Will Marcus, Director, Vihara Foundation /Rock against Poverty, Philippine
Is Architecture purely an envelope for human activity or does it define our egos? We consider these envelopes as spaces that serve their function effectively while reflecting the needs of humans which are rich and complex. Cost, buildability, aesthetics, environment, context, materials, longevity are all factors that influence architecture. Listening to clients creates the space for successful architecture.
The need for highly social and technological solutions in master planning is apparent. The integrated network that is a community is far too complex for one person to birth and as a result, an understanding of human nature and needs is required to establish successful solutions at a master planning level with a well integrated and diverse master planning team. The pretty and often geometric diagrams of the 50s, 60s and 70s are not the solution. A page is not capable of holding the complex interconnections between humans and their multiplex activities - it needs a story. The use of a plan, although necessary is not the basis of a master plan, it is merely one way of describing the scope of the intention.
Bringing landscape back to full function realises the latent power of nature's resources to self-heal, mitigate floods, self-fertilise and self-irrigate. Typically, major restoration can be achieved within 18 months of a major rain event without irrigation, without fertilisers and without major civil or landscape works. Careful manipulation of streams, rivers, underground water and the location and type of biomass on the site are all important aspects of recovering natural landscape health. Observing the nature of things and restoring them to their original function is key.