Pride of place, building community

What does it mean to have pride of place for your community? How can we continue building community? How can we be resilient and healthy as a community?

My thesis project in graduate school focused on the power of architecture to create a sense of place. My theory is that you have to know a place – people, culture, and climate – to be able to design effective structures that build place (or community). The more we become a place that looks like every other place (strip architecture filled with chain businesses and signs geared towards driving in a car) the less resilient we become. The more we celebrate what is unique to us the stronger we are as a community. Design can build a sense of place and that sense of place has huge power over how the community exists.

Court Square

Community can mean many things depending on context. You could be a community of people that all attend the same school, live in a specific neighborhood, or cheer for the same team. Community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as religion, values, customs, or identity. Communities may share a sense of place situated in a given geographical area or virtual space through communication platforms.

I am going to focus a series of blogs on community in the form of a geographic area. As we seem to focus more and more on our differences, I want to explore a bit of how design building sense of place can bring us back together. Stay tuned for more.

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