways of thinking. To me it is an eye opening to a different way of viewing the world. To me, the class is about seeing how architecture is more than just four walls and a roof that look pretty. It's about people, ideas, nature, life, hope, and dreams. Sure it may be hard to translate that into a building, but architects should think about how those apply to the buildings they design. A house that has been designed as "just four walls and a roof" doesn't really have much to it. It's just a place to sleep and eat and keep your things. But a house that has been designed with the people, their hopes, their way of life, and their ideas in mind has much more character and life, and it will become a home.
If the designed environment is a philosophy class, then it is my kind of philosophy. I took intro to philosophy last semester and didn't like it at all (and that's an understatement). I couldn't care less why Frankfurt thinks we have free will, or what Kant's formulations are. I do, however, really enjoy talking about what makes a dwelling or a home. Or why it is important to have a sense of wonder.
Someone can be a great architect and never think of the building as more than some walls and a roof, but they could be so much more, if they took these ideas, and others that we have talked about in lecture, to heart.
taken by flikr member linda yvonne