The practice of Architecture is a service for the building environment. Design is the tool for its delivery. Just as a mechanic uses a wrench to adjust an engine, we use the tools of design to adjust ideas that translate into physical objects that answer a need or requirement.
It’s a very straight forward and general definition.
A work of architecture is anything but straight forward. Being inside a house, cathedral or factory that has been touched by design will evoke emotions: wonder, delight, unease, trepidation. This is because design, aside from answering the utilitarian and the pragmatic question, will always try to convey meaning. It will convey what we value, reflect who we are, or perhaps what we strive to be.
This meaning rides piggy back on the design intent, and is scattered among the elements of the whole. These elements shift the design’s meaning. A wall will change the character the space, a color works hard to create the mood; forms will shape the feel of the space. Meaning makes the cave a home.
Meaning to be understood or legibly read requires a setting and a progression of experience. Meaning requires a story. Architects tell stories using the words and vocabularies of our trade. We open with our doors, and lead you in with our hallways. Conflict is resolved in the plan we shape while each room is a climax of a particular solution. We may wind down with all the mundane, but necessary utilities.
The practice of Architecture is the service that results in the expression of meaning by means of a story of doors, walls windows & roofs. And design is the tool for its delivery.