Hi I am a 24 years Master student of the faculty of Architecture.
I think that understanding the context is the most important factor in designing architecture. No building is a solitary object, and derive their meaning only from how they engage their environment. I would like to focus on designing architecture that is realised through understanding of its immediate environment and users. If people feel connected to their surroundings they might care more about it and treat it in a better more sustainable way.
Maybe understanding the context is not enough. It is beauty that enables people to get emotionally involved with a spatial environment. Beauty is only achieved when it addresses all the senses: sight, touch, smell, sound, taste. These are the shortcuts to our emotions, they allow no understanding, and therefore create very strong memories.
As Marten de Jong stated in his lecture for the course Delft Lectures on Sustainability: 'Whatever they may tell you: it is beauty that saves buildings from destruction.'