The following is a part of the #ArchiTalks series wherein a topic is suggested and a group of architect bloggers each gives their take on the subject.
The topic this month is "Theory / Practice"
Much of what we do at FiELD9: architecture, as small town architects, would seem to have little if anything to do with the architectural theory we learned in school. Yet, for us it really has shaped our practice, from the the name of our firm, to our aesthetic sensibilities, to how we interact with our clients.
My final project for my Masters of Architecture degree was not a thesis project like some, but rather an exit review. A 35-45 minute presentation on our thoughts about architecture. Mind you, it was to be focused and research based. Not just our random thoughts. When formulating the topic for my exit review, I told my advisor that I wanted to do something around sustainability. His response haunts me to this day. “You can do better than that” he said. Taken a bit aback at first, i took his words to heart and like to think they have shaped my practice. Even if in imperceptible ways.
You see, what I settled on for the topic of my exit review was the anexactness of architecture. Architecture exists to support human activity. It is not an end in and of itself.
We often find ourselves working on the mundane. Nevertheless, I find myself constantly reminded that I can do better. Just because the project is mundane does not mean our solution need be also. Finding purely practical solutions can be rewarding and difficult in its own right. And certainly often that is all the client expects. But when we can infuse that something extra that a project can really shine.
ArchiTalks is a group effort. Please take the time to read the other entry's into this month's exploration of theory and practice:
Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
the architecture of theory and how it is evidenced in my practice
Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Theory -- If Apple Practiced Architecture
Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
In Theory / In Practice
Mark Stephens - Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Theory and Practice
Larry Lucas - Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
The Theory and Practice of Full-circle Architecture