Sunday, February 1, 2009

Architecture & Design

Architects and design professions take set of design parameters, goals, objectives, suggestions, codes, and execute a design.
If a designer only opens an ear to one faction, the design will not serve the whole set of user well.
Design is setting priorities on the inputs.
Is the use of a single material the top priority? The result becomes a hotel entirely made of ice in Canada.
For projects such as elementary schools, the design must serve the needs of many factions: teachers, principals, children, the public, parents, maintenance staff, construction crews, code officials, state funding reviewers, bond committees, the design community, engineers, taxpayers, (I'll add to this list...)
As you can see what once was a simple building to house school children has become a major complex project involving balancing many interests.
Designs can easily become the subject of criticism because of the variety of users and their competing interests. A school that has excellent design appeal, may not serve the interest of teachers or students well. A school that is very easy to maintain, won't necessarily have much success in increasing test scores. A very expensive school may score highly across many of the factions, but becomes a burden on the taxpayers because of high costs. Economics teaches that the world is full of trade-offs, Architecture is exactly the same.

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