For quite some time now, I have been struggling to find a simple, articulated answer to the question “Why?”

 

What is my purpose on the field of architecture?
Why I choose to become an architect in the first place?
What is the higher purpose of the efforts I put into my work?

Someone might think it is a simple answer.
But I can assure you – it is not!

And another one might think: “Why even bother?”
Well… at his TED talk (http://bit.ly/1pLqrWF), Simon Sinek provides quite good argument about its importance. An entrepreneurs’ icon Richard Branson in his blogs (http://bit.ly/1oYt9sz) refers to this talk again and again – so there probably must be something of value there. But even aside of that… I strongly feel that every one of us, regardless of one’s profession, should find his or her answer to that in order to serve one as a lighthouse, to help one find an uncompromising answer in the cases of doubts.

Why?

Although I am quite confident I know the answer in my heart, thinking about it proved, that it is a long long way for there, to the point where one is able to articulate it. With time, answer proved to be a quite eluding. Most of the times, I ended up with long descriptions of self-evident facts.

I do it, because I want people to live in more sustainable and healthy homes. I want to help them build better homes. More beautiful and more inspiring homes. And build them, preferably, for less money. I believe that a good architecture complements the given place rather that conquer or subdue it – if that is not an achievable goal, then nothing should be done there at the first place. I strive to build homes that help people to live their life vision. Homes that enable their personal growth…

A lot of words… but no clear message.

 

 

More I contemplated that, more I felt like David Hieatt was right in his book DO / Purpose (http://bit.ly/VdrW5h ) where he said, that one should be able to tell ones purpose in short. So short, that it could be engraved onto the mat in front of the door. Just a few words.

But regardless of all the effort I put into the search, for quite some time, I was getting nowhere. Until today that is.

As it often happens it come at the time I expected it least. It was after some looong hours of back and forth development of the floor plans – facades – position of the building – floor plans… My head was throbbing with versions and dilemmas and… I finally my mind was full and empty at the same time so I decided to call it a day. Putting  my glasses off, I grabbed the first book that laid nearby. It just happened to be “The architect Says, Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom” (http://amzn.to/1pnuolB) compiled and edited by Laura S. Dushkes. Opened it blindly and there it was – the quote of Juhani Pallasmaa. The moment I read it, I knew that was it. There, written with big letters, was my answer to Why question. Why I do it. And why I do it the way I do it. The best answer I was able to find, to identify with and to come up with… untill now.

Yes, I know, I know… It is not yet short enough. And it is not the direct answer to the question. But it is a very good start:
“A profound design process eventually makes the patron, the architect, and every occasional visitor in the building a slightly better human being.”

 

Matej Gašperič

Architect