So what is it? By Mana Williams 10-14 Minutes
In my first year studying Architecture, I remember one of the first reports was to write about any building in the world that meant something to us. A Turangawaewae, or Maori for a place to stand, suggests an emotional response to a particular location that you hold most significant. Most people were all about beaches and Mountain passes, some more sentimental reports included backyards, grave sites and physical objects like boats because home is where the family is. From a distance, all of these different locations fall under the same umbrella and that is Architecture.
We learned the different segments of the Architectural society consist of:
-The umbrella ‘Architecture.’
-Landscape Architecture. Beaches, Mountain Passes, Grave sites etc.
-Interior Architecture. Homes, caravans, boats even Kombi’s fit into this category.
-Lastly is Building Science. The logistical construction and project managing of a site.
The four categories merge into a process that has been used for centuries way back to Prehistoric Architecture. The simple affinity with molding site into form, by taking one’s hands and carefully crafting a shape or object is a better way of explaining the process of Architecture. By taking an everyday space and changing its layout, its context, into an arrangement that is customized which makes that object Architecture.
But we already knew that… My Turangawaewae is an abstract concept that my work space was the place I stood. In the case of my old workspace, a supermarket inside of a small shopping mall within a city of New Zealand. A place where I could be effective and complete my tasks.
A tree grows in one place but it’s rooted outwards.
When you think of where you work, you know where things are, who the banter is best shared with, where the bosses office is, and where the boss is in regards to where the banter is facilitated. More importantly, when you work hard you feel productive, like a well-oiled machine, utilizing the space available to you.
But that’s all a part of the crafted space. Some of my Architecture Schoolmates will cringe at the name Vitruvius. Markus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman Author who lived in the Century before Christ. He envisaged three golden rules in the design and construction of a building. Firmitas – Strength, Utilas – Functionality, and Venustas – Beauty. Although his golden rules were due to his age in the days when The Roman Empire had an immeasurable consideration of wealth, many Architect’s today are still influenced by Functionality and Beauty (or aesthetics).
In the purposes of my workspace, the flow and efficiency are ruled by the proximity from one place to the next. This is where I elude more so to Vitruvius’ second law of functionality. It is not so much the Beauty or indeed the Strength or firmness of the site, but the functionality in regards to how well placed every area of work was.
I was growing. Branching outwards knowing where the funniest guys were working when they were working and where their respective departments were. Where their supervisors were stationed and how a ten-second gap near the avocados was all the allotted banter time required to have a great laugh. After spending three years, growing in this space, getting to know the flow, a weird sort of institutionalization occurred where I honestly felt more comfortable at work than in many other places…
Now I’m not cuddling up to my old work and there were no relationships, asides from the obvious work flirts. For me, Architecture is this umbrella that spans out to many different sentiments and that it means many different things to different people. However, this is where I stand. It is a space unrepeatable and a space where you grow.