At the start of any project, architects and designers must consider an important question; ‘How will the buildings and spaces we design affect people we may ourselves never meet?’
At its most basic level, architecture exists to create the physical spaces in which people live, learn and work. But architecture is more than simply the built outcome; architecture influences our society and communities in a broader sense, and good design has the ability to strengthen connections within our communities, improve our health and wellbeing, inspire and anchor us to our place here in Aotearoa.
In addition to responding to the fundamental needs of clients by designing buildings which provide for their needs of physical space and functionality, as designers we must also consider how built outcomes will affect members of society who will use and frequent these spaces, both now and into the future.
Connecting and consulting with a range of stakeholders is hugely beneficial to final outcomes. Listening to and understanding the nuances of different clients and user groups – be it groups from central and local government agencies, school and community boards, local iwi, or building users such as staff, students or members of the public – positively influences the design process and final outcome.
Exploring innovative ways to bring the needs and ideas of clients and users together allows designers to create meaningful architecture.
Working on a range of community projects of varying scale and complexity, my intent is to create enduring, human-centric architecture for our communities and for future generations to enjoy.