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Our intention and our passion

Posted June 24, 2014 by David Wagner

Welcome to Wagner Murray Architects. Our intention, as designers, is to continue to reinforce our beliefs while maintaining our professional integrity. We will use this blog from time to time to introduce our thoughts and ideas as a reflection into how we pursue our passion. As an introduction, we will begin with a piece I wrote 30 years ago for a conference I attended at Virginia Tech, where I studied architecture. While the length of time may be notable, what I said then and what I believe today is a message that remains relevant and timely:

I have always held the belief that Architects could control many aspects of a project, not only the building design but also what is contained within the building. I recently attended a lecture given by Viennese Architect and Designer Hans Hollien. It was the first opportunity to see the range of his work over the past fifteen years and I left with my feelings reconfirmed.

It is obvious that the effort required to maintain total project control is not applicable to all projects, nor would it be suggested. The factors that impact most architectural projects work to diminish the creative process and in some cases force it into a minor role.But there should be a scale by which to measure what level of design a project must assume beyond the seemingly obvious control, i.e. budget.

It was once said that to influence someone in a big way, you must first influence a lot of people in a small way. In the case of the Architect this infers that the quality of environment can influence the quality of life, a euphemism that borders on the simplistic.Nonetheless, it is through a process of introspection and search that the greatest value of thinking as an Architect is derived. Through this acquired method of problem solving the ability to prioritize the criteria that best affects or influences a projects success is formulated.

Architecture is indeed accomplished through intellect and imagination. Knowledge of the past and the present as well as a series of pragmatic levels between these scales that includes, knowledge of materials, adherence to budget, understanding the client’s needs and knowing one’s limitations suggest only a few of the components. But these talents whether innate or empirical in various combinations create the best products. There are many images that prevail, but good ideas are generated by a relentless pursuit and discovery.

I like to think of Architecture as a tinkerers profession. The act of taking many small parts and pieces to build a larger object, and knowing that each part is integral to the whole. It is through developing this control that a greater influence can be gained over our abilities, imagination and most importantly our visual environment.

We must remain at the core of the problem, where the ideas are derived and where the ideas that last come from.

 

 


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