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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Expanding the Role of Architecture

Perception of architectural value will improve when its contributions are explained with more than a pattern language of images and the emotion of fine art. Don’t misunderstand me, however. I respect architecture and want to improve its foundation of relevance for this reason.

The fundamental contribution of architecture is shelter, but this is considered a private benefit for the wealthy. Public benefit will be recognized when architecture learns to prepare strategic plans that shelter growing populations within a limited Built Domain, since this domain must not be permitted to threaten its source of life – The Natural Domain. It goes without saying that these plans must protect the public health and safety; but “welfare” has been an ambiguous term that includes the physical, social, psychological and economic well-being of an entire population.

Architecture has primarily addressed internal health and safety issues because of the tools available, but the measurement, forecasting and evaluation of development intensity now makes it possible to correlate the buildings constructed with the public impact around them. In other words, architectural intensity can be calibrated and correlated with public benefit by a number of related professions. This will help us learn to shelter growing populations within a limited Built Domain that prevents excessive intensity. It is a foundation of knowledge that the fine art of architecture deserves. My book and software are simply an attempt to provide the concepts and tools needed to begin the work of building this knowledge. (See note below) 

Architecture will either serve the strategy of others or speak in a language that has leadership potential - once we all (not just architects) decide on where we’re going and the priorities that matter. 

Note: Development Capacity Evaluation v.2  is a software CD attached to its manual of explanation entitled, Land Development Calculations, ed.2, published by the McGraw-Hill Companies, 2010.

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