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The Purpose of Architecture

November 07, 20232 min read

Building a Better World

Throughout history, architecture has evolved as an expression, reflection, and catalyst that shapes humanity. With each era, architectural design progresses into new frontiers as emerging technologies, scientific discoveries, and new philosophical perspectives emerge. This is why it is important to ask ourselves, as environmental designers: What is the primary purpose of architecture? While some may say that the safety of shelter is most important, other may say that architectural design should really strive to uplift quality of life beyond shelter — into realms of comfort, well-being, and thrivability. Yet still, other architects may say that the design of great architecture should go beyond human thrivability, to uplift the health of the planet and all that is living.

While the latter overarching goals for architectural design are all vital to creating human constructs that are beneficial to the world, it is important to ask yourself as an architect: What is the guiding purpose that drives your designs? Your answer to this question does not preclude other reasons for designing meaningful built forms; however, you will create projects from a deeper, more soulful, place by knowing your primary design motivation. This knowledge can help you evolve your designs from buildings that meet and exceed time and budget expectations, into becoming great architecture that also serves an innovative and important mission.

The Mission behind Poetic Design

Just as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs teaches on the levels that lead to human self-actualization and transcendence, your architectural designs can shape the world on levels that lead to global thrivability. Ultimately, it is poetics that pulls architectural design into these holistically beneficial realms that help humanity and our planetary surroundings to form harmonious synergies. With poetics, architects can shape the future of how environmental beauty, function, and meaning will nurture generations to come. Once again, it is time to think more consciously about the purpose of architecture. I invite you to ponder these two questions: What will you do to elevate the poetics of your architectural design projects? And how will this shape the purpose of architecture for our future?

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Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary, award-winning, and internationally recognized futures architect. She is founder of MLL Atelier LLC, an architectural art and design studio specializing in concept art, speculative design, and fine art at the intersection of human potential, transcendent beauty, and phenomenology of space. Maria Lorena Lehman holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University.

Maria Lorena Lehman

Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary, award-winning, and internationally recognized futures architect. She is founder of MLL Atelier LLC, an architectural art and design studio specializing in concept art, speculative design, and fine art at the intersection of human potential, transcendent beauty, and phenomenology of space. Maria Lorena Lehman holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University.

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Special Invitation

XEOVERSE

A philosophical adventure into the future of design.

Plus, 5 Lessons from Star Trek about how to design for the future.

The more you participate in XEOVERSE, the more you future-proof yourself as a designer that grows strategically in a rapidly changing world. The goal is for your creative success to be not only more valuable, but also inevitable. To receive new cutting-edge weekly articles, to join the community of over 6000+ subscribers, and to support this initiative, consider becoming a full member. Ready to launch into XEOVERSE?

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