I Look Up, I look Back, and I Look Around

By Meghana Joshi for the Architalks blog series

Architecture in the Real World.

That is the topic of the month for Architalks, led by Bob Borson. It’s truly a loaded topic. As I completed a schematic design package through the week, thoughts and ideas for the blog cluttered my mind – falling slabs and leaking roofs – phallic skyscrapers and the yonic stadiums – philanthropic small firm practitioner designing affordable housing for nonprofits – everyday buildings that I design for everyday functions of the community – What was it going to be? From Manitou Cliff Dwellings to Transamerica Pyramid to Artic Train Station in Anaheim, there is an architecture of a different style, different purpose wherever I look up- and I look around.Then I remembered my chat with AIA National on Twitter, and my response to them:

@MeghanaIRA @AIANational The ability to capture a culture and time period with a building drew me to architecture #AIAchat.

Yes, architecture in real world is nothing but a time capsule that captured the present and vision of the perceived future.

And then there were walls, to protect and limit.

The Theopetra caves in Greece are the oldest known human-made structures, building 23,000 years ago. It was nothing but a stone wall covering 2/3rd on the entrance to a cave, mostly built as a barrier to the cold winds according to the research. Since then, the vision has been the same- devise a solution to the address the problems of the end user, of the community, and capture the significant cultural transitions. Later this year, 432 Park Avenue built in New York will be the tallest residential buildings in the world. From the Paleolithic to the Neolithic to the civilizations to the rise and fall of empires, architecture has captured every single journey of mankind.

The world’s oldest profession.

They say prostitution is the oldest profession- I disagree. Architecture must have been the world’s oldest profession. When that first brick was laid for that first building ever, it also laid foundation for the first communal life, and the first feature of a civilization. As communities developed, so did cities, and when the basic needs of shelter were satisfied, and defenses were built to fight against forces of nature, the desire to rule was born. Leaders were born, societies were formed, and empires were conceived. Then were born public spaces – the buildings to depict the glory of the ruler, the definition of the kingdom, and intricately weave the culture into the walls and ceilings that were otherwise simple enclosures.

Buildings for myth building.

Imhoteph is the first architect we know in the history of monumental architecture- elevating otherwise ordinary human beings to godly status because of their political status. It was all about the making that first column to support the building, and engineering the masonry to its finest detailing for Imhoteph, but the truth is, he was commissioned by the ruler to leave a lasting monument of his grandeur, his ideals and his principles, and his story in life and death- the tomb that glorified his existence. Was there for a moment, or a even fleeting moment a conflict in Imhoteph’s mind about greater moral responsibility he had for providing the people with better facilities  before he completely submitted his creativity and genius to the aspirations of Starchitecture- we will never know.

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Architalks blogroll:

“Bob Borson – Life of An Architect
Architecture in the Real Wolrd … sorta

“Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture
Welcome to the Architecture of the Real

“Marica McKeel – Studio MM
Architecture in the Real World

“Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet
What is the Real World: Architecture in the Real World

“Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect
Architecture in the Real World

“Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect
The HGTV Affect

“Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC
Architecture: It’s a human thing

“Nicholas Renard – dig Architecture
Keep on Architect’n in the Real World

“Andrew Hawkins, AIA – Hawkins Architecture, Inc.
Here in the Real World

“Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture
architecture in the real world: #architalks

“Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect
Architecture in the Real World

“Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC
Architecture in the Real World

“Michael Riscica – Young Architect
Architecture in the Real World

Architecture in the Real World

“Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect
Architecture in the Real World

“Tara Imani – Tara Imani Designs, LLC
Architecture in the Real World

“Jonathan Brown – Proto-Architecture
Architecture in the Real World