Cultural vibrancy gives expressive shape to architecture, argues John Marx.
We are all, at a fundamental level, dreamers. Dreams can deeply influence our destinies, aspirations and goals. As architects, we are some of the world’s grandest dreamers, and this comes in no small part from the sheer range of scales at which we dream … from the room, to the building, to the city, to the region. At all of these scales we create a context for the fertile workings of life. In essence, we design for people, to give space in which they can realise their dreams, through our creativity and imagination.
My personal version looks like this: ‘We strive to create buildings and cities that have a high degree of cultural activity, authenticity and a strong sense of community. We desire an engaged population that not only loves their environment, but also participates in its creation, and in its ongoing evolution. The extension of which means they feel responsible for its maintenance and improvement, and are inspired and empowered to infuse it with their cultural and artistic energy. They create traditions and rituals that carry this collective effort forward to successive generations. Ideally this vibrancy extends across the full range of socio-economic strata, so that everyone participates and enjoys these benefits. If they are successful, they will extend this caring sense of community beyond the physical environment, towards caring for each other’s well-being, because they sense how each of us contributes to the success of our communities.’