By July 1, 2015 Read More →

ArchitectureView – Experiencing Architecture


Experiencing Architecture
By: Barrett Lipomi, AIA
What does it mean to experience architecture? If you were to ask an architect, he or she may talk about scale, proportion, rhythm orientation and texture. Hearing this kind of archi-babble will likely go right over your head. This is because architects and designers are trained to break down and analyze buildings in a very technical and deliberate way. However despite the complexities of design and construction in shaping our built environment, it takes only our natural senses and a bit of awareness to experience the joy of architecture.
One of the first things we need to realize is that we spend most of our lives in buildings. This means we are constantly surrounded by architecture. Buildings play a significant role in each of our lives and we often don’t realize or understand it. Take for example where you are sitting now. Even though you are focused on reading this magazine, your physical environment is having a substantial impact on your experience.
In our consumer based economy much emphasis is placed on products, trends, and what you see on the surface. Although these are important components of architecture, the true power of design lies beneath the surface. Take the iPhone for example with its slick and minimalist packaging and design. This is very appealing, well executed and has helped Apple sell millions of phones worldwide. However it is the hardware and software within the phone that truly makes it a brilliant and functional design. The same is true for great architecture and too often we focus our experience on what we see and not what we feel or how it functions.
This lack of understanding of architecture and design has led many to make untimely and uneducated decisions about our buildings in Modesto. As a result, we have lost too many great ones and built too many bad ones over the past half century. Good design has no expiration date and we shouldn’t falsely place one on our buildings.
Over the coming months I will write about the many great examples of architecture around the city. I will explore ways in which you can more deeply experience the built environment around you. Having a community that values architecture and good design will help save us from the mistakes of our past and allow us to realize the great potential of Modesto for the future.

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