Architects have forgotten how to design for people

Ben Channon, The Mindful Architect

Step down from your ivory tower and design with your users’ wellbeing in mind, urges Ben Channon

A few years ago, I became obsessed with a big question: how do buildings affect how we feel? After some thorough searching I came to a rather shocking conclusion: architects don’t actually know.

This shortcoming is not necessarily our collective fault. At university we are taught how to turn a concept into a pretty picture that looks something like a building. We are taught how to propose anarchic buildings that challenge concepts of time, space or even governmental systems. If we are lucky – and if we didn’t go to one of the more pretentious architectural schools – we might even get taught the difference between a breather membrane and a vapour control layer. But one thing that is wholly absent from architectural education is how the buildings we design will make people feel.

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