Architects are a mysterious lot. Not necessarily by choice, but because most people don’t think about who designed the built environment around them. In a way, that’s the point. If it’s designed well, a home should reflect its owners and not the person who created it. With some notable and iconic exceptions, of course, such as Frank Lloyd Wright. But the downside is that the vast majority of people have no clue about what an architect does, so there’s not as much appreciation that probably there should be.
The residential architect matters at least as much as any architect who designs an impressive skyscraper because she has a direct effect on the day-to-day life of families. Forget all of the glitz that comes with walls of glass that soar into the sky. It’s time to give credit where credit is due and show some appreciation for architects who work a lot closer to home.
The Residential Architect Makes Everyday Life Better
One of the primary jobs of an architect is designing in a way that enhances the life of the end user. Sometimes, that’s a community. And sometimes it’s a mom, dad, and two kids. While awe-inspiring buildings that help shape a cityscape certainly make headlines, residential architects are improving the lives that people lead at home.
Improving on the design of a commercial building is important. But as the idea of obtaining a work/life balance grows, quality of life outside the cityscape is quietly gaining momentum. And the residential architect is at the heart of it all.
The Architect’s Job Has Never Been More Important
According to Architect Magazine, this job is only going to grow in importance in the foreseeable future. There are so many technological advances, and also changes in lifestyle. The homes of the future need a different approach from their predecessors.
Things like a home’s envelope can help save energy and make life more comfortable. In a commercial building, that’s important. But what about through an entire residential community? And as people tend to want a lifestyle where aging at home is an option, new homes with universal design can change the whole game. No longer will people need to think about moving someplace else in old age, all because an architect had the foresight to design for the changing needs of the population.
Architects Create With a Purpose
The built environment can be inspiring, imaginative, creative and it can also be sustainable. When an architect sets out to create a house, there’s more to the process than making something beautiful with a certain number of rooms that hopefully won’t fall down. It’s about making the world better, but in this case, the world is one home, and another, and then another.
The Purpose Institute CEO and founder, Roy Spence, suggested to Architect Magazine‘s William Richards that we should imagine “what the world would look like if 80 percent of what’s being designed was sustainable.” Now imagine what the world would look like if 80 percent of residential property were designed the same way.
Architecture has a purpose, and it’s not just for businesses. Using the wide-angle lens, designing great homes could have a much bigger effect on communities and the environment than a single building ever could.
The magnificent skyscraper might always get the headlines, but then again the flashiest things always do. But while those architects are giving interviews and sitting for photo sessions, the residential architect could be slowly and surely changing the world, one home at a time.
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