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michaelskis

Planners v Architects

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One side is AICP, one side is AIA, but both have a voice in the future of Grand Rapids. I think that both groups have a real interest in things but often approach it from different angles. Where as architects focus on the flow and feel of things, planners are technical on regional analysis and feasibility studies.

What are your thoughts? Should one group have more pull when it comes to new development?

Additionally, what do you think is more important, form or function?

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I don't know, the most important thing I could stress is balance...

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I agree with Rizzo. Form is great, and function is great too, but one without the other disaster. It's just like the Yin-Yang. All form, you have a black circle. All function, you have a white circle. Both need to be balanced equally.

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Both form and function are very important in making city planning work. However, the function has got to work right first. So function needs to lead form. But, its up to the architect to package the function in a pretty package. An example would be a large retail development that needs to accomadate 3,000 cars. A simple suberban sprawl strip mall with a sea of asphalt would work just fine. But if the budget is generous, a parking ramp with the retail arranged in a streetside liner to hide the structure would work just as well and be much prettier than the sprawl style solution. Even placing the retail streetside with the asphalt sea hidden behind would look better. So form follows function. But its up to form to make the function look good.

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As an architect I can tell you that designing a building without thinking about it in its next largest context is deadly.

Planners and architects have different areas of vision. Planners have to deal with many areas of context while architects are trying to fit their work into context at a smaller scale.

The answer to the question is that both should be equally involved and have equal input to the process.

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As an architect I can tell you that designing a building without thinking about it in its next largest context is deadly.

Planners and architects have different areas of vision. Planners have to deal with many areas of context while architects are trying to fit their work into context at a smaller scale.

The answer to the question is that both should be equally involved and have equal input to the process.

So architects need to look at the whole picture as planners do during the design phase. Right?

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As an architect I can tell you that designing a building without thinking about it in its next largest context is deadly.

Planners and architects have different areas of vision. Planners have to deal with many areas of context while architects are trying to fit their work into context at a smaller scale.

The answer to the question is that both should be equally involved and have equal input to the process.

...and the engineers should do neither. Many site plans are designed (engineered) by civil engineers, and with all respect to civil engineers, most have no training in form or function.

Years ago (1980's) a Texas architectural firm had a great little brochure. It was about 3" x 5", red and had the initials CRS (Caudill Rowlett Scott) on the cover. One page had a sketch of a little guy with arms abnormally stretched from edge to edge. The caption said, "No one man can span the huge divide between art and science..." The next page had a sketch of about 20 normal people hand-in-hand spanning from edge to edge. The caption read, "...it takes a team."

Planners, architects, civil engineers, landscape architects, etc., etc., etc. all play a role in site and building design. Often it really does take a team.

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So architects need to look at the whole picture as planners do during the design phase. Right?

Absolutely.

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As an architect I can tell you that designing a building without thinking about it in its next largest context is deadly.

Planners and architects have different areas of vision. Planners have to deal with many areas of context while architects are trying to fit their work into context at a smaller scale.

The answer to the question is that both should be equally involved and have equal input to the process.

As a planner, I think that you are right on the money with your answer! I think that too many planners don

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