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What inspires architecture/design? From a young age, as aspiring designers, we are asked that question. It could be by virtue of our own mind, a professor on the first day of architecture school, or a fellow design professional while interviewing for that sought after position. What we don’t realize is that there is no one right answer. A specific detail that may solidify a building façade, may be insignificant to someone meandering down a landscaped path. The emotion one would like to invoke while sitting on a piece of furniture, may be felt differently by someone of different gender, age, or culture. Does that façade detail contribute to the symmetry or asymmetry of the building? Does the landscaped path lead you to points of reflection and revelation? Is the piece of furniture embracing or does it only accommodate you for a short pause? Was the feeling these elements created timeless, or was it evocative of an era? As designers we live and die by the details, and we hope that they bring inspiration to others.

Pay attention to basic shapes and sizes of the small details, and then think about how putting all of those together creates the bigger picture. How the light reflects or is absorbed from the building, or from the building lobby. What are the expressions on people’s faces walking through the downtown core, City Garden, or your neighborhood? Design comes in endless forms, and the inspiration is often found in the most unsuspecting place. Nature, light, movement, people, energy, and fashion (to name a few) all play an important role in architecture and the built environment.

So, what inspires you? Look around, not down. Explore this great city of ours and find out. Then share with the rest of us on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter. #STLInspiresarchitecture

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