Architecture and Society

Let us kick things off on a foundational note. Architecture, at its core, is about creating structures. However, you seem to have a slightly different perspective at HAS Architects. Could you share a bit about that?

It is a common perception, but we see architecture as more than just crafting structures. It is about creating environments that foster connections, inspire interactions, and build communities. We are designing buildings and spaces that enrich societal harmony and well-being.

So you are designing not just buildings but essentially interactions. Could you shed some light on how you bring about this interplay between design and social interactions?

Of course. Think about how you might arrange a residential space. A well-placed bench, a communal garden, or shared amenities can spark interactions, creating a platform for conversations, friendships to blossom, and, ultimately, for communities to flourish. They may seem small, but these design decisions profoundly impact fostering a sense of community.

The simple idea of a bench as a place for everyone

That is easy to understand example to take on residential design. What about larger public structures, like libraries or community centers? How do they factor into this philosophy?

Public structures are, in many ways, the epicenter of communal life. They host a multitude of activities that inspire social interaction and cultural exchange. At our studio, we aim to weave the spirit of the community into these structures, ensuring they reflect communal values and cater to their unique needs.

I am intrigued by the idea of inclusivity in design. How do you ensure that your designs cater to all sections of society?

We believe in creating spaces inviting to all, regardless of age, ability, or background. We adhere to universal design principles, ensuring our designs are accessible and comfortable for everyone.

Architecture plays a crucial role in fostering social cohesion. Beyond that, do you believe it has any other societal implications?

Indeed, architecture also preserves narratives. Historic buildings, local architectural styles, and monuments link to a community’s past and heritage, providing a sense of continuity. It is like the community’s diary, if you will.

Bench design by our studio representing inclusive design in public space

Any final thoughts?

Architecture is not merely a backdrop in community life—it is an integral thread that adds depth to the social fabric. As architects, we are responsible for wielding this tool with a deep sense of social commitment. And that is precisely what we aim to do—shape vibrant, inclusive, and resilient communities, one design at a time.