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Social Architecture Essay

2012 words - 9 pages

Grant Lewis
1043 WRC
Dr. Roberts
November 23, 2011
Social Architecture
The term architecture takes into consideration a number of things. These are space, mass, volume, light, texture, shadow, program and materials. The building that is the end product is a creative manipulation of all these elements. The term also includes the pragmatic elements like construction, technology and cost. And thus, the architect achieves something, which is functional, aesthetic, socially conscious and most of the times artistic too.  
Taken to its deeper roots, even an ordinary structure does need someone to design and supervise the construction. So, it would have been difficult to think of any ...view middle of the document...

As responsible citizens and community members we are all called to show up and accept an invitation to participate, to create, to function as co-designers. Acting on what matters is an act of leadership that is not dependent on the response of those around us whom generally say, "no we cannot" rather than "yes we can try" (Kenna). Social architecture is about creating space for people around us to act on what matters while having the will to action, believing that it is possible to bring about change, growth and positive momentum. Social architecture generates an image, fostering imagination, a position and role for each of us to help co-create (Lane). Acting on what matters for one person happens in concert with those around them, as individual effort will not be enough if we don't encourage others to find their own meaning, their own voice. Without them we will not be able to sustain our own.
Structure is an essential part of any piece of architecture. Frankly, it is a reason buildings do not fall down. Whether it is a house, a bridge or a stadium, it is subjected to a number of loads which have to be resisted in one way or another. Structures serve this purpose of transferring loads from the points at which they are applied to the foundations (Lee). No building can possibly exist without this component and quite often architecture is defined by structures rather than the other way around. In any case, it certainly has to be a point of much consideration on behalf of both architects and structural engineers (Louis).  Of course, buildings designed in vacuum without the constraints of all the forces acting would be much more interesting and would allow for more freedom in expressing ideas. However, building without the need of structure would eliminate the factor of the challenge to fuse functionality with aesthetics, which possibly is one of the main reasons why architecture is a form of art (Louis). Yes, structural part of buildings can be a huge constraint but, on the other hand, it turns good modern architects into great ones. 
Architecture of social change represents a conscious effort to reshape the life space of alternative societies. Their goals included uniqueness, accountability, perfectibility, collectivity, and credibility. Their environments were characterized by isolation, unique architectural features, recycling within closed systems, architectural adaptation, "perfect" details, inventions, elaborate transitions between public and private spaces, and prefabrication for easier assembly of the "model" town (Mee). The effects of "the architecture of social change" demonstrate the importance of alternative environments to the success of contemporary alternative institutions.
Green architecture is an approach to building which has become more popular in the last 25 to 30 years. Also known as sustainable design, green architecture is a method of design that minimizes the impact of building on the environment (Sampson). Once...

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