The Value of Design

“You are wasting space” is one person’s opinion when they don’t value the nature of the space or the impact that the space can have on a person’s psyche. An architect’s job is to create a space that not only functions well but also touches the heart. In fact, touching the heart can often be more important than pure function.

People are adaptable. Habits can be modified, molded and shaped either voluntarily or not. Someone might gladly give up a door or window or a few feet of space if the result is more satisfying spiritually or aesthetically. On a larger scale, someone might choose to have a tiny house in a magnificent setting rather than a larger house in a mundane setting. Witness the increased interest in “Tiny Houses” as of late.

It’s the architect’s job to identify or create these opportunities and to present them to the owner clearly.

Architecture and Music Alter Your Environment

It is human nature to alter one’s environment. People adjust and modify their environment to create an attractive and comfortable living space or work space. They inevitably furnish and decorate a space to their liking. Perhaps they even hire an architect to help create an exemplary space from scratch. An architect modifies the built environment to accommodate a client’s needs for utility, function, and aesthetics.

A building is a fixed size, stationary, and can be revisited time and time again over many years. However, there are variations: Architecture can appear different at different times of the day or year due to changing light and climate conditions, variable architectural elements of the building (such as shading devices), and even changes to the environment around it.

A musician also modifies the environment: Playing an instrument generates sound waves with the intention of influencing the audience in a particular way. People go to performances to find something special to enrich their lives. They seek a calming, exciting, pleasing, or disrupting experience that is not part of their normal daily existence. They have their environment altered.

A live music performance is unique and can never be duplicated. The notes being played at subsequent performances might be the same, but the performance will always be slightly different. There are variables in the performer’s physical condition, emotions, the tempo of the piece, air temperature and humidity etc. The nature of this experience is primarily why people make the effort to attend live music events.

Architecture and Construction: Pribyl’s First Law

This is a basic reality of construction. For construction of a project, you can get two out of the following three, never all three:

Inexpensive * Fast * Good

Inexpensive + Good

This is possible, but at the expense of speed. You will need time to find a contractor who is inexpensive (most likely at the beginning of his career), yet will take the care necessary to build a high quality project.

Inexpensive + Fast

You are most likely to get a contractor who will use the least expensive components assembled with less than meticulous care. Expect cheap versions of the building components. Occasionally, inexpensive items assembled quickly can work out. Expect a lot of “hammer-to-fit” and “paint-to-cover” solutions.

Fast + Good

You will need to hire a very capable contractor who has excellent quality subcontractors and vendors that he has used often. Hope for a break in his schedule where he can fit your project in.

*This entry is half tongue-in-cheek, but often more true than not.

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