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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Linking the architect and the people

Advertising and spreading the word about a blog dedicated to Nigerian architecture seems like an impossible task. Why when there are several 'Naija' blogs, websites and groups dedicated to covering practically every aspect of Nigerian life, should such a blog find gaining popularity challenging?


Well, that is because it has been proven over years that architecture appeals to a niche group of people. We as architects believe we are essential and relevant, but yet to reach out to the average citizen and make an impact is a task we have yet to accomplish. People are happy to accept the idea of a secret society or a specialist group whom you encounter when you need to carry out a task in the built environment, but are we?

Nothing defines architecture more than its sole purpose, which is to serve the people. Like a democratic government, architecture should take into consideration the needs and desires of its client, its people, its target, after all it is the people who have to deal with the decision made by Architects and designers alike. A city should reflect the needs of its inhabitants and not just the dreams and aesthetic needs of the few select urban designers, architects and engineers chosen to 'design' it.


Still, centuries on, the idea of architecture is still outside the grasp of the common man, if we are to continue to develop and become better at our jobs, we must listen to the people. That is why I will always advise others to read magazines, be in tune with the world that engages with the built environment but mostly, I encourage us to ask questions and enquire about the views and opinions of its users. We must extend our arms further than halfway if need be to meet the people. We cannot just sit back and use the excuse that people will forever be ignorant, as that is like starting a project but not really understanding what the client wants, so it becomes apparent that we are in fact the ignorant ones. Something has to change, something really has to change, and I would rather emphasise this now whilst the problem is still relatively concealed than in future when it is not.


Photo from wikipedia.

By Tumi Jegede

1 opinions:

t said...

hmmm. i like architecture. i appreciate art etc.

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