In many subtle ways, an architect’s work reflects his or her values, design principles, sensibilities, and personal aspirations. What follows is a summary of mine:
Architecture is a utopian endeavor. Before the earth is scratched, or a stone is laid, an idea is born. The architect's role is to coax reality from that dream.
Metaphor is a technique for achieving novelty and understanding. Thus Le Corbusier in 1923 famously described a house as “a machine for living in;” and revolutionized 20th century home building. Design can progress by conceptualizing the home as spa, or as temple; by positioning an office as laboratory, or as studio. Concept is important to establish near the beginning of the project.
Engaged intelligently, constraints of program, budget, schedule, code, politics, constructability, and site conditions become pathways to innovation.
+ Focus / Craft
Focus is a mental energy that accumulates in the places, objects, and ideas we touch. When an object or structure has been thoughtfully designed and painstakingly crafted, the pleasure we experience in its presence is a transmutation of the attention and care it received during its production process. Great design never stops giving back.
+ Collaboration / Communication
Only history is monotheistic - in actuality the world has always been too complex for cowboys. Great architects facilitate a process involving multiple specialists, not least of which is the client. To achieve a successful fit between a building’s purpose and its design requires that the architect and the client together engage in a process of exploring the values and choices that will evolve into the final form of the building.
Waste not, want not. Sustainable design generates undeniable economic and environmental value, whether saving energy, reducing footprints, minimizing liability, or benefiting building occupants.
Architecture has the responsibility to contribute richly to its setting and enduringly to its community. Tim Gorter Architect is one of the 1%, an alliance of pro bono professionals giving back.
Great design is difficult. It demands time, energy, attention, and courage. There are no shortcuts.