#12.002: Stop and Smell the Building – Chris PatekPosted: 26 April 2012 | Author: bcooper | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: AIA Cincinnati, Architecture, Architecture by Children, Chris Patek | Leave a comment »
I recently had the privilege of participating in a program called ‘Architecture By Children’ whereby architects are sent into local classrooms to teach K-12 students about architecture and design. The primary purpose of the program is to advance public interest and education in architecture and design by educating them, in this case children, about the places they live, work, and play. The idea being that the more people know about and understand their surrounding environment, the more they will respect and protect it, and the more likely they will actively participate in that environment to make positive advancements.
The same is true for most things we encounter on a daily basis, like music and food and technology. The more you know about them, the more you appreciate and understand them, and the more likely you are to advance them in a positive direction. Take wine as an example. If you taste a variety of wines and learn why each one tastes the way it does and the process of making each of the wines, you will have a much greater appreciation for the next glass you drink. Over time, you will learn which wines taste good and why, and be able to make a more informed and educated decision the next time you buy a bottle.
Architecture is no different. When you consider the amount of time we spend in and around buildings each and every day, you begin to understand the impact architecture and design has on our daily lives. Yet, how many people really understand the places they live and work and play in? These are the places that define our city, our community, our neighborhood, and our home. They are the iconic landmarks that we associate with the game winning walk-off home run or annual holiday festival or wedding day celebration! They are the places in which we find daily comfort and religiously visit: our workplace, school, or community center.
It is essential that we not only appreciate our places, but that we also understand the impact they have on our lives and the lives of those around us, both positive and negative. It is this greater understanding that will allow the built environment to advance in a positive direction and benefit everyone now and well into the future.
We all need to take more time to learn more about the buildings we encounter on a daily basis and become active participants in our built environment. Our lives depend on it.
Chris Patek, AIA
President, AIA Cincinnati