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Human-Centered Architecture.

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

In my understanding, the concept of the built environment revolves around architecture that not only serves as a shelter but also caters to the diver

se needs of humans and their will to thrive. It goes beyond mere functionality and encompasses the emotional and functional aspects of human life. With this perspective, I was drawn to an article titled "Human-Centered Architecture: What is It and How It Makes a Difference" by Adriana Voegeli, where she sheds light on the essence of human-centered architecture.

From Voegeli's explanation, I now comprehend that human-centered architecture revolves around the idea of designing spaces that genuinely benefit people. It involves creating a connection between humans and architectural features that nourish their emotional and functional well-being. The focus is on survival and creating an environment where individuals can thrive. Human-centered architecture aligns closely with the concept of the built environment, as humans forge emotional connections with the buildings they inhabit, visit, and work in. The functionality of a design becomes pivotal to human existence, and when a building or space caters to these human needs, individuals are more likely to experience positive emotions, a sense of inclusion, energy, and comfort. It makes them feel like they can truly flourish in that environment.

Conversely, if a space or building provides fewer benefits to its occupants, people naturally distance themselves from it. They may feel a sense of depression, unwelcome, boredom, or a combination of negative emotions.

To grasp the concept of human-centered architecture better, I imagine someone going to a restaurant and ordering a sandwich. Even before purchasing the sandwich, this person has certain expectations in mind. They envision the sandwich as a source of happiness, whether it's to uplift their spirits after receiving bad news or to reward themselves for good news. They desire an experience beyond mere sustenance. They want the sandwich to bring them joy, excitement, and tantalize their taste buds. They want to feel that their money was well spent.

Now, envision a sandwich maker who understands the importance of connecting the flavors to the human experience. The customer is now receiving everything they desired from the sandwich. They are genuinely enjoying it. The taste is so delightful that they might even close their eyes, fully immersing themselves in the experience. The sandwich has transcended its status as a simple meal; it has become something that nourishes them on a deeper level.

However, consider a scenario where the sandwich maker fails to comprehend the significance of the human connection to flavors. The customer ends up disappointed because the sandwich falls short of their expectations. Instead of closing their eyes to savor the flavors and ambiance, they get up and leave. They might even voice their dissatisfaction. The sandwich has become nothing more than a means to fill their stomachs, failing to provide the experience they sought. It becomes a wasted investment of their hard-earned money. While it fulfilled the basic purpose of providing sustenance, just like architecture that offers mere shelter, humans require more. Human-centered architecture goes beyond that by serving as a service to humans, providing them with what they truly need from their surroundings, buildings, and spaces to thrive and flourish.

In essence, human-centered architecture recognizes the profound impact that well-designed spaces can have on people's lives. It strives to create environments that address their emotional and functional needs, fostering a sense of connection, satisfaction, and fulfillment. By understanding the importance of the human experience within architectural design, we can craft spaces that truly enrich and enhance the lives of individuals.

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