31
Dec
08

“LISTEN to them!!!” A lesson to be a successful architect

Architect is someone who make a place for human activities, A place which brings the comfortable for human itself. Explicitly, the connection between human and space or human and another human are the most important thing.

Why human?

Human become actor, who enjoy what the architect produce. How can the actor doing nothing for his occupying space.

Human, who occupy the space have many things which can’t be separated to their life, such as they social life (neighborhood), tradition, religion, and other usual things that occur in their surrounding life. And also, the architect must understand how the actor thought about the product. So, this is so important for the architect to make a kind of approachment to the actor before make the product.

How can the architect produce space without know what kind of the actor that he serve? I don’t have any answer to that question. There’s any fact which support it. Unfortunately, this phenomenon often happens in the architect’s world. After know the site and the type of building, the architect immediately make the design in his office, even without face the client and make survey to the site. In short time, the design has been accomplished and then the building is raised.

What happen after the building is enjoyed by the actor? They aren’t happy with the building, they can’t enjoy the building. They aren’t feel comfort when do their activities there. They don’t understand what world that the architect presents there. It’s not their life!

That’s the fact! What the architect think was different with the actor. There’s any misunderstanding situation between the producer and consumer. How can the producer know what the consumer need if they never meet?

The everyday life already there!! That’s the actor life. There’s no one looking at theirs. Nothing listen to them! It’s only the ordinary thing that usual happen in everywhere. Precisely, that’s the important thing! The everyday maybe something usual, ordinary. But if we notice, there’s something precise to ignore. It can make the job of the architect easier. Doesn’t necessary to think over for the site, program and design. There’s already there!! Only the brilliant architect who can see it as a diamond.

The successful of architect is given by the human who enjoy the product of the architect itself. It depend how the product not only useful for the actor but also give a comfort physically and mentally.

It’s not easy to reach this condition. The architect should read the everyday life the actor. To read, he must do any conversation and discussion with the actor. This approach is used to know what they really need exactly. Then the architect think, how answer their needs without interfere their everyday life. The everyday life doesn’t constraint the program, but one of the programs itself. With this step the answer which given by architect should suitable with their everyday.

There’s one method to design a place for the architect named participation. As written before, the steps include conversation and discussion between the user and the architect. This method was tried to design a healthy house to a group of 4th class in SDN Guntur 03. It’s not easy to make understanding about a healthy house for student of 4thclass. Start with conversation about how the condition of their own house makes it easier. The important thing in making conversation to get the information from the user is choosing the language. Every part of the society has different language. It’s another skill that architect must have. To get more information we should make the same language with them. The same language avoids misunderstanding which often happens between architect and the client. When the understanding about language has been occur, the user can expose anything. It’s easy to architect to see what he was handled.

It happened to me. In the beginning of the conversation, they looked shy to tell how their house is. But after several minutes, they hard to be stopped. The situation changed because I already understand that Indonesian children commonly hard to speak up. To handle it, I changed the question “How’s your house?” to “Are your house comfort?” The tactic was succeeding. After several yes/no questions, they speak more and more without any force. This way is called how the architect learn the characteristic his client. It showed tactics that architect was done to get the information from client. Different client, different tactics, and also different language.

From the conversation, I know that all students in my groups have comfort house. They can mention many comfort parts of their house. But when I ask ‘why’, they quiet immediately. Again, the quiet syndrome happens. The architect has another tactic. Before make the discussion, the architect should have the clue about the topic. It makes the discussion works appropriate to the purpose. The architect directs the discussion to the clue.

I also directed the discussion of healthy house to clues which prepared before. There are 4 elements which must be noticed in a healthy house, i.e. fresh air, lighting, sanitation, and surrounding area. I’m sure the children have known those elements, but still, it must be provocated.

The children often told the same answer about why they feel comfort refer to the elements. But sometime, they told the unexpected statement about the comfort part of their house. My groups divided to two groups refer to how the (sleep) room should be comfort. One, who sleep in dark room and another in the bright condition. There was any requested from my ‘client’, he want the reading light which the brighter of the light can be changed in his room, because he like reading before sleep. This special request won’t be known if the architect doesn’t have the conversation with his client.

From the discussion also revealed a room that I wasn’t appears before. Unexpectedly, they very concern about the existence of storeroom, the room which often be ignored until it placed in the waste place in the house. Should the storeroom comfort? The children answered, “It should.” The comfortable storeroom is showed with the cleanness itself. The cleanness means it can’t make the bad smell and the mouse come to that place. How the existence of storeroom doesn’t disturb the activities which should be there. There’re the care children, aren’t they?

Move to the most interesting part. They should make a model which describes a complex house. They arrange their own healthy house in the complex house. The complex house also must health. In the limited area, they must achieve a healthy atmosphere for their life. In this part, there were more unexpected statements. They placed their house in order to remain a place to play together, like football field. Attractively, the field was placed in front of the gate so that the visitor got a beautiful view when entered the complex. It wasn’t a problem if the placement of the field made their house very close together. The important thing for them was, their trash spot was far from the own and other window and also from the complex street. The trash spot was placed in behind of the house. There was distance between the trash spot and the house itself. The distance was grown by the plant. According to them, the plant was functioned to absorb the bad smell which produced by the trash.

Look!! All children could make a healthy complex without any forced information. It’s flow with their self. Without got any architect education, they could be an architect to their house. It means the real architect already there, doesn’t be deliberately presented. There’re all be there.

So, what must we (architect) do? Just look and listen what already there!!! Be partner of the client to make the appropriate condition which they needed. They need us to make a better place to their life.


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