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Professional and Ethical Obligation of Architecture Essay

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Updated: Sep 13th, 2022

Introduction

Architectural is achieved through planning, designing and construction as a process to give a desired product. The works in architecture can either be political or cultural. Architectural designs are thus buildings and other physical structures such as the infrastructure. To come up with the product therefore, there must be methods used to construct. Architects give professional services in designing and constructing the building or other structures and the space that surrounds the buildings (Fedders, 2004, P 57). Architectural design cannot be avoided since a lot of commitment to form and appearance go hand in hand. At both the present and the future, architectural design will always be present as the field of architecture continues to advance. In architecture, the behavior and structure of a construction is defined. The form in which a construction appears defines the function of the construction.

Most a times, when there is a great building, there is usually a combination of efforts from different people in coming up with the design. This is because architecture is complex, and involves funds, quality and adherence to regulations. An architect is influenced by the design values during design decision making. In different movements in architecture, there are variety of values and intentions that influence designers differently. This means that a value may affect a particular architecture, and fail to affect the other. Through out history, the effect a design value has on a designer varies greatly, and determines the relationship between the designer and their clients (DCMSCABE 2005, P 12).

Urban design is entirely architectural, and not related to the public programs. It actually focuses on the physical form the city is in without having considerations for economic, social and other issues in the society (Jochelson 2004, P14). The outward appearance of the city makes it easy to say that urban design is superficial since it does not go deep into the feelings of the users, and the economic benefit it has to the state. With urban design, there are no programs put in place to make sure there is development in the cities. It only deals with physical configuration of the city structures. However, to some extent the explanation is vague since there is no designer who can come up with a big idea to have a construction without adhering to some of the urban programs that make sure that there is efficient development of the urban (Heynen 2004, P 98).

For any architectural work, there must have been the definition of the end product. There should be a definition of the architecture for it to be a success. This means that there is always a creative art where the architect has insight for the structural models, and usage of the architecture. Architecture lays emphasis to the end product by considering the purpose and the spectators to guide the entire process, and for it to be accepted. They collect information effectively, and synthesize it to be at a position to describe the architecture. During information collection, the architect is able to focus more on the likes of the society who are the stakeholders to come up with an architecture that is readily accepted by the stakeholders since their individual and communal views are well reflected. It is important that an architect considers different people of different backgrounds and responsibilities by creating variety of models and different views for the same concept to suit the people (Thompson 2000, P 267-87).

Sometimes, when individuals look at a building, there is a feeling that results from the mere sight of such a building. When for example a believer looks at a church building, most a times they feel a spiritual transformation. The sense of awe for a structure comes from the architecture. However, science and art has to come together to come up with such buildings. The end product of architecture is the building that comes from the manipulation of different elements such as the materials, space, program and other many elements (Living Streets, 2001, P 7-8). At the end, the architect has created something functional and artistic (Zurbrugg & Baudrillard 1997, P 150).

Professional and ethical obligation of architecture to address itself in social needs

Today, architecture is viewed as a communal thing rather than individual pursuit. Architecture thus considers the daily needs of every person where there is use of the existing technology to create friendly environments. This is the reason why architecture is multidisciplinary, which needs several specialist professionals where the architect is usually the team leader. To achieve sustainability there are principles that must be followed and regulations met (Johnston & Newton, 2004, P 47).

Architecture is very important since there is no building however small or simple that does not require the assistance of an architect. The architects and their firms have an important social responsibility through their work. Social responsibility is achieved through sustainable design to prevent negative impacts on the environment. This makes sure that the people are connected to the natural environment the way they want it, and in the healthy manner. The architects believe that they are at a position to create better places through their work, and affect the society they live in. Through the work of architects, a place can be turned to a livable place, which is more civilized. However, architecture is not mostly viewed as a social catalyst though it offers better environment. This is what makes it really hard to substantiate the benefit architecture has on the society. For example, architecture can give the best school environment but has not taught the students (Kim & Rigdon, 1998, P 16).

Architects and designers aim at serving the good of the public, and focuses on attending to the needs of the population that is meant to use the product. The architecture industry therefore has social values they accord to the larger society as a whole. However, there are several conflicts between the social values and other design values. The design value to change the society focuses on changing the community through architecture to make it better than its current situation. The architectural work is meant to transform the environment it is built, and the people living around and in it.

