Interest in civil architecture has increased dramatically in the past few years. It seems that every city around the world has or is about to make a substantial commitment to statement architecture.
This architecture of importance captures a large part of civic interest and for architects, it is satisfying to see architecture considered to be an important presence in the emerging urban landscape, a status it once enjoyed but whose importance has been lost in recent decades of economic rationalization.
Manifesto architecture is very influential and very important, but it represents a very small part of all architecture built today. The vast majority of architecture constructed today is in the background and often overlooked when considering the contribution of architecture to our urban reality.
The origin of the term “everyday life architecture” to my understanding stems from a discussion in the studio at a Canadian university when a student asked how a design project the class was working on in relation to “everyday engineering”. This term is interesting in that it indicates that there is a distinction in some way in architecture, and a line of demarcation between “the architecture of everyday life” and the architecture of the statement.
This being the case from an economic perspective, the ‘Architecture of Everyday Life’ would certainly cost less than the architecture statement for a given building size and certainly the project’s ambition for the ‘Architecture of Everyday Life’ would be more limited in scope. Our expectations may be lower but the sheer volume of “The Structure of Everyday Life” makes it an important contributor to everyday life.
To consider the impact of ‘everyday architecture’ we will start by saying that this architecture must be, socially honest, it must be representative of our social intentions, in other words, we value education, we build schools, health care is important, we build clinics, hospitals, and care facilities, we a capital-based economy, we create offices, shopping malls, and industrial buildings, we are collective democrats, and we build civic architecture.
We will also see that the “structure of everyday life” must be socially inclusive, it is intended for the whole of society, and used by the whole society.
Consider the potential impact that indifference to the “structure of everyday life” may have:
- When the structure of education does not support learning
- When the healthcare architecture does not support healing
- When the capital structure does not respect the environment
- When civil architecture is not represented
This “architecture of everyday life” becomes a logical reflection of our society today and is a measure of our social wealth.