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On a beautiful day, just a few years ago
my wife and I entered a hospital
near our home in Oakland, California
for the birth of our first daughter, Maya.
We had responsibly toured the birthing center in advance
and yet we were somehow still startled to find ourselves
in the place where we would experience
one of the most significant moments of our lives.
We were stuck in a windowless room
with no hint of the bright and sunny day that we had left.
Fluorescent lights buzzed overhead,
the paint on the walls was beige
and machines beeped inexplicably
as a wall clock indicated day turning to night.
That clock was placed above a door
in direct line of sight
to where my wife lay as her contractions increased hour after hour.
Now, I've never given birth --
but she assured me that the last thing that a birthing woman would ever want
is to watch the seconds tick by.
An architect by training, I've always been fascinated
watching people experience design in the world around them.
I believe design functions like the soundtrack
that we're not even fully aware is playing.
It sends us subconscious messages about how to feel
and what to expect.
That room that we were in seemed completely misaligned
with the moment that we were experiencing --
welcoming a human being,
our daughter, into this world.
At one point a nurse, without any prompt,
turned to us and said,
"I always think to myself,
'I wish I had become an architect,
because I could have designed rooms like this better.'"
I said to her,
"An architect did design this room."
Despite the immense joy of our daughter's birth,
the messages of that hospital room stick with she and I to this day.
Those messages are,
"You are not at home,
you are in a foreign place."
"You are not in control of anything.
Not even the lighting."
"Your comfort, simply, is secondary."
At best,
a hospital room like this
might just be described or dismissed as uninspiring.
At worst, it is undignifying.
And I use it to point out that none of us,
anywhere in the world,
are immune from bad design.
I went into architecture because I believed
it was about creating spaces for people to live their best lives.
And yet what I found is a profession largely disconnected
from the people most directly impacted by its work.
I believe this is because architecture remains
a white, male, elitist profession --
seemingly unconcerned
with some of the greatest needs in the world
or even the relatively simple needs of an expectant mother.
Students are trained in school
using highly theoretical projects,
rarely interacting with real people or actual communities.
Graduates are funneled through a long, narrow
unforgiving path to licensure.
Meanwhile, the profession holds up a select few
through relentless award programs
focused almost exclusively on the aesthetics of buildings,
rather than the societal impact or contributions of them.
It only goes to reinforce a warped view
of professional responsibility and success
and yet this isn't why so many young, hopeful people
go into architecture.
It's not why I did.
I believed then, though I didn't have a language for it,
and I know now, that design has a unique ability to dignify.
It can make people feel valued,
honored and seen.
Now I'd like for you to just think about some of the spaces that you inhabit.
And I'd like to have you think about how they make you feel.
Now, there are places that make us feel unhappy,
or uninspiring.
They may be the places that you work
or where you heal
or even where you live.
And I ask, how might these places be better designed with you in mind?
It's a really simple question
and it can somehow, sometimes be very difficult to answer.
Because we are conditioned to feel like we don't have much agency
over the spaces and places that we live, work and play.
And in many cases we don't.
But we all should.
Now, here's a potentially dumb question for any women watching:
Have you ever stood
in a disproportionately long bathroom line?
Did you ever think to yourself, "What is wrong with this picture?"
Well, what if the real question is,
"What is wrong with the men that designed these bathrooms?"
It may seem like a small thing,
but it's representative of a much more serious issue.
The contemporary world was literally built by men
who have rarely taken the time to understand
how people unlike them
experience their designs.
A long bathroom line might seem like a minor indignity.
But the opposite can also be true.
Thoughtful design can make people feel respected
and seen.
I've come to believe that dignity is to design
what justice is to law
and health is to medicine.
In the simplest of terms,
it's about having the spaces you inhabit reflect back your value.
Over the past two years
I had the opportunity to interview over 100 people from all walks of life
about their experience of design.
I wanted to test my hunch
that dignity and design are uniquely related.
I listened to Gregory,
a resident of this cottage community
designed specifically
for the 50 most chronically homeless people in Dallas.
Gregory had been living on the streets,
drifting from town to town for over 30 years.
A broad coalition
of social service agencies,
funders and designers,
created this place.
Each 400 square foot cottage is designed beautifully
as a permanent home.
Gregory now has a key
to a door
to his own house.
