Inside is the new Outside

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, the cofounder of Snøhetta, reasons that architects must begin considering indoor space as just as public as outdoor space.

Maybe with the sole exception of railway stations, public space is generally understood as outdoor space. Whether in the United States or in Europe, especially now with heightened concerns around security, there seems to be this determined way of privatizing everything that is indoors, even as we are increasingly aiming to improve access to public space outdoors. But in the layered systems of our cities of the future, we will need to focus on the public spaces that are found inside buildings—and make them accessible.

Maybe the outdoor can be programmed in such a way that it unlocks the possibility of the public spaces indoors. There’s always a bit of urban planning in designing interiors. There’s always a bit of interior design in an urban space. There’s no question that interior architecture is professionalizing itself as well—interior architects are not seen as decorators of interior space anymore. The same is true of landscape architects.

I am practicing Architect in my day job for Stantec, an international integrated consultancy. We have the benefit of bringing all types of design and engineering expertise to our Urban Design and Architecture. Thorsen’s statement is true, you can really create exceptional design when you fully collaborate in this way.

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