Architecture and software

Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.

— Louis Kahn

This got me thinking about the similarities between architecture and building digital products that people inhabit. Digitally we deal with different laws of physics and movement, but building digital spaces is just as much about realizing how someone will move through it. Our software's boundaries and pathways determine what can or can't be done, and how that makes people feel within them, in the same exact way that physical walls do.

We have to think of the exact activities that will take place within our spaces. Are we a public square that will limit private influence, and breed open discourse and free use by all? Are we an office — and what work will be done there, and how freely will people move through our “building” — and is an office even worth building? Are we a studio, where we need to let enough light in and be able to see the trees outside, and the space itself needs to inspire us?