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As a human being, one has the ability to conceptualize inside of the mind and to use this ability to physically create art of any medium. It is only a matter of being able to harness this ability either for oneself or for the good of society. As of yet, I think that I have used my artistic abilities towards the assistance or enjoyment of society. The one thing I wish to achieve as an architect is to make the most potent contribution possible to society, which is not to impress people, but to inspire them and instigate creative thought within their minds.
The action of impressing someone is not contributory to society; it is merely an ephemeral achievement. When someone becomes simply impressed by the achievement of another; it signifies the end of the chain of artistic inspiration. Many can impress upon others with an achievement; in terms of architecture, there are many impressive buildings. Quite simply, these buildings are a demonstration of force and self-indulgence as if they were body builders competing with one another to prove themselves against the others. This “bodybuilder” affect requires no deep thought from the viewer and may even overwhelm some.
A building does not need to be impressive to be noticed. To me, the most profound buildings are those that force the viewer or inhabitant to think creatively. The buildings that are the most contributory to society are those that are often modest, not grandiose; the most useful of them are those that symbolize an idea open for the discussion of those that have witnessed it. The most significant achievements cause someone other than the creator to be inspired. When one is inspired, one is prompted to achieve or create something. Thus, one achievement, be it designing a building or creating anything, can cause a reaction that inspires many to achieve for themselves and contribute to society on their own and in turn, inspire another generation of potential thinkers.
At Rensselaer, I wish to achieve anything that inspires another; eventually, I hope to learn to design space that inspires the inhabitants. I do not wish this for my own gratification; I wish this for the sake of other potential thinkers and artists. I hope for others to experience my ideas and be inspired to improve upon them. For me, good architecture forces its inhabitants to view buildings in a different light, and may even cause the inhabitants to say: “this building symbolizes a good idea, but perhaps I could improve upon it”. The mistake that many egocentric architects make is in designing buildings as a monument to their own “greatness”.
In realty one must realize that there is no perfect building; therefore new styles and approaches are welcome because they provide additional inspiration to the vast field of architecture. Many times one only needs to experience something, be it a mere idea or an actual building, which instigates one’s next idea. At Rensselaer, I hope to be in an environment teeming with inspirational ideas in which people can cooperate and progress together by using a conglomeration of ideas and achievements. Eventually, I hope to use my education to truly inspire others whether it is with words, or with an actual building of my own design.
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