Architecture is the name of an art that has existed since the first steps of humankind on Earth. This art is intimately connected to factors reflected in the hands of individuals who aspire to portray human life. Churchill says, "We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us." Unfortunately, there's an important dimension that many of us, as architecture enthusiasts, often overlook: the human dimension. In line with this purpose, I would like to share a few words about the need for every architecture student, practitioner, or enthusiast to rebuild the human within them.
Being a humane architect requires considering everyone and everything. As an architect, you might find yourself living in a small, dark room untouched by the sun, perhaps with a few others, or spending a few days in a tent where the air cannot penetrate. You may need to ask yourself a few questions, such as "How many people live in all the shantytowns in the world?" or "How many children are there in the world who cannot reach the education level you have attained?" You may need to seek answers to questions like "Why can't they receive an education?" You will also need to feel the warmth from the sand beneath your bare feet as you walk, experience the heat of the sun on your face, and learn about the point where a stick breaks, the echo of your voice in the courtyard of an empty mosque, and the difficulty of learning to write on a stone. You will have to learn to discern the sound of your father's whistle calling you from a distance, and despite the challenges, discover how to write on a stone. Additionally, you will learn about the amount of green space provided per person in your country and other countries around the world.
You will learn to seek unique beauty in every flower, to not forget their colors and delightful fragrances, and to endure getting caught in their thorns. On a cold day, you will approach the window and learn to touch it with your fingers, observe someone without them noticing, work alongside laborers, carrying stones with your own hands, and see that the lines you previously designed in your mind are no longer just a dream but are gradually manifesting and becoming real.
By immersing yourself in the view of the sea, you'll become aware of the contradiction between the purity on its surface and the darkness underneath. Similarly, you'll notice the contradiction between tranquility and movement, stillness and restlessness. Every line you draw that doesn't exist will remind you of the impoverished in this world. Placing a stone somewhere may deprive someone of it because they needed it. Try spending a day in a wheelchair and see how that feels, making it easier while you're at it. Spend ample time with children; it's beneficial to act like them. Find a quiet place, sit cross-legged, and look upward towards the ceiling; what do you feel at that moment? Record these experiences in writing.
Lean against a tree branch in a garden, adopting the same position again. Make friends with colors, learn when and where they are used, and try to understand the mysteries of this mysterious world. Contemplate the difficulties faced by your ancient ancestors who melded with the earth centuries ago and built upon it. Reject sterile and useless practices that are products of imported thinking. Observe a woman weaving a carpet—study her expression, emotions, and the movements of her working hands as she draws pictures and shapes on the samples. Retreat to a riverbank crowded with people and consider their interaction with the water. Read in every field of knowledge; as they say, "Let every garden yield a flower for you." Explore this world; there are many people besides you, aren't there? Many... Look at these standing buildings! How did they come to be like this? You will learn this. Will it continue like this, or is there a possibility of change? You will ponder that too. Learn multiple foreign languages; the benefits it provides far exceed what can be explained in detail here. You'll be curious about the real cause of what happened in Pruitt-Igoe, and you'll try to learn about it. Were people happier in the past? Why? You'll contemplate this and lose yourself in the search for answers. Is it challenging to ride a bicycle on crowded streets? Give it a try and see how it goes.
You will get to know your neighbors, learn the distance at which you can perceive their faces and expressions from afar. Try looking down from a tall building onto people below—what will you feel at that moment? Observe them from a distance to understand the concepts of distance and closeness in your mind. You will try to learn when objects appear very close or distant to the eyes. Likewise, you'll immerse yourself in silence to observe the stars. On a warm day, you'll lie under a tree, read poetry and novels, and appreciate music and art. You'll acquaint yourself with other living beings that share this world with us, realizing the need to be sensitive and compassionate towards them. You will feel firsthand that human life is valuable and that comfortable living is necessary!
You'll do whatever it takes for someone to rest comfortably, knowing that each person who uses the building you design will be significantly impacted. The neighboring buildings will also be subject to this influence. The same applies to the environment and the entire world. You'll learn to say "yes" or "no" when necessary, even if faced with a tempting situation. You'll read philosophy and psychology books. You'll deeply grasp objects like walls, thresholds, doors, and windows, perceiving them as transitions between two entirely different worlds. The scent of wet earth after rain will caress your nose. Perhaps, in that moment, you'll understand why the earth's embrace with wood doesn't elicit the same reaction as it does with concrete structures. You'll experience both fear and tranquility. You'll climb a mountain, observing the accumulation of clouds in the sky and the movement of waves in the sea, realizing how harmoniously and integrated the elements of nature are. As if they were one entity, each following the other in harmony. Perhaps, this too reveals the oneness of the Creator.
You will remember how small (insignificant) you are in this world and strive to leave a trace after you. You will try to understand what the desert is trying to convey to you; you'll encounter a forest—what does it say to you? You will perceive and understand these things. Have you seen a mother with a baby? What is the mother feeling at that moment? Think about it. You will read about a country whose name you haven't heard, about which you have no knowledge. You will research its culture, customs, traditions, political situations, economy, and everything about it. You will learn to be at peace with yourself before anyone else. At times, you will try to be a little crazy. You will spend time in a secluded village, away from all technological devices. You will talk to unfamiliar people about anything. You will write. You will talk to yourself, again and again. You will learn to love properly and all these things...