The Organic Architecture Guild

A Sustainability Union

Cultural and Historical Connections

Cultural and Historical Connections: Creating a Sense of Place


Whether an existing site is completely immersed and surrounded by places of historical interest or totally devoid of such background, it is important to understand the roots of a place; how it came to be, who were the specific people or events that shaped its evolution, and what are its characteristic features. There is always useful background information that can be learned about a place and this information is the basis for thoughtful project planning. Information that surfaces represents the basis for understanding the resources that can be used in planning, programming, and connecting a project to a specific character that exists in the local that a project is planned. Tapping into, expanding and enhancing the character of a place is rudimentary in the socio-political as well as economic success of any development’s endeavors.

Despite occupants who change over time, organic developments are designed to evolve with the decades and not be obsolete, adding to the economic viability of a project through its cultural connections. Designs may blend or provide sharp contrast to a cultural norm stylistically, however, the principle here is not one of architectural surface treatment or window dressing. Organic Architecture is concerned with the functioning spaces within a development where people’s connections to each other and to the environment they inhabit are meaningful and well integrated.

History is made every day and developers and planners should recognize current trends and factors effecting their local society so that their projects can help to enrich and lead in the direction that is appropriate for that particular time and place, thereby solidifying its effect on a community's future.

Much of 20th and  21st century development in America is devoid of critical cultural connections relating to specific places and in this wake is a standard of development that is equally monotonous and meaningless. Yet, America is rich with a diverse historical and cultural fabric and each region has something very special to contribute to the way architectural inspiration and meaning is brought about. These are the re-connections that Organic Architecture seeks out and it requires a special attention to research and a creative care in crafting the story line for each new project and thus enhancing our own places of dwelling as our primary cultural resources.