Shared Purpose

Shared Purpose is a key theme in architecture. Successful buildings often embody shared values, pursuits and even dreams about the future.

This sense of purpose ranges from the lofty to the basic need for accommodation although purpose should not be understood as merely functional purpose –  for architecture to be truly engaging, it needs to transcend the utilitarian to include our very raison d’etre.  This means that architecture is part of our very identity, the physical manifestation of who we are and our values.  It connects with us. It connects us with each other thereby forming the basis for community.

Defining shared purpose can seem challenging amongst larger communities in particular and there is, of course, a great deal written about the problems of alienation and disenfranchisement, or, disconnection. In the architectural profession, too, frustration and cynicism are common.  This is why we believe a sense of shared purpose amongst our colleagues is also very topical, although we want to emphasise that it does not need to translate into a stylistically similar vision. Instead shared purpose could translate into agreed ideals of what architecture might yet achieve for people.

We hope that this blog will also be a place for architects to feel a sense of solidarity about the calling of this profession. For architects do share a purpose in reacting to existing conditions and in improving these conditions.  That is their legacy.

In our blog posts, we will also explore the very things that make us fond of buildings and places because, in this age of profit versus vibrancy of culture, we feel it is vital to be reminded of what brings architecture to life and enables people to connect with the many different types of buildings they occupy in the course of a day and over a lifetime. There is no reason why architecture cannot be as cherished a backdrop for our lives as music is,  evoking memories and feelings.

The thoughts explored in this blog are the result of many conversations at Form4 Architecture and our collaborations with colleagues around the world.