The environment where the society lives is very important and should be well managed in architecture. The architects need to sustain the environment to manage the ecosystem for sustainable development and protect nature. It should be known that the way the environment is conserved determines the duties of the coming generation. When architecture is build well, the users benefit because the environment is friendly. Environmentally friendly buildings benefit both the present society and the generations to come. Environmentally friendly architecture conserves energy, manages resources, recycles and produces materials free of toxins. The architects can update buildings where an existing product can be made new through art. It is the focus of the designers to provide an environment that contribute to the healthy living of the people in the constructions and those surrounding them. This is where architects focus more on coming up with freestanding buildings, where ventilation and penetration of sunlight is maximized. Materials used in constructions also are free from any toxins to prevent any related sort of illness.

There are ethical considerations to be met in every field. In architecture, the architects consider sustainability to make sure that constructions are environmentally friendly. This means that there should be safe production of materials, and have positive impact on the area it’s built (Zimring & Reizenstein 1981, P 52-54). By believing that architecture affects the kind of lives the society lives, the architects makes sure, the quality of life is not distorted. They believe that they can affect the social condition the society is in or cause a positive social change to the community. In architecture, there is a professional responsibility to the community, the users and the customers. Ethically, the architects can involve in non-profit organizations to improve the well-being of the societies. They are responsible for sensitizing the community on the environmental and social issues. This sensitization if facilitated by the education installed in architects to solve problems, and address other issues beyond their practice (Leather et al 1998, P 739-62).

It is important that the students have a positive and well-understood perception about their profession. When the students in any profession understand their call, they are able to approach life well, and act as it is required of them by everybody in the community. For example, medical school students in their first year are told of their responsibilities to care for the health of the people, and how failure to that can lead to serious consequences. This helps the students to formulate the principles for future professional practice. Architectural education should also lay a foundation for its students where they are taught about their responsibilities in the society, and how to handle their clients.

The architects also have ethical demands in addition to the professional demands to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the people in the society since the design choices has some impacts on people in the villages, the society and the entire state. As an architect, there are various responsibilities that are carried to safe guard the interests and health of the individuals in the society. All the responsibilities require professionalism and adherence to the ethical demands put in place. As an architect, it is their duty to make sure that the environment is well sustained so that the citizens relate with a natural environment as they wish, and make sure the land is well used. The architect makes sure that the public spaces are well designed and that energy is conserved maximally. Additionally, it is the architecture that improves the communities people live in, allocates resources for various usages, and adapts reuse. Architecture builds structures, and makes sure that there is delight in the aesthetic work. With all these responsibilities, there are related issues that architect face.

In architecture, there is the combination of the ethical viewpoint with the roles of the architect in stabilizing the societies, providing quality air, using materials and selection of systems among other roles. In their role to design, the architect provides judgment in social, cultural and political issues. They also aid the public in the registration of law, contracts, building codes and overseeing the safety of the environment, its preservation and management o the open space.

The architects think of themselves as professionals, and carry themselves as individuals with responsibilities to take care of. They therefore know that as architects, they have a lot of power in the society. Ethically, architects are able to make very difficult decisions in questionable situations whichever the decision they come up with will be difficult for an individual. They appreciate that as architects, their education did not begin when they entered their degree programs but it’s a life long call, which requires understanding of societal diversity, knowledge of materials for use, the functioning of the nature and everything in the universe. It is therefore important that each architect understands and couples experience with education to grow in the field (Samuels 2002, P 15).

Whenever a university makes poor decisions and implements poor policy, it is the role of an architect to question the decision. On the other hand, the architect can also praise the university when it makes good decisions and formulates effective policies. This way, all architects are executers of high ethical standards regarding their profession. Ethically, universities are required to provide standard and quality education to its students. This is because the institutions get enough money and funds to provide the education required. The faculties should teach and practice such that their teaching changes depending on the results of its research. The teaching staff such as the professors should be the living examples of how they had to make tough decisions, and teach and do what they talk. During practice, not all practitioners are straight, and should be questioned whenever an architect comes into contact with then. It is important to determine whether the practitioner acts ethically, and they have a role to play in the community leadership. In all practitioners, there must be practice ethical methods and relationships built in an ethical manner. The leaders in the architectural firms have always sought to grow in knowledge, and their designs are meant to serve the clients, the users and the general society. It should be a motto that the company practices to benefit the society among other successes. To grow ethically, an individual is asked to ask the opinion of others about themselves so that the honest feedbacks are used to enhance individual growth (McEvilly 2008, P 16).

Provision for the social needs by the contemporary practice

Sometimes, contemporary practice, both educational practice and practical accomplishment overlook provisions for social needs in favor of a commitment to formal outcomes, which are propelled by many strange designs in the market and the making of decisions. In the past, there had been less sustainability issues. This is because in the past, there were holistic design approaches that made sure that technical and aesthetics issues were covered as well as the design activities that protect and preserve the environment both socially and technically. All institutions embrace sustainability of the environment in their curriculum because of the importance it has on the architecture profession. This way, the architects recognize that humanity and the environment are interdependent. There is recognition that design is meant to address the needs of the community, which include social needs (Kocur & Leung 2005, P 2-3).

