The Importance of Architecture

The Importance of Architecture

If you listen close enough, you can hear your surroundings speaking to you.
3751
views
"One of the great but often unmentioned causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of walls, chairs, buildings, and streets that surround us." (Alain de Botton - The Architecture of Happiness)

Alain de Botton explains in beautiful detail the important influence architecture has in our lives and that we as human beings are dictated by our surroundings. The color on the walls can drastically change our moods, the arrangement of chairs in our living rooms can alter our social perspective, and the interior design of our personal spaces can remind us of the values and interests that we embody. At San Diego State University and the area surrounding it, there consists of many diverse aspects of architectural beauty that touch us and connect with us on these levels of human characteristics.

Being alone in a space that has enough architectural aesthetic to be noticed, appreciated, and criticized, can shape one's future aspirations and their direction and tendency to fulfill those goals. Take, for example, the interior design of the dorms on campus. The dull brick walls and the dirty vintage carpet of the Olmeca dorm building really sucks the living soul out of anyone who is unfortunate enough to live there (me). The small space of the rooms, provides very little room for construction of personal marks in its design, and despite efforts in attempting to offset the dullness of the room with posters and Christmas lights, the claustrophobic-like area makes it difficult to get work done and be happy. In contrast, the beautiful terrace of Storm Hall offers a more welcoming atmosphere for solitary endeavors. It's clear silver steel columns and clean chairs, provide a setting capable of elevating one's sense of fulfillment and one's tendency to work towards their goals. The terrace accomplishes this by isolating its architectural foundation from the rest of the campus. It's heightened location offers us a pleasant view to accompany our active and solitary states and in conjunction with its artistic aspects, the terrace refreshes us from the progressive life we live in and reminds us of who we are and what our purpose is.

The importance of the quality of our surroundings can also be interpreted and observed in a more social context. The outstanding aspects and subtle arrangements of a place that is accustomed and designed for social gatherings can alter the very pace and tone of those social activities. The Student Union on campus serves as a haven that unifies students' sense of pride for SDSU. Its multiple floors of clean halls furnished with modern couches and chairs, support movement and represent a complex community for Aztecs and its overlooking clock tower gives students a strong aura of security and upmost pride. The Architect's purpose in building the union is to unify and empower the students of SDSU and to remind them why they happily chose that school. In comparison, a fraternity house embodies the same empowerment and unity, but within a brotherhood. Its chapter room represents the secrecy the brotherhood holds responsible for, and the values the fraternity was founded upon. The holes in the walls, the piece of wood that was once a door, and the empty beer cans lying on the floor within the hallways of the house, give the brothers a history of its social interactions and reminds them of the harmonious personalities that they embody as brothers. In addition, the empty common rooms upstairs present a more lackluster atmosphere, only consisting of old couchs, grey walls, and a pleasant beige fur rug. The lackluster of aesthetics in the room, signifies that it is not designed to facilitate and foster the individual, but rather serve as a canvas for social action. The emptiness of architectural beauty welcomes different artistic tastes that the brothers of the fraternity exhibit. It is only in a social context where the artistic value of our settings has less of an influence than in an individual context, because it is in a communal setting, where we as human beings serve as the aesthetics for the architectural template.

By observing our surroundings and our reaction towards its aspects, we can really see and make sense of Alain De Botton's philosophy on architecture. Whether it is in a solitary or a social context, the quality of our environments dictate who we are and who we want to be. As we progress into a more modern era that depreciates artistic values, we must hold true to our surroundings and learn to appreciate its architectural beauty as it is to remind us of our identities and its influence to the human experience.

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

20853
views

To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

190
views

If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments