Architecture in a Nutshell

Guggenheim Museum. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright.

We live within architectural spaces throughout our lives, 24/7. From the moment we open our eyes until we close them, the spaces we live in affect our lives and contribute to shaping who we are. They impact us physically, psychologically and monetarily. They contribute to our happiness or unhappiness.  While we can choose to eat healthily or to eat junk food, choose to listen to music we like, go to a museum or read a book, the spaces we live in – home, work, streets – feed our subconscious at all times. Why is it that few people, besides professionals, “can see” architecture? The following video, “Architecture in a Nutshell,” is a jumpstart to better understand architecture’s basics.

There may be as many definitions of “What is Architecture?” as they are architects. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.” Are the millions of dwellings around the world “architecture?”

The problem is not a semantic one. The point of “Architecture in a Nutshell” and of www.architectureawareness.com is to help more people to see. In a world where at least half of its population lacks essentials such as decent housing, schools, hospitals, open public spaces and institutions, architecture awareness can be a matter of survival. Even if all the world’s architects would be working 60–hour weeks, even if we would be using the best available technology at 100% efficiency, there’s no way we will be able to catch up in fixing the existing urban chaos while absorbing a population growth of about 80 million people per year. By or around 2050 we will be ten billion.  And then?

Ancient dolmen burial chamber in Penwith, Cornwall, UK.

Ancient dolmen burial chamber in Penwith, Cornwall, UK, 2500-1500 BC.

San Carlino, Rome, 1646. Architect: Francesco Borromini.

San Carlino, Rome, 1646. Architect: Francesco Borromini.

Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris. Architect: Frank Gehry.

Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, 2014. Architect: Frank Gehry.

It is a key issue today not just to inform people, but to change mindsets, so that many may learn how to help themselves and to contribute to the building of better environments. By combining architecture awareness with filmmaking knowledge, it is possible to help not only the consumers of architecture but also its generators – architects, institutions, government, educators – who are instrumental in the world’s betterment.

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