Simplicity: Architecture for Human

By: Stamatia Koloniari

Simplicity is the base of our creation. It is what we are made of. Simple things have deep feeling. Human has simple needs. When he fulfills them, he feeds his inner star to shine bright and so he keeps walking, he keeps living. And he needs an embracing environment for that to happen. That is where Architecture takes place.

We often forget that the center of the designing process is Human. All we are asked as architects is to create environments that will give people spaces to express themselves. We have specific needs as humans. Those needs have boundaries of time and space.

Our first step is to observe, to comprehend.
To get to know  the real Human.
Us. Starting with Ourselves.
Starting with Myself.

Getting to know myself is a process that actually happens every day. It is something that happens to my work as an architect too. Every single line I draw down to paper creates and forms behavior. Of course I am going to make mistakes. But what I mainly need is to learn to pay Attention. To Be there. To Listen. And to Design with Respect.
I need to be exact and not overdo it, or give less than needed.

Architects, like everyone, are both students and teachers. Our job has an impact on people and at the same time people have impact on our work. It is a relationship that needs to be developed and taken care of every day. We are not some kind of authority, or gods of construction. All we need is to do what we have to do. We are responsible to choose to which direction we put our charismas: Creation or Destruction.

Architecture is a form of art. It visualizes, among all, people’s emotions. Architectural creations are a lifelike mirror of all the things that we as humans have felt, have experienced, have loved, hated, feared, been jealous of. Live representations of what we have done. We can see it through the walls and the glass, through the scale of the buildings in relation with the human body, through the concrete, through the colors, the light and the dark. Architecture is part of our History on earth. The reason of her existence is to show us our past, so that we are able to see ourselves and our mistakes. Soon as we recognize them, we can take the right path and move to the next step. We need to learn from the old to move to the new. But the new cannot contain repetition or something that belongs to the past. We tend to glorify the past and hold on strong and we forget about letting go.

We care about competition and division, we create superiority and inferiority, we even compare buildings to one another, instead of standing still in front of and inside them and try to get the actual feeling they emit. To sense if they are welcoming or dominating. If they are original. If they are dictatorial or embracing. We sometimes care more about other architects’ and organizations’ opinions than the aspects of the ones inhabiting the buildings. We create contests with awards, giving primarily attention to what should come second. Thinking and acting that way, there is no actual evolution.

It is not about technology or new materials, or new methods and techniques.

It’s about the Morals.

Architecture is therapy. It can heal traumas and provide beauty when we put our love in it. Every single thing has its own place and the architect’s job is to put all these things together in harmony, so that life flows. When love, personal will and responsibility are absent, we can actually destroy and mislead through our architecture.

Fashions and trends come and go and technology production nearly never stops. But we shouldn’t forget that these are only the tools that help us bring out the real substance we have inside. Architect is not the one who designs in a complex and impressive way. He is the one who designs from and for the people with affection and simplicity. The one who takes care of his creation like a farmer does for his growing tree. The one who gives and receives, the one who does it with his heart and soul.

For Himself. For the Human.

About the author:

Stamatia Koloniari
Stamatia Koloniari

*Based on her Final Research Project in Architecture | Title: Simplicity – I Exist – I Create with Joy and Beauty | Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, February 2017