How Architecture Inspires
Our experiences that are most significant, that actually define our lives, are but a series of moments. Whether joyous, momentous, embarrassing, or even painful – brief episodes become markers of our own personal story. A life-defining moment can also be an unexpected inspiration, a perfectly crystallized insight – an epiphany. A glorious sunset, a breathtaking natural panorama, or a minor interruption from our routine can coax our intuition to take over, allowing flashpoints of inspiration to flood our consciousness.
What role can architecture play in inspiring us? In addition to expressing the technology, time and place in which it is built, the capacity to inspire is a particularly unique characteristic that distinguishes architecture from mere buildings. Most of us are not surrounded by great or even good architecture, but by normative structures that provide only their assigned function and purpose. Perhaps, then, architecture has the capacity to inspire because it is unique to our everyday experience – a break from our routine. Yet there is more to it than that.
Architecture is functional artwork – sculpture – that excites our senses while serving our needs in living, working and thriving. Architecture is art because it is designed with the intention of heightening the human experience. It is the goal of the designer that the built work issues an experiential delight, and that makes architecture a vehicle for transformation.
Architecture engages us and allows us to disengage with the mundane, as it opens our minds to our higher selves. Through the deft hand of a capable designer, architecture inspires and excites the human psyche in myriad ways – with artful sculpting of exterior forms and proportions; novel use of materials; thoughtful interplay of solids and voids; a calculated choreography of interior volumes unfolding in a rhythm and intentionality; with interiors flooded with natural light, subtle pauses between spaces, and precisely framed views to tranquil courtyards or natural vistas. Skilled architects pull from countless methods to imbue architecture with the capacity to invite emotional, visceral connections with its inhabitants.
Well-crafted architecture liberates our thinking to allow us to access our higher realm of consciousness and intuitive core. As with all captivating works of art, beautiful architecture can transform our world, deepen our experiences, and possibly create a moment of inspiration that becomes an indelible milestone in our lives.