Lecture outlines value of architects

Ganit Mayslits Kassif emphasized the importance of purpose behind design in her lecture. | Mary Curtis/The Daily Cougar

Israeli architect Ganit Mayslits Kassif channeled some heroic inspiration during a lecture at the Gerald D. Hines Architecture theatre on Tuesday.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Mayslits Kassif, concerning the importance of environmental involvement in architectural design.

Considered one of the leading architects in Israel, Mayslits Kassif and her eponymous Mayslits Kassif Architecture firm have received numerous recognitions from around the world.

She opened the lecture by addressing a well-known concern of global warming and what responsibilities are held by those in the architecture profession when planning to fill up a space.

“We need to fully understand the power that we have in our visions; the impact that our lines (of design) are carrying with them,” Mayslits Kassif said. “I always say to my students that they should treat their lines with great care — because we are in this very special profession that our lines are turning into a reality that other people live in.”

Although many elements of architecture may go unnoticed, Mayslits Kassif explained that a great deal of thought should be given to the purpose of each design.

“There’s a need to rethink our role as architects, our tools and our scope in order to lead the environment,” she said.

In another part of her presentation, Mayslits Kassif described the process of designing a dock as a public space. Though some consider the project simple, Mayslits Kassif said, a number of considerations are taken into account during the design process. Criteria such as making interactive spaces and accommodations to the public are crucial.

“Every piece of public space is a vital resource,” Mayslits Kassif said.

She also used the University Center as an example of a design with socializing purposes, explaining that the structure is always filled with students because its was designed to be an interactive space.

Throughout campus, she continued, there is a strategy behind each element — every fountain, art sculpture, flowerbed and bench is put into place with a purpose.

Mayslits Kassif also gave guidance to all students pursuing a profession in architecture and said the environmental ideas should continue to evolve as young professionals join the field.

“I think if we want to lead the environment, we have to be multidisciplinary,” Mayslits Kassif said. For me, the exciting aspect of our profession is that we (her partner) both grow as initiators, strategists, developers and designers.”

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