I’ve been working on this piece for a silly amount of time and hope you don’t mind if I share.
Why don’t we design great places? “I propose an unlikely culprit: words.”
“Design is visual. Words are not. Yet architects justify their work primarily in words, and municipalities govern design with long lists of regulations… The outcome is too often stultifying.”
Instead, I argue, we should train designers like we train violinists. They should learn to recognize what a great, human-friendly place feels like, just like a violinist learns to play in tune. Both are tacit skills, but they are real skills. And we badly need people who trust that this is a real skill, and learn how to do it, because everyone deserves to live in communities the feel like wonderful places for humans to live.