What Inspires an Architect?

Articles

PUBLISHED Jan. 23, 2020

Architects  have shown significant improvement in their work during the past few years around the world. They are stretching the boundaries of physics and imagination to develop creative constructions, going from skyscraper buildings with gravity-defying designs to innovative eco-friendly houses, but how do they get inspired to deliver such excellence?

There may be four major components that  architects base their work on and they are as follows:

The Environment

The design set by architects in their building is greatly influenced by the environment surrounding them. That is, the culture, weather and lifestyle in a certain region  plays an important role in the design process. In order for a certain construction to be in harmony with its surroundings , the architect should take inspiration from both the urban and natural enviroment around the area, their form, scale, materiality and overall composition for a suitable design  that fits into the place. Being innovative and giving a personal touch to any construction is one of the most important parts of being an architect while conserving a design that works in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Materials

The choice of the materials in designing a building is of great importance to architects. As it will determine the type of the construction, the total cost of the project and also the aesthetic behind it.

With the worldwide awareness on environmental changes, several constructions started using eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, recycled wood or even sheeps’ wool for good insulation. That is why architects need to select carefully the materials as they will represent the purpose behind the project. To help reduce the carbon footprint, locally sourced materials are far more efficient and also provide context to a building.

The best architect will always have a design vision when they take on a project for a client. In many cases, this could mean the use of a specific type of material, an industry or a defining concept. If a client asks to incorporate the use of say a lot of glass, the architect will take this onboard, but try to understand where this need from the client arises, perhaps reinterpreting this a need for light, openess, or a wish to maintain good views. This begins to form the design, and deliver something that goes with this material and allows the clients needs to not only be met, but also expanded . In another case, if a technology company requires a design, then the design will revolve around the industry and inspire the whole project, creating a story and defining user experience.

History

As a part of the environment in which the construction will take place ,history and culture should be impregnated in the design. Authenticity is an important factor in designing a building as it will reflect the history behind it.

Every location has its history and associated landmarks, and it plays an important role in creating a new design. An architect can take inspiration from the historical context and use them as a focal point to create contemporary designs.

Forms

Forms of building are also an important aspect to be taken into consideration by architects. Forms can reflect the traits of a specific culture. For example, when it comes to Islamic architecture, buildings are  mainly comprised of geometric and interlaced patterned ornament. Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a great example of Islamic architecture with its iconic construction and unique forms representing the  Arabo-Islamic culture. In Bali, constructions are greatly influenced by the traditional Indonesian culture and the local materials because these have been formed over time from both a very pragamatic, functional use, along with religious significance that can give both an iconic shape and structure .

We are fortunate to be in Bali as architects as we have a plethora of inspirational sources from both varying environments surrounding us, with a deep connection to nature and the inherent culture, as well as the philosophy of life on the island.

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