Closing our eyes and trying to remember the most beautiful spaces we have been in – favorite beach, watching the night lights moving past the car’s windshield, lying under a Christmas tree, watching the flickering fairy lights. beauty of these spaces creates the common thread of joy. Our joy, happiness depends upon this beauty and aesthetics of our surrounding, our spaces. Beauty thus is triggered by the stimuli of the space and defined from the perspective of the occupant of that space.
Hierarchy, emphasis, balance, proportion are among the many elements of design that define architechture or any form of designed space and aim at the creation of beauty that helps us thrive. beauty is not just the shell of the design; it is the life-world one creates inside the shapes of those designs.
Science teaches one to make observations in tangible deductions and numbers. To a student of architecture, the first encounter with the theory of design perhaps comes across as extraordinarily vague and abstract. Yet to observe is one of the essential skills in architecture.
As humans, we gravitate naturally towards beautiful spaces. Ironically, it begins in a space that nobody would ever conjure as beautiful in their minds – a construction site, chaos, dust, whirring tools, material getting cut, polished, and treated.
As an architect just out of architecture school, all the ambitions and aspirations fall flat on the face at the first visit to an architect’s workspace– the construction site! This chaotic side of architecture does not get spoken about when discussing beautiful architecture from around the world. One wonders in confusion about the magnificence, the incredible, aweinspiring side of architecture, and where to locate it.
Spending more time at various sites, one realizes that each site has an energy, a robust and distinct character that makes it unique from other sites. As one begins to connect to this energy, one observes that some sites have a joyful vibe while others are lazy and drab. One begins to notice the little things, the rays of sunlight filtering through the trees around the site, or the patterns that the shadow of the built form cast on the ground. One starts to see the difference that proportion brings to design. It is a marvel how balance in a floor plan converts to extraordinary built spaces. Slowly, all those elements of design and architecture start making sense. Amidst the chaos and dust of the construction site, an architect discovers beauty.
An architect’s first responsive design begins with the teacher who creates learning spaces by bringing excitement, passion, and vigor that stimulates students to flourish. The ambiance of the learning space and the teacher-student interaction profoundly affect the students’ learning of design and the art of creating fulfilling spaces.
beauty remains one of those ambiguous elements of architecture that one can sense but without truly understanding it. One develops one’s sense of aesthetic judgment and starts seeking beautiful spaces in all realms of life—the desire to feel and recreate that energy that hangs around the construction sites. Beauty is a sense of joy; it is that magnificent feeling one feels standing in a space that is authentic, expressing itself to its full potential. Beauty is in that space where each element tells its story without overshadowing anything else. It can be in the street, a room, or a whole city. Beauty is another form of happiness. As Immanuel Kant puts it, beauty is equivalent neither to utility nor perfection, but is still purposive. And perhaps that purpose is joy.
Author: Ananya Suresh;
(Design and Architecture, B.Arch College of Architecture, Trivandrum, Storytelling)
Author: TDLM Staff Writer
Illustration/Photography : TDLM Team