A Readable Architecture for Everyone…

November 20, 2013

A Readable Architecture for Everyone…

When I started my education in architecture my perception of an architect/architecture was really wrong! As Randell says: “I was thought architects do architecture all by themselves they imagine architecture, and then, (…) they make it, whole and perfect pieces of it, just in their dreams” (J. Rendell p. 28)
I thought architects are the ones who create lifestyles by convincing people with their designs and master pieces. And it was like that in the past. That is probably why Le Corbusier’s perfect city have not completely has built yet. Probably, nowadays, it is the same somehow but in another way. We are still writers of the story but with considering too many aspects: Public participation, inviting other professions, analyzing the needs of users and so on. We are also psychologists who provide a lifestyle that people want not the perfect lifestyle in just our imagination.
“My own use of architecture is placed between the authority of the father, the male architect, (…) and the voice of the mother, the female theoretician, (…)” (J. Rendell p. 28)
Different people have different perceptions of thing. Therefore, we are not just architects or planners we are storytellers and we should build that story by providing possibility for most of people to be able to read that. And believe me it isn’t an essay task/process as long as, there are always use/misuse, doing/undoing, agreement/disagreement, and understanding/misunderstanding…
Talking about uses and perceptions of space I would like to bring some examples from my own experience. Research shows that women walk/move three kilometers only in the kitchen during a day but men not as much as 300 meters. The way people use the space is different because their needs are different. Such as, males and females, their actions and mentality are different. For instance, women can go shopping for four hours just to buy a pair of jeans. While, buying a pair of jeans can take ten-twenty minutes for a man. Responding to space as an example, someone could say if I don’t use the area such as my bedroom, every time, why we built that and occupy the space with a large bed that could be used for another aim/activity. I faced to many different problems while I was doing my thesis work. Municipality aimed for more housing and development of the center in area. Also, there was a huge issue of pollution in soil and water. Cultural centers were afraid that changes in the area will affect the authenticity of the place and people/residents wanted or needed too many things there were too many ideas and problems going on. It was a really difficult task to propose a design considering all aspects. And make it work. I learned to put things in order and see things close to reality. Also, find the better solution where everyone would be happy instead of imagining a nice lovely design which wouldn’t suit in the concept.
As a conclusion, there is another way of building buildings in architecture! Let leave the aesthetics, beautiful fantastic modern buildings but look deep in what is their effect and role in the life of people. The core point is how we construct them not only for architect’s point of view but for everyone. For the people who, assume their surroundings with more than one viewpoint. Therefore, realize architecture as a psychic building, building spatial relations, social and emotional structure. By letting them being occupied and played by users. We as professionals (architects, urban planners or designers…) should create a “readable space” where, everyone can live, use or enjoy according to their own perceptions and way of living.
Ninel Niazi

In response to : Jane Rendell, Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism, London: I.B. Tauris, 2010

One Response to “A Readable Architecture for Everyone…”

  1. nenander Says:

    Realize architecture as “psychic building”, with an “emotional structure”, your challenge is inspiring! When I started architecture school I thought I was going to learn how to build a house. What a mistake! Now I think more about why we build and for whom we design. We need to stop reproducing social structures where men and women relate to each other as oppositional polarities and start being more generous and allowing to normative deviation.


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