Common Place

Buildings save lives.  The word shelter implies protection, from the terrors of the outside and uncontrollable world, from animals, weather, hunger, loneliness, floodwaters, extremes, the forces of opposition that wish us harm.  They house functions that do more than intercept the bad things, and incorporate the good, promoting health and sanity.  Keeping clean is easier when insects, dust, mud, foul air, and germs are kept outside.  Preparing food, binding wounds, taking care of children, the elderly and frail… these jobs are done more safely in buildings than on the battlefield.

Buildings do more, of course.  Education and training inside the right structure can reduce distractions, improve concentration, and archive vast libraries of knowledge.  Joining public servants together in an anthill of activity leads them to exchange greetings, and meetings, and influences policies for the future.  (Notice that in spy dramas, clandestine meetings always happen outside.)

By providing a gathering point, a place of exchange, a commons, and a beacon, buildings welcome and serve people.  They inspire others to exercise their own creativity: preparing food in a kitchen, songwriting in the shower or fiction writing on a sunny windowsill, acting in a black box theatre.  Or even designing a better building, a better city, and a more wondrous future.