Thursday, July 9, 2009

Design and Architecture

As I mentioned in my last post, anything can be designed. In my opinion, the words Design and Architecture mean the same thing. It has been a long standing misnomer that the word 'Architecture' has to do only with the work of Architects, but in fact many of the greatest 'Architects' were actually 'Designers'. The easiest (and best) example of this would be Frank Lloyd Wright. Now while I admire his work in Buildings, his collective portfolio is far more impressive when you consider the breadth of his influence. Whether you are talking about the furniture he designed or his graphic arts influence (from fonts to rendering style) no one can deny that his perspective on the world extended beyond the bricks and wood of his structures. Today, we have separate occupations for graphic designers, industrial designers, textile designers and pretty much any other kind of designer you can think of. However, it has always been my experience that the best designers (and architects) are the ones who look beyond the specific thing they are designing to how it will apply to the greater whole of the world.

Further evidence of the symmetry between 'Design' and 'Architecture' has to do with the tools that are used to employ both. These tools include things like composition, scale, texture, harmony, and detail. Now while these words are very common in Design, they are also common to other areas such as Art and Music. This is why Michelangelo could paint the Sistine Chapel and design the Campodoglio. Almost every creative discipline is linked through these common tools. Of course, there are those who seem to be born with an innate understanding of Design and there are those who work at it tirelessly. I think the verdict is still out on whether or not you can learn to be a great Designer. We will leave that conversation for another day.

For now, let us go forward with the understanding that Design is in everything and that anyone can create a work of Architecture and that the two terms are not exclusive. Once you understand this, you can literally create anything.

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