Architecture: a decision of ethics

To progress through the distresses of life joyfully, you must have a purpose. And that purpose can be found through the career you commit your heart to. Architecture is my dedication, but it wouldn’t be if I didn’t see how it would improve the world.

One of the obvious aspects of architecture is what to build. Of course, when I decided to major in Architecture, I didn’t plan on building lairs for villains or concentration camps for neo-Hitlers. Although I don’t know what exactly what I’m going to build when I become a full-fledged architect, I’m thinking something that will provide a necessary business or housing. It might be for a not-for-profit, a bank, a shopping center, a high-rise office building. Or, it might also be a mansion for a billionaire, or cost efficient housing for the lower classes. I won’t be picky choosey, but if I do have my choice, I would like to provide housing for the underprivileged, specifically in areas that have been victims of disasters. I want to be able to help people with my profession.

Another ethical part of architecture lies in the materials used. I believe that the materials used should not be those that are in highly limited supply. For example, the most expensive home has gold and dinosaur bones in the stone used. In my opinion, that is a rude waste of an un-renewable commodity our Earth doesn’t have much of. Architecture can be beautiful and spectacular without amazingly ridiculous things in it. The materials should add to the aesthetic of the building, and be used for durability and structure. Along with this, finding materials that have the smallest ecological footprint and that make the space inside naturally warm in the winter and cool in the summer makes for the best materials. An example of this is adobe, which has amazing strength at insulating. Materials are probably usually overlooked as far as ethical reasons, but they do play their role as to whether they help the environment, which I see as a considerable concern. Materials should also be considered in the safety of the building. In the buildings I design as the architect, I hope to take everything into consideration so that the building is wonderfully made.

The aesthetic appeal of the building may also be overlooked as not being ethical. Yet what is ethics but to improve the lives of people? The beauty of the art of architecture can enrich the lives of people every day. Architecture is a unique form of art because it is lived in. Since everyone is surrounded by it, it has a vast opportunity to improve their everyday life by giving them a space that is pleasing to the eye, inspirational, comfortable, or whatever fits the architecture’s purpose. This is one, main, reason why I love architecture. I love art. I love art’s power. I love art’s creativity and imagination. I hope that the buildings I design inspire the people that live in them and make their lives a little less banal.

On a business side as an architect, I also wish to treat people with respect. With any profession, you have to deal with people. Everyone has their own opinion on efficiency and effective design. As a professional, I want to be known as being respectful and caring towards others, whether it is a colleague or a client. I also know how lying and cheating the system can work its way into the practice of architecture and the construction process. I possess more morals than that. Though it’s a “dog eat dog” world, at the end of the day, I’m only proud of the work I produced if I did it fairly. I aim to serve my firm and my community through kindness, innovation, and respect.

Buildings themselves are a mix of benefits and losses. Through buildings we gain convenience and protection. Through architecture, we gain delight from imagination, creativity, and the pure experience of existing in art. Architecture can improve our lives through aesthetics and shelter. However, buildings are one of the largest consumers of energy. It takes energy and fuel to create the materials, to transport them, to build buildings, and to maintain the building. Yet, to go without buildings is a truly radical and incomprehensible thought for our modern world, which has relied on buildings for 10,000 years. So what is my goal, along with countless other architects? We aim to create environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings in order to shrink our ecological footprint. This is one of the main ethical approaches to architecture that drives me to design great architecture, with science in mind. Not to mention, the happiness and excitement I feel because of this potential to change architecture’s impact on the environment.

This environmentally conscious approach to architecture, my chief aim, is shared by Glenn Murcutt. He designs for the environment, the aesthetical appeal, privacy, and security. His designs are innovative and unique, with strong industrial lines of the metal structural system combined with traditional representations of the structures he is building. His designs are inventive. His philosophy is based off the idea that buildings should adjust to the changing seasons and climate. Like we can change our clothing, our buildings should be able to do the same. This invention is exactly what I’m interested in. After learning about Murcutt, I have planned to participate in one of his summer schooling sessions. Two weeks long of learning about sustainable design from an inventive expert sounds like the perfect experience to jump start my special interest in my career.

I chose architecture for more than to just design buildings. I chose it to make a difference to how buildings are created. I want to improve the way we build buildings. I want to seek new innovations in technology to make buildings with the lowest ecological impact. I want to have a purpose. I want to improve the world, even if it’s just a little.

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