Client-Led Design and Architecture

How do we genuinely embed individual culture and interest into architecture? Although most great architects use the word ‘culture’ to justify their designs, the true definition of culture is sometimes undermined and only used artificially to promote a particular aesthetic. This strategy generally lacks direct involvement with the client and can sometimes contribute to a loss of individual identity.

Throughout the design development process, it is essential to prioritise inclusive architecture that identifies its audience through varying typologies and shared spaces. Interests and cultures constantly evolve and adapt; a single strategy cannot wholly define them. The objective is to create something through the lens of the client and those using the space.

Identity and Colour – James Cook Primary School

Looking at our very own art room project at James Cook Primary School, we see how this may begin to evolve. Students were asked to participate throughout the design procedure to ensure they were fulfilled with the outcome of their own space. The orange and purple floormat colours were the students’ choice and consequently reflected the appropriate interests of each student.

In doing so, the space becomes culturally distinct and identifies as a space that represents the students using it. In this instance, colour plays a major role in creating this space, reinforcing a great expression of individual identity and the overall school culture. Students begin to learn, develop and engage within spaces that they are comfortable in.

Through various colours, the project reflects upon the diversity of each student to make students feel acknowledged and considered. It becomes evident that identity is not a definitive form but something constantly developing and adapting. And so, by letting the client and the users take control of the space, we begin to open opportunities for greater understandings and adaptations to what individual identity is and what it could be.


Aleyna Bayraktar — Mar 16th, 2023


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