My father, an amazing designer though we never talk about the subject together, regularly subscribes to Metropolis magazine: a magazine dedicated to all forms of architecture design from interior design to environmental design. For the longest time I didnâ€™t even bother to read the stacks upon stacks of magazines until one day I decided to give one to my girlfriend. When she finally returned it, there were pink sticky notes all over it for things she found of interest. This brought me to read through the magazine and I found myself going through Metropolis magazine after magazine. One in particular, caught my eye. I tend to shy away from architecture exhibitis, and any article on housing projects because architects tend to never take into the social demographics of the areas they plan for. Iâ€™m chiefly referring to urban planning and development; many a socially conscious architect will tell you that they are designed almost in the same way as prisons. All of the â€œnew trendsâ€ in urban design are great, but considering the price tag that people would put on the home, youâ€™re essentially kicking out the previous neighborhood and putting in a new one. The greatest example I found when walking home one day in NYC, I came across a series of banners that said â€œGet ready, the old neighborhood is gone and a new one is coming in. Buy your apartments today starting at 300kâ€. Itâ€™s easy to see why a sign like that would irk a few people. But this leads me onto the article I found in the Metropolis Magazine: â€œWanted: Peopleâ€™s Architects: ÂThe American Institute of Architects challenges its members to improve the built environment for all. Is the profession prepared to respond?â€
The intelligent, insightful, and on point author Susan S. Szenasy talks about this very subject, though in a considerably more eloquent manner than myself.Â “Consequently, the built environment requires a massive overhaul, and it could use an infusion of creative ideas. Housingâ€”and all the supportive services that add richness to life, including schools, cultural institutions, parks, stores, and transitâ€”calls for many imaginative proposals for the many different ways we want to live.” (http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=3451)
At this moment in time there exists little correspondence between architecture in relation to society and the environment and Susan calls upon Architects to rethink their design process and introduce new ideas into the design stream that would provide a better built environment for all of us.Â I truly again with Susan, and I hope that architects around the world do too.