Spooky questions that are the true terrors of Halloween

When reading back over the questions Ray had us write down in class last Wednesday, I realized some of them aligned with my irrational fears as well.

For example, when we started the exercise, I immediately wrote down “Why do we even need architects?” If the world was black and white, it would appear that architects just do fancy engineer work. There is even a major at most engineering schools called Architectural Engineering (like what’s the difference)! This is a question I definitely need to answer as soon as possible. It makes me question whether I chose the right major, if I will ever be successful or, even scarier, valued as important as an occupation. It’s bound to come up in the future, and if the question knocks me speechless, it’s something I need to explore! Writing about this, however, has inspired me with ideas about my 3rd experiment, which right now is going to be — wait for it — a podcast! With the combination of interviews and reviews, I hope to reveal why the world really does need architects.

Another spooky characteristic of architecture is the unnecessary (?) abstraction of basic objects and structures. An architect will see a square room with a door and think, “Hmm is this space really a space of reality? How does it embody the client’s hopes and dreams? Was the use of 90 degree angles in connecting the walls chosen to imply the concept of continuity and geometric balance? etc. etc.” But while I am joking about this quality of architects, it is a question that resonates with my topic. In order for architecture to be related to people’s emotions, there needs to be a certain degree of philosophical thinking of simple design concepts. While diving deep into abstract thinking frightens me (there is no certified right and wrong), it is something I need to do for my next experiment.

Beware … what follows is the spookiest (i.e. highest risk) observation and question of them all!

There are many occupations that walk the line of ethics and morality. The big ones are lawyers, psychologists, pharmacists, and physicians. All listed face the moral difficulty of how they make their money; they all help people, but once the people are helped, no more money is gained. In order for these occupations to survive, people have to be suffering in the first place. Now that is a tragic idea. Luckily for me, I don’t have to deal with that in architecture! Before I get ahead of myself, what I do have to deal with as an architect is the effect my designs will have on the general welfare. If bad architecture correlates to high negative affect and stress, which are the leading psychological factors of mood and anxiety disorders and in some extreme cases, death, then shouldn’t the architects of the bad architecture be held responsible? Architects hold the power to induce depression in people. This is a question of morality. It reveals the importance for architects to know the detrimental psychological effects their designs can have on society.

So basically in conclusion, we need to find whoever designed the Modern Languages Building and send them to jail — because that building makes no one happy.

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