Leon Battista Alberti, an architect artist of the 15th century wrote, “ Beauty is the adjustment of all parts proportionately so that one cannot add or subtract or change without impairing the harmony of the whole.”
When experiencing our built environment we see and feel the parts as well as the whole and when these things are in harmony we can be more attached, excited, and inspired by that environment. Take for example a space you are very familiar with, your own home or room. Look around, what makes it comfortable? You may think the right amount of light, sound control and temperature play a part, as well as views out windows, size and much more. But what makes it inspiring? Maybe nothing, it is ordinary in a cookie cutter sort of way. However, there could be a perfectly framed view a perfectly sized corner niche that encourages relaxed sitting and suddenly the parts add to the experience. The whole is in a style you enjoy, take pride in, and says “home” to you. Suddenly you understand why well-designed space can enhance your life.
This is what architects think about all the time. Why are spaces great? How can great spaces enhance the participant’s experience? I plan to take examples from the past and present, explain the whole and parts of these designed spaces, and discuss why designed spaces matter.