Inspiration can come from anywhere. Nearly every design challenge begins with some exploration and search for inspiration. Today, Bryant Watson shares about where he finds inspiration.
I had a professor in college who was fond of quoting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “architecture is frozen music.” Growing up as a band geek, I always liked that quote. Over the years it’s stayed in the back of my mind, guiding my process and giving me insight into what makes good design.
Music and architecture share much of the same language―rhythm, harmony, composition, syncopation―the same concepts and ideas behind what give each their form and effect. Architecture can provoke a deep emotional response when it confronts us, like a powerful performance on stage can move its audience. And much like music, architecture can also be a product of its era; often a commentary on or a way to rebel against societal norms.
Top Left: NPR.org, Top Right: Britannica.com
Bottom Left: Concord Music Group Bottom Right: Imgur.com
Though I find it to be an inspiration in my work, there’s rarely a direct relationship between music and design. Sometimes, sure, it can provide the spark I need to bring new life to a project. But more often, I use music as a background for my work. As cliché as it perhaps sounds for an architect, for me it’s usually jazz. From the energy of be-bop, the laid-back formalism of cool jazz to the sophisticated complexity of fusion, I can always find an inspiration for my process in the liquid architecture that is music.
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