Nylda Hamchaoui is a third year architecture student at UEL and blogs about this subject for Your Universe. Her opinions are her own.
Architecture is a service.
Ever since I can remember, it seemed clear that by studying architecture I was going to help people. The more awareness I have about my role in developing society, the more I realise architecture has a great impact on the way we live, and the way we end up thinking.
It seems easy to forget whilst we are in the midst of drawing plans, sections or 3D drawings that we are designing for people in the end, whether speculative or real. We are not simply making spaces, we are designing them, making them facilitate the living of our day-to-day lives.
During this year, I have spent a lot more time trying to understand people – the social element that brings projects and ideas together into a believable future. I guess that is the key; we spend so much time focusing on making something look perfect when in reality we need to be making things better instead. Creating better architecture benefits us all, and it doesn’t necessarily equate to being new. If anything, we should be able to rescue what already exists. People tend to flock in the areas that feel familiar, so why destroy that which brings communities together?
One could argue that we are like doctors, rescuing what society deems unbuildable. I think that is where we are most helpful, simply because constraints that may appear breed ideas that are exclusive to the space - and to the people that the space belongs to. This approach resonates with the character of the space we design for, acknowledging that like people, spaces are unique.
If we return to the human experience as a whole we will be able to make better spaces that adapt to function. The heart of what we do is people focused; therefore, taking the time to understand what already exists will allow us to build better functioning spaces altogether, and in turn better serve society.