And a personal view to urban architectural design


Underneath the foundations of great projects are buried the seeds of possibility, waiting for the right conditions to come about. Through design, we create the right climate for new possibilities. Sothat people can rise to it.

Growing up in the desert I had nothing. One day a thin tall girl gave me a pencil. Thirty years later I am still drawing. Freehand! Escaping all restrictions of computer aided design.

While my talent came to me as a gift in the desert, my profession comes with a responsibility. Because designing buildings forms organisations. Designing factories shapes businesses. Designing houses nurtures family life. Designing interiors forges privacy and intimacy in relationships. Designing traffic systems reduces conflict and maximizes throughput. Designing landscapes improves health. Designing meeting rooms facilitates participation. Designing public street furniture allows for wonderfully spontaneous encounterings. Thats what urban architecture has always meant to me, and that's why I had to get involved somehow in the constructive field that's shaping our built environment.

Unfortunately nobody lives forever. We are but dust, short lived, in the vast expansiveness of the universe. But architecture remains. My passion for characteristically monumental designs is furthered by my rich Eastern as well as equally rich Western cultural background. So it's only natural to me, to mix both. These are originals in which both identities are unconsciously fused, into one!

The iconic nature of these fusions speaks to the imagination of clientele, opening dialogue in search of timelessness. Functionality. And eternal beauty.

But in the end everything is about being happy. The Dutch word "stede" (as in Stedebouw) is a welcoming place, where you are safe and happy! So I feel we must now take distance from large-scale, repetitive, top-down urban developments (Stedenbouw with an N) and move towards a more small-scale, diversified, organic and bottom-up urban architecture (Stedebouw without N). Moving away from the scale of, and more towards the soul of, spatial planning.

All that we have, all that we see and all that there is, is build upon and is given to us, as a collective gift, from past generations. So with the same visionary look ahead I also respect the existing context.

Often, we designers become commodities and must sell what we are told by clientele. Let us rise beyond and remain true to ourselves. And so for me, urban architectural design is not a business, but a profession. It's not a commodity, but a calling. And my biggest challenge is now, how to serve the community, through the vehicle of my ongoing projects at hand.

Sam Eftegarie
Urban Architect

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