While a lot has happened in the world of architecture this year, it’s just as important to reflect on your own personal architectural practices. Here are some ways to help improve yourself in the New Year. From travel to risk-taking to humanitarian activism, there’s no shortage of inspiration!
Marc Kushner speaking at TED Talk, March 2014
1. SPEAK MORE.
Begin to build your professional portfolio and your personal sphere of influence by attending conferences or forums that allow you to share your knowledge, understanding, and aspirations of and for the design community. Sometimes this means even sitting in on an event and listening then responding. Whether it is a TED talk or a college classroom, the impact is significant for your own growth and those within your network. Don’t forget that listening is equally as important!
2. BUILD WELL CERTIFIED.
Social consciousness is an element of design that often takes the back seat. Work harder this year to build WELL Certified and make your architecture’s aesthetic elevated by purpose. There are 7 elements to a WELL Certified building; Air, Comfort, Fitness, Light, Mind, Nourishment, and Water. Not only will you be promoting the building of spaces to optimize health and mental well-being, but also defending and taking into account fundamental human rights. This means making architecture more sustainable for our planet, and more accessible for everyone.
3. APPRECIATE SALVAGED SPACE & ARCHITECTURE.
Sala Beckett, Obrador Internacional de Dramatúrgia; Barcelona / Spain / 2016
Sometimes looking forward also means referencing the past. We were recently inspired by a few photos of “Re-Architecture” from Sala Beckett, Prada, and Casa Vicens restoration. Often times these types of spaces hold the greatest collection of memories and treasures allowing for the ability to have a richer, more original design process.
4. LEARN ABOUT THE ARCHITECTURE OF A COUNTRY YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.
Every country has its own twist on traditional, modern, and contemporary architecture. Whether you are inspired by the upturned corners of a Classical Chinese roof or Australia’s Sydney Opera House, searching deeper into a countries roots, reasons, and remedies can never hurt.
5. TAKE ON A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.
Bringing an awareness of and respect for global issues into your practice allows you to see the world in a more interconnected way socially, economically, and politically. We also need to develop the skills, attitudes and values which will enable us to work together (across countries and cultures) to bring about change in the pursuit of a more just and sustainable world, where individuals are empowered and resources are more equitably shared. Don’t build walls, but bring people together through your practice.
6. TAKE UP A NEW NON-ARCHITECTURAL HOBBY.
See how it helps your architectural side. We like the idea of yoga, origami, ceramics, coding, or learning a new language.
7. TRAVEL MORE.
Since we are living in the age of Instagram, it is easy to get lost living vicariously through Pinterest boards, saved photos, and influencers. However, when it comes to subtle textures, atmospheric spaces and beautiful details, there is no substitute for traveling to experience architecture in person. Whether its gardens, hotels, monuments (and sometimes the ones closest to you are the places that get ignored) feel free to allow yourself to travel and immerse yourself in a sense of discovery and cultural inspiration!
8. USE MORE COLOR.
Designers are often scared to experiment with colors but they often harness a lot of energy and can be a helpful guide for a space. Whether its using dramatic or energetic colors, finding inspiration from designs around us, in nature, and even color psychology is a great way to start.
9. TAKING MORE RISKS.
Last but not least, it is an overarching theme for 2018 to keep your spirit alive throughout the design year. This means taking risks, trying new things, paying attention to current events, and much more. Learning and growing sometimes means making mistakes or making extra preliminary revisions to get to a place not yet discovered. Take on new textures, colors, and forms in 2018. The more you step outside your comfort zone, the further your design evolves.