The Importance of Architecture

The Importance of Architecture

If you listen close enough, you can hear your surroundings speaking to you.
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"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.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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