He describes the sense of security that it brings him.
Something he had lived without for three decades.
When he arrived with little more than the clothes on his back,
he found everything:
from a toaster, Crock-Pot and stove
to a toothbrush and toothpaste awaiting for him.
He describes it simply
as heaven.
On the other side of the world,
I listened to Antoinette,
the director of this training and community center
for women in rural Rwanda.
Hundreds of women come to this place daily --
to learn new skills,
be in community,
and continue rebuilding their lives
following the country's civil war.
These women literally pressed
the 500,000 bricks
that make up the 17 classroom pavilions like this one.
Antoinette told me,
"Everyone is so proud of it."
And then back here in the US
I listened to Monika,
the director of a free clinic
primarily serving the uninsured in Arkansas.
Monika loves telling me that the doctors,
who volunteer at her free clinic
routinely tell her
that they've never worked in such a beautiful, light-filled place.
Monika believes
that even people experiencing poverty
deserve quality health care.
And what's more,
she believes they deserve to receive that care
in a dignified setting.
People like these are invaluable ambassadors for design
and yet they are roundly absent from architectural discourse.
Similarly, the people who can most benefit from good design
often have the least access to it.
Your cousin, a homeless veteran;
your grandma or grandpa
who live in a house with a kitchen that's no longer accessible to them;
your wheelchair-bound sister
in a suburban area planned without sidewalks.
If good design is only for a privileged few,
what good is it?
It's time designers change this
by dedicating their practices to the public good
in the model of firms
like Orkidstudio,
Studio Gang
and MASS Design Group.
Their clients
are orphaned children in Kenya,
foster children in Chicago
and pregnant women in Malawi.
Their practices are premised on the belief
that everyone deserves good design.
Dedicating more practices to the public good
will not only create more design that is dignifying,
but it will also dignify the practice of design.
It will not only diversify the client base of design,
but it will also create new, more diverse forms of design
for the world.
Now, in order to do this,
my architecture and design friends, especially my fellow white guys,
we must simultaneously and significantly diversify our ranks.
If we want the public to believe that design is for them
and for everyone.
Today, barely 15 percent
of registered architects in the United States are women.
And a far smaller percentage are persons of color.
Other professions, like law and medicine
had made far greater strides in these crucial areas.
How might our shared built environment --
our homes, our hospitals, our schools, our public spaces --
be shaped differently
if women and people of color
were behind half of the proverbial blueprints?
It is not a question of whether,
but to what extent
our buildings, our landscapes,
our cities and our rural communities
are less beautiful, less functional,
less equitable and less dignifying
because women and people of color are less likely to be creating them.
As Winston Churchill famously noted in 1943
when he called for the rebuilding
of London's war-damaged parliamentary chambers,
"We shape our buildings, and afterward, they shape us."
The good news is that we can change how we build
and who we build for.
Be that a health worker in rural Rwanda,
or a birthing mother and nervous new father in the United States.
We can do this by recommitting architecture
to the health, safety and welfare of the public.
This will pay dividends.
Because once you see what design can do,
you can't unsee it.
And once you experience dignity,
you can't accept anything less.
Both become part of your possible.
One of my favorite conversation partners is my 90-year-old grandmother,
Audrey Gorwitz, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
After one of our conversations about design,
she wrote me a letter.
She said, "Dear Johnny,
I thought the other day, as I sat in my doctor's office,
how depressing it was,
from the color on the wall, to the carpet on the floor.
Now I will have to call to see
who is responsible for the drabness in that place."
In the same letter, mind you, she said,
"I did call, and I got the man in charge,
and he said he appreciated someone calling him.
My doctor's office is now on the list for an upgrade."
She signed it by saying,
"It is always good to express one's opinion
if done in a proper manner."
I love my grandma.
Like my grandma Audrey,
you deserve good design.
Because well-designed spaces
are not just a matter of taste or a questions of aesthetics.
They literally shape our ideas about who we are in the world
and what we deserve.
That is the essence of dignity.
And both the opportunity and the responsibility of design
for good
and for all.
Thank you.


【TED】ジョン・キャリー: 建築が創造できる人間の尊厳 (How architecture can create dignity for all | John Cary)

294 タグ追加 保存
Zenn 2018 年 3 月 3 日 に公開
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