Monday, November 10, 2008

Can architects solve crime?

"What would it take for you to move back to Jackson?"
Answer: "Navy least 12 of them" - anonymous survey respondent

In our survey we ask questions about the main problem Jackson faces...almost 70% of Jacksonians who have responded have said "crime" and "bad leadership" are the main contributors to the current perception of Jackson. As an architect, these two problems create an interesting predicament. What can an architect do to address these problems?

Social implications of what we design as architects are just as (if not more) important that the aesthetics. No one will inhabit the buildings we design if they don't feel safe.


Two Dogs said...

One thing that those in our profession fail to understand is that nothing happens in vacuum. And the money comes before the development. Buildings can be art, but the usage and the financial part comes first.

To rebuild Jackson's downtown, there needs to be a change of political philosophy. 100 Black Men offered to fill all of the vacant shops on Capital Street for a ten year tax break, the City Council declined.

Worldcom offered to build their worldwide campus downtown, Kenny Stokes introduced a proposal to tax heavily the two blocks Worldcom wanted to build on.

There is a reason that y'all study philosophy in fifth year, use that. It is important if you let it be.

michelle said...

even after reading the comment over and over, i can't get what the last sentence is about. everything makes sense to me except for those words - it is important if you let it be.

Two Dogs said...

Philosophy is the VERY FIRST thing you must know. The main thing that I noticed in architecture school is that for the most part, students disregarded the classes that were truly important to architecture, philosophy, professional practice, law, active building systems; and focused on the art aspects that have no meaning without thought and practicality. Design is only as good as the philosophy behind it.

Philosophy comes first.

michelle said...

i understand that philosophy is an important part of the practice. i have wondered why we take it in fifth year instead of earlier years or why not more than one philosophy class. but what did you mean by - it is important to let it be, let what be?

Two Dogs said...

"It" in both instances, as well as the other pronoun "that," refers to the word "philosophy."

Sorry, I didn't understand it was a grammatical question.

Chip said...

Architecture can aid in reducing crime, but I don't believe it can solve all crime. One could argue that prisons, an example of architecture, help to reduce crime. Police stations aid officers in planning crime prevention and law enforcement. There are also requirements by government agencies for certain building types, such as courthouses and federal buildings, that require minimum setbacks and sometimes blast resistance.

Beyond that, architects are responsible for integration between the old and the new with every project. The connectivity between architecture and the built environment along with the other site context should promote progression and social interaction. Reality is shaped by perceptions, evaluations, interpretations and definitions. Architects must instill their intentions into the design for there to be any social impact on what occurs and what doesn't.

Empty buildings can become anything, it just depends on the inhabitant...