Passion for Architecture Essay
My passion for architecture stems from my childhood when I was recognized as being able to express my thoughts through art. [review- needs to be stronger] This evolved into an ambition to use this forte to develop a career around it, one which would enable me to apply my innovativeness to improving people’s lives and addressing emerging issues in society.
While a link may be hard to see, architecture is not an industry that escapes without a share of the blame for today’s issues. ‘Why We Build’ by R. Moore taught me that historically we build and design for money, power, and politics. However, if we have a genuine desire to address prominent post-modern societal issues: global warming, disease, and poverty to name a few, our driving principles in this industry must also change.
Architecture should evolve in line with the environment. Today, nearly 40% of carbon emission in the USA is a product of the built environment, contributing to global warming. This in itself warrants a change in mindset in designing, to avoid further ecological impacts. Some shifts can already be observed, for instance, the introduction of new concepts such as autonomous buildings and carbon neutral construction merge innovation and technology to create cities that can coexist with the natural world. However, there is a need for a more focused global emphasis on finding sustainable and affordable solutions. The goal is to make sure the effects of what we install outlive the people who create them- in a positive way.
The global pandemic has reformed how people live, work and relax, all of which give ‘purpose’ to architectural design. In a world where standing too close may prove deadly, it challenges the utilization of existing physical space. In 1933, the Finnish architect and designer H. A. H. Aalto built the Paimio Sanatorium for tuberculosis. For him, architecture aided the cure. Bright, airy, light rooms filled the sanatorium, using sunlight to kill the tuberculosis bacteria. This was the essence of post-war modern architecture, to capitalize on the use of space to combat disease as a major societal issue. In the 21st century, however, space is no longer the remedy. Being homebound has made people realize the value of their own limited space for reasons of safety. Communication feels safer through plexiglass. The spatial limitation is now a comfort.
The implicit influence of politics on architecture is once again another example of an issue where the lower and less privileged class have been suffering at the hands of policymakers, ignorant of their real needs. Safety and inclusiveness have been marginalized whilst the focus has been on ticking boxes, on the agenda of social housing. This mentality has cost lives and there is no better living example than Grenfell tower where 72 lives were lost within hours. 40,000 people still live in high-rise buildings, often with poor design considerations around health and safety.
Architecture, like any other discipline, is constantly evolving. To keep abreast of the changes, as my passion grew during my secondary academic years, I developed an interest in reading newsletters from websites like Archdaily and Deezen. In addition, during the lockdown and summer period, I participated in an online tutorial offered by the architecture firm Halliday Fraser Munroe on how basic architectural software works and how to respond to a brief. By partaking in this, I was exposed to many of the key expertise required to create a building such as purpose, budget, location, and materials. I also learned the importance of managing time expectations in creating and designing.
My academic creative curriculum has solidified my interest in architecture as a career of choice. Not only did it offer me the opportunity to realize my potential, but it also allowed me to improve my creative skills massively, enabling me to now compete for one of the best architectural universities in the USA. A-Levels in both graphic design and physics have given me an insight into some of the key areas to be considered while designing a building, from aesthetics to materials, taking into account the visual attitude of mainstream media. Combining these skills gives me a deep appreciation of the key aspects needed for the successful execution of a project, often involving intricate planning and balancing of conflicting priorities. For example, when creating a product in graphics, I consider factors such as audience, appeal, and content to use features such as typography, shape, and color by the intended effect that I desire to evoke within the reader. I have also learned to improve my time management to ensure deadlines were met.
My aspiration is to become a leading female, ethnic minority architect in the USA, and break the mold in an industry that I believe is still largely male-dominated. I am very strongly driven by making a positive contribution to society as an architect and I firmly believe that having a degree from a prestigious institution like yours will definitely put me on a strong footing to achieving that purpose. I have researched your faculty and read several reviews by former students and I am fascinated by how much your institution has to offer to help me realize my full potential.
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