As an architect deeply rooted in the realm of design, my perspective on the transformational potential of architecture has undergone a significant evolution over the years. From the drafting table to the realisation of bustling public spaces. The impact of architecture on our daily lives is often underestimated. The design of public spaces has the power to shape our experience and alter our perspectives on community interaction. 

Architecture appeared as a mere discipline of lines, angles, and structures – focused on creating buildings that were both towering and aesthetically pleasing, adhering strictly to the principles of form and function. However, as I immersed myself in the intricate relationship between design and human experience, Public spaces aren’t just Canvas for design but dynamic stages where diverse life stories unfold. Witnessing the seamless integration of accessibility features catering to individuals of all abilities, my prospect of inclusivity within the community underwent a significant shift. The architects demonstrated a commitment beyond mere aesthetics, prioritising the creation of an environment where everyone feels welcome, irrespective of their physical abilities, and fostering a sense of belonging.

Architectural Journey Shaping Communities Through Design-Sheet1
Cloud Gate, Chicago_

The Cloud Gate, or “The bean”, in Chicago is one such example that has intensely influenced my architectural journey. The living sculpture in Millennium Park reflects the city’s diversity, engaging community and visitors in a dynamic interactive experience. It’s stainless – steel mirrors the vibrancy of the community, making a focal point for community gatherings. This public art installation transcends its impact and reinforces that design is more than structures, it’s about creating a landmark that deeply resonates with people. The cloud gate exemplifies how thoughtful design can draw communities together, leaving a lasting cultural imprint. It inspired me to approach architecture holistically, creating spaces that not only function well but also contribute to the cultural richness of communities, fostering connection and collective experience. 

In a time dominated by digital screens that challenge in-person social engagement, I began championing public spaces as a remedy for social disconnect. Crafting public spaces demands a thoughtful approach that emphasises flexibility, adaptability, strategic location, proximity, and proportioning. Moving beyond conventional fixed-equipment play areas as public spaces, landscape-led play design is advocated for its inherent inclusivity and a broader spectrum of sensory experiences. 

Architectural Journey Shaping Communities Through Design-Sheet2
Maggie Daley, Chicago  _

The Maggie Daley Park in Chicago, situated at the heart of city, redefines traditional playground through innovative design. Featuring rolling hills, climbing walls, and an ice-skating ribbon, the park transforms urban space into a dynamic and diverse environment. Beyond offering various recreational activities, its carefully crafted landscape serves as a catalyst for building social connections among community members. The thoughtful design encourages individuals of all ages and backgrounds to gather, fostering a vibrant hub where the joy of playing merges with communal bonding. 

Architectural Journey Shaping Communities Through Design-Sheet3
High Line in New York City_

The concept of repurposing existing infrastructure for transformative public space, exemplified by the High Line in New York City, is gaining momentum in urban development. This innovative project, a converted railway track turned elevated park, showcases the adaptability of public spaces to meet evolving community needs. The integration of green spaces not only enhances the urban environment aseptically but also fosters harmonious relationships between urban life and nature, revitalising the social and cultural dynamics of the neighbourhood. Focused on green design principles and adaptive reuse, have the potential to reshape the urban experience, The high line serves as an inspiration for Architects to think beyond traditional boundaries, encouraging the integration of nature into the built environment. 

Technology hubs are emerging as educational playgrounds, allowing children to learn coding, caregivers to attend digital literacy workshops, and teens to explore robotics and AI. These were not just places; they were opportunities for collective experiences and cultural exchanges. 

With sustainability and green design, architects possess the influence to champion environmental awareness. Integrating elements like vertical gardens, green roofs, and renewable energy sources became a commitment to not only enhance the well-being of communities but also leave a positive impact on the planet. 

Architectural Journey Shaping Communities Through Design-Sheet4
Bosco Verticale in Milan_

The Bosco Verticale in Milan, an architectural marvel designed by Stefano Boeri, redefines sustainable architecture through two residential towers enveloped in a lush layer of greenery. This vertical forest enhances environmental well-being by fostering biodiversity and combating the urban heat island effect. Acting as a natural air purifier, it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, addressing urban pollution concerns. Beyond ecological benefits, the project enhances urban living with private balconies surrounded by greenery, promoting a healthier lifestyle.  It dawned on me that the influence of our design extends far beyond the physical boundaries of the structures we create.It dawned on me that the influence of our design extends far beyond the physical boundaries of the structures we create. 

Reflecting on my journey, I realise architecture goes beyond blueprints. It’s about weaving stories into city fabrics, creating spaces that resonate with people. The transformative power of architecture lies in its ability to inspire and empower. Each design decision contributes to a collective masterpiece.

Moving forward, I believe architecture is not just a profession; it’s a responsibility to communities. With inclusivity, sustainability, and creativity as guiding principles, architects have the power to shape physical landscapes and social dynamics. Let’s continue wielding the transformative power of architecture to craft spaces that stand the test of time and become cherished chapters in our community’s narratives.


Akshat chadha is Architect-Urban Designer by profession, aspires to create the change in urban forum which makes the world a better place to live in.