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Assael Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

Why Architects Should Start Being a Little More Selfish

Why Architects Should Start Being a Little More Selfish - Image 1 of 4
© Unsplash user Cassie Boca

The Scottish liberal economist and philosopher Adam Smith once argued: “To feel much for others and little for ourselves, to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.” While we may have come some way since the 1700s, selfishness is still viewed by many as one of humanity’s ugliest traits.

Yet with the rise of mindfulness and the burgeoning self-help and life-coach industry, the view towards selfishness—more palatably referred to as "self-care"—is changing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

How to Use Mindfulness to Escape the Stresses of Architectural Life

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Studio for Yoga-Kamadhenu / Carolina Echevarri + Alberto Burckhardt. Cundinamarca, Colombia. Image © Juan Cristobal Cobo

Mental wellbeing is a real topic of concern in architecture. A recent survey by The Architects’ Journal revealed that over 52% of architecture students expressed concern regarding their mental health.[1] When one considers the long hours, the competitive nature of the course, as well as the sheer duration of study, this perhaps isn’t that surprising. The “all-nighter” attitude of most architecture schools exacerbates the problem, as studies show a lack of sleep reduces the mind’s resilience to issues such as anxiety and depression.[2]

Yet this aspect of the architectural education system isn’t showing any sign of changing. What can architectural students (and their professional counterparts) do to minimize the impact that architecture has on their psychological wellbeing? I would argue that the answer, at least partly, can be found in the practice of mindfulness.

Dreamland Margate / Assael Architecture

Dreamland Margate / Assael Architecture - Image 6 of 4
Courtesy of Assael Architecture

Assael Architecture recently shared its vision for the Dreamland Margate, one of Britain’s most famous seaside amusement parks, into whether Thanet District Council will be allowed to compulsorily purchase the former fun park. Assael is the fifth architectural practice to be appointed and the only one to protect and reuse the Grade II* Cinema and Scenic Railway as part of a low density housing scheme designed to attract inward investment. Assael’s scheme for Margate Town Center Regeneration Company (MTCRC) will provide a vibrant cultural and amusement hub surrounded by its residential scheme of about 474 homes, comprising mostly high quality terraced houses. More images and architects’ description after the break.