The ten public policies tells on the impact the architect has on the society and the environment whether built or natural. During the early stages of learning by the students, there should be a strategy to develop an understanding of the professionalism and ethics in the architectural world. It will never make sense if the students are told what it means to be a professional after the end of their course in architecture. Students know the very many needs and values in different cultures and that the diversity in both the values and needs have an implication to the roles of the society and the architects’ responsibilities.

In architectural education, there needs to be a framework where there is broad education with general, architectural and elective studies. In every institution, there are objectives that students are required to meet. However, progress of the students should be well assessed to determine the strength of the program to implement any changes that will improve the present weaknesses.

The extent the formal and aesthetic aspects of architectural design construe to be an end in them

Formal and aesthetic aspects of architectural design have construed to be an end in them. There has been movement of art. There are modern artists and postmodern artists. There are other designers who does not favor post modern. Conversely, some artists do not have a line between the late modern and the post modern. With modernity, the old design styles were considered obsolete due to the advent of the new technology. Some people like Le Corbusier felt that just as the horses got replaced by the cars, the old style should be replaced by new technology that came with modernity (William 1997, P 4). Decorative motif has been replaced by material and geometry. Simplicity was preferred in the construction of both houses and furniture with an aim of making forms more clear with open plan interior, which lacked clutter (Bennett 2001, P 131).

When these aspects are keenly looked at, they constitute social benefit. For example other than having buildings placed horizontally, they are today vertically orients to fit in the small space and private houses arranged horizontally (Cooper 1982, P 9-13). With modernism, there is revolution against the traditional design where new forms have been created without enlightenment thinking. With the use of the technology, architects aim at improving the environment further from the old days and have positive influence on the societal needs (Hans 1997, P236).

There are a lot of aspects to be considered in architecture such as social, technical, environmental, space, planning and constructing among others. Materials and technology is creatively manipulated and coordinated where cost estimate is done to the construction of building and other structures (Guattari 1996, P 109-113).

It has been noted that the structure and art leads to the functionality of the construction. The function of a construction is encircled by its use, how it is perceived, and how enjoyable it is in terms of the art, and cultural satisfaction. Architecture is viewed differently from other sciences due to its artistic manner through which it expresses values, and promotes the development of people socially by stimulating and influencing the social life (Elkins 2002, P16).

References

Bennett, O. (2001). Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World. Edinburgh University Press.

Cooper, M.C. (1982). The Aesthetics of Family Housing: The Residents’ Viewpoint. Landscape Research journal 7(3), 9-13

DCMSCABE. (2005) Better Neighborhoods: Making Higher Densities work. CABE

Elkins, J. (2002) Stories of Art. nd. Routledge, P. 16.

Fedders, K. (2004) Archigram. Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn.

Guattari, F. (1996) The Postmodern: Impasse in The Guattari Reader. Blackwell Publishing.

Hans, B. (1997) International postmodernism: theory and literary practice. Routledge.

Heynen, H. (2004) Avant-garde. Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn

Jochelson, K. (2004) The Public Health Impact of Cities and Urban Planning. London Development Agency

Johnston, J. and Newton, J. (2004) Building Green: A guide to using plants on roofs, walls and pavements. Greater London Authority Journal, 47

Kim, J and Rigdon, B. (1998) Introduction to Sustainable Design. National Pollution Prevention Centre for Higher Education, P.16

Kocur, Z. and Leung, S. (2005) Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985. Blackwell Publishing, P. 2-3.

Leather, P. et al. (1998) Windows in the workplace: sunlight, view and occupational stress. Environment and Behavior journal, 30(6), 739-762

Living Streets. (2001) Streets are for living – the importance of streets and public spaces for community. New York: Routledge

McEvilly, T. (2008) Beauty Is Nowhere: Ethical Issues in Art and Design. nd. Routledge

Samuels, I. (2002) What home buyers want: Attitudes and decision making among consumers. CABE

Thompson, I. H. (2000) Aesthetic, social and ecological values in landscape architecture: a discourse analysis. Ethics, place and environment, 3, 269-287.

William, R. (1997) The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of Twentieth-century Thought. University of Chicago Press

Zimring, C. M. & Reizenstein, J. E. (1981) A Primer on post occupancy evaluation: uses and techniques of an increasingly valued tool. Architecture AIA Journal, 70, 52 – 54.

Zurbrugg, N. & Baudrillard, J. (1997) Art and Artefact. Sage Publications.

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