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Our group is discussing standards of architecture. We have been discussing the development of guiding principles of architecture that we hope can guide any structures that we build or modify, and that can also inspire others in their architectural choices.

Architecture and respect

The outwardly visible aspects of architecture can be viewed as a form of communication, and as such, we want our approach to architecture to reflect a similar spirit to our rules of communication and to be congruent with our beliefs. Because the outside architecture of buildings is viewed by the public, it has the potential to both please and offend. There is rarely or never a consensus about how buildings are perceived, but we still wish to avoid buildings that grossly offend large numbers of people. This could lead to the following principle:

  • Build buildings that are in a similar style to their surroundings, and avoid features that are likely to be viewed as an eyesore by a large number of people.

Architecture and community

The design of buildings can encourage or discourage the formation of community and can have a positive or negative relationship to factors such as walkability. For example:

  • More doorways on the ground level of a large building can make it easier to enter and leave the building by foot, and can also make it easier for people to travel between the building and other nearby buildings.
  • Benches placed in outdoor areas and terraces can create convenient gathering places.
  • Public or semi-public spaces, like lounges, can also function as gathering places and can contribute to community.
  • A building that presents a visually-pleasing experience to people walking on the street can help to promote walkability by making walking in the surroundings more pleasant, even for people who do not ever enter the building.

Sustainability and green building design

One of our beliefs is that, in a healthy state, society is sustainable. Sustainability, and green building practices, are thus important in how we design buildings.