two architect professionals collaborating at a table
July 19, 2021

Placing People at the Center of Architecture

Placing People at the Center of Architecture

Human-centered architecture, which puts humans at the center of the design process, seeks to optimize positive interactions as such between humans and buildings. How far reaching are the impacts of this sort of design?

Take a moment to step back from your role in the design and building process and put yourself in the position the user. How would you use this space? What activities would you be performing in this space, and how might the space be highly motivational to you? How would you like to interact with others in the space? Finding the answers to these questions is at the core of any truly effective human-first design strategy.

The Human-Centered Design Philosophy

A human-centered design process simply means that the wants and needs of end user has the final say in the choices made during the design process. We believe that the design of any building should not be made from our perspective, but from the perspective of those who will eventually use the space. Architecture and design should be centered around people.

Human-centered design is an iterative approach. Innovation and change are driven by understanding how and why people will use a design solution. Authentic creation leads to real change much faster than a typical copycat strategy of “me too”. That’s the end game.

Where Do You Start?

One word: empathy. The best way to create empathy? Go out and observe people using the types of spaces you intend to create in the real world! If you have the opportunity, first-hand observations bring true perspective, remove guesswork, and help generate creative ideas. Collecting real world information about behavior will help identify powerful design solutions that make human-centered design possible.

Making it Work

Armed with a better understanding of your end users, and you’ve identified key design solutions, it’s time to bring your vision to life! Now you’re ready to create a real space that embodies specific solutions. A human-centered design process is simple to understand yet requires a lot of hard work. However, if the process is executed well, people can reap the benefits for decades!

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