resilient design for people who are drawn to the sea.

David Brooke Robinson


April 11, 2021

Thalassophile /THəˈlasəˌfīl/ – noun, ORIGIN: Greek

  1. A person who loves and is magnetically attracted to the ocean and the sea
  2. A person drawn to the ocean in particular, and bodies of water in general

An ongoing debate in the art and architecture world is whether architecture is truly considered an art. Many would argue that art is art because it is a free expression of human creative skill and imagination, unencumbered by any set of strict criteria, regulations, or requirements, beyond that of the creativity and free thinking of the individual artist.

As an architect, I would like to think of myself as an artist, yet my profession requires me to consider the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of the buildings I design. In fact, I embrace the idea that my work is enlightened by the needs, desires, and aspirations of human beings. It is frankly, one of the inspirational foundations of great architecture and design!

Blah blah blah...what ever does this have to do with people who love and are drawn to the sea?

Well, for starters, my architecture firm draw, operates from a manifesto of core beliefs. And one of those beliefs is to “design for people”. So, a deep consideration for, and a conscious effort to design for the human condition is something that is fully embraced by our practice. And these thalassophiles are the ones who shape the culture of the places we design and build. They are a resilient bunch...local dreamers, visionaries, and business owners. They are moms, dads and children; artists, musicians and actors; surfers, life guards, and fishermen. They are the greatest advocates of their communities, protectors of the environment, and defenders of their turf...and surf. And dare I say, they even include the seasonal visitors and day-trippers, the often-maligned “bennies” and “shoobies”.

A moment to unwind and reflect – sunrise at Spring Lake beach, NJ.

Yes, these are the people we design for.

And in this blog, we will be telling the story of designing resilient buildings for resilient people...for thalassophiles if you will. We look forward to sharing what we know and love about resilient coastal architecture, the psychology of space, designing for human ergonomics, and many other cool insightful ideas, designed to enhance the human experience along the shoreline.

We also plan to interview local people, businesses, and organizations…those that influence and shape the coastal region in which we design and build. And we hope to inspire all of our thalassophile friends to share their interests, passion, and perspective for living and loving life by the sea too. For it is people that shape and give so much meaning to a particular place.