So right off the bat I need to say that many of my friends are architects, I’ve worked with many amazing architects who are much smarter than I am, and I have absolute respect for the profession and most of the people that put AIA behind their name. As an interior designer, collaboration is my middle name. It is the rare project that I work without the involvement of an architect. Like many professions where different specialties work closely together (front of house and back of house comes to mind), some casual ribbing is de rigeur. And after working with a starchitect (or at least a wannabe starchitect) on a project early in my career, this little ditty rang true for me. It was pinned to my wall for many years as a reminder to me to take it all very lightly.
Of course most architects are not starchitects. But there is a historic difference between how an architect approaches a project and how an interior designer approaches a project. Aside from basic knowledge, architects have tended to approach the building from the outside while interior designers always approach the building from the user perspective. That is at the core of our training: how will the person using the building interact with the building? So when I read an article on FastCo today about the future of architecture, I smiled a little smile and there might have been a face palm involved. According to the architects interviewed, one of the emerging attitudes in architecture looks less at the physical building and places greater emphasis on the opportunity represented when people gather…..hmmm. Focusing on the user isn’t really all that new now, is it? Are architects finally realizing that what goes on inside the building is the reason for the building? And are they now taking credit for what interior designers have always known and often had to fight for? In all honesty this is great for the profession because it is right for the user. And if architects want to take credit then so be it. At least we finally agree.
If you’ve seen the latest renderings and write-ups for a new Google campus, you are seeing this idea in action. The buildings (and it’s hard to call them that) are designed around needs of the employees and the community and are created to be changeable as those needs change. It’s a brilliant concept and exciting to see architects looking at their buildings from the inside out.
I know….sounding a little snarky. And yes, I do expect a lot of flak for this so let me have it!
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