Architecture is a fluid and dynamic medium, simultaneously rooted in tradition and constantly adapting to the changing needs of society. It invites individuals to discover their unique perspective and meaning within its intricate and diverse designs. Five years in architecture school and many in the industry have deepened your understanding, equipping you with the tools to analyse and create spaces and buildings that reflect your unique vision and values.

Architects of Perception: How Architecture Changed My Perspective - Sheet1
Illustration of an architect in her studio _iStock by Getty Images

Taking a Walk Down the Memory Lane

Looking back, you remember vaguely being confused seeing a plan; you remember asking your dad what the symbol of a circle on top of what you thought was a bed meant. When he answered it was a fan, your mind was racing to imagine what the room would look like. Years later, you found yourself seated in a classroom with a roll pack clutched in your hand,  wondering intently about its purpose. When a set of passionate teachers were introducing the design, you eagerly waited for the day to be called an architect. A lesson in your AD Studio was about the five principles Kevin Lynch used to describe a city. Now anywhere you go, you look for the buildings that serve as landmarks and the rivers that form the edges of the city. 

As your third year came to an end and you embarked on the semester break, you returned home to find that everything you had seen countless times before had taken on a new light.  The community park you had visited so many times suddenly revealed its shortcomings. The park’s dearth of seating spaces and inadequate shading needs were glaringly evident, demanding your attention. It was as if a fresh set of eyes had opened up a world of possibilities and potential. 

The New World Of Perspectives and Possibilities

The multitude of case studies and tours have unfurled a kaleidoscope of diverse designs, cultures and people before you. Now, when in the company of friends, you can’t help but notice a palpable difference in how you perceive and interact with individuals. The wealth of experiences encountered had transformed the lens through which you viewed places and people, imbuing you with a deeper sense of empathy and understanding that now coloured your interactions with them. 

The practical training accompanying your architecture course served as a much-needed reality check. Through your explorations of people and places, you realised that architecture is far from clear-cut distinctions of right and wrong, but rather a vast spectrum of shades of grey. Amidst the frenzy of deadlines and sleepless nights that came with the profession, you still persevered within you a deep and abiding love for architecture and its complexities. Through your trials and tribulations, you learned to appreciate its nuanced beauty and learned that sometimes the greatest reward is the journey itself. 

Illustration of a student architect _iStock by Getty Images

Nowadays, everywhere you go, your identity as an architect is unmistakable. No, it is not because of your staple black jeans and tee but rather your tendency to prowl around street corners, eyes alight with the thrill of discovery, capturing photos of buildings, materials and colors that catch your fancy. Your phone gallery and camera roll are brimming with images of structures that have captured your heart, materials you long to experiment with and on occasion, even the paint shades that have caught your wandering eye. For the architect in you, every city you visit and every person you meet is an opportunity to uncover a story. Somewhere along the way, you started extracting meaning and inspiration from every street, building, and person you encountered. 

Conclusion

Architecture has become a way of life that fuels your passion for the craft, driving you to seek new perspectives and ideas wherever they may be found. These days, even when exhaustion from the endless stream of projects and designs takes over you, a flicker of excitement still lingers. Being an architect ensures the prospect of having the ability to become a voice of change in the modern world, to wield your skills and knowledge as a means of making the world a better place to live in. You and I, we muse, to make a difference in the world, leaving our mark on the built environment in a way that enriches the lives of those who inhabit it.

Author

Lakshmi is an architect with a degree from SCMS School of Architecture. She believes the most captivating stories are often found in the most unexpected places and is always looking for new places and people to inspire her writing. When she's not crafting blueprints, you can find her lost in a novel, scribbling away in her journal or even wielding a paintbrush.