What You Can Learn from Architecture
Discover three things you can learn by studying architecture.
Architecture is the study and process of planning, designing, and constructing buildings. It is both an art and a science. No one wants a building that is ugly, and they definitely don’t want one that is going to fall down! Architecture is part of your life every day. From your house and school to the grocery store and the buildings your parents work in.
So what can we learn from studying architecture? Problem-solving, researching, and following instructions.
People create structures and buildings for a purpose. A hotel with a great view from a mountain top might be amazing, but how do you get the building supplies there? Homes with easy access to transportation are desirable, but will there be a bus stop in the front yard? On top of that, you have to get water and electricity to your building. The ground it’s built on must support the weight of the structure. A big office needs to have access for everyone driving to work.
Figuring out all those parts requires a lot of problem-solving skills. Flying everything up on a helicopter will be too expensive. Moving the bus stop makes it too hard for other people to get to. Building on too soft of soil will make the whole project sink. Architects have to work in teams to find solutions to all this.
When did you work with a group to help solve a problem?
A big part of that problem-solving is researching. But research goes beyond helping find solutions when it comes to architecture. What if there was an iconic older building on that site and it burned down decades ago? Paying tribute to it in your design would be cool. What if you find out the client is afraid of heights after some research? You could change your design to make them feel more comfortable. Sometimes clients think they want one thing. A little research finds out they need something completely different.
Was there a time you wanted something but it turned out something different worked better?
Following instructions is one of the most important parts of architecture. There are the instructions from the client, the building codes from the city, and the laws of physics. Following the instructions from the client will help your project get picked. It will also make for fewer changes in the long run. Not following the city building codes could get you in a lot of trouble. If something goes wrong, you could even go to jail! What went wrong might have been the result of physics. Physics is the study of how the universe behaves, in this case how gravity and materials interact.
Have you ever gotten in a pickle because you didn’t follow instructions or rules?
In the end, architecture is about a lot of math, but it is also art, history, and understanding people. Grab some paper and a pencil and try designing some new buildings that you’d like to see built. What would you change about your school? A new jungle-gym? A bigger library?