There is almost never a time when we are not aware of architecture, even if only subconsciously. Each time we climb a staircase we encounter a marvel of architectural design that we are so used to, we don’t give it a thought. In school we may learn the three conditions that the Roman Vitruvius set out as the intent of architecture: “firmness, commodity and delight.” The first two simply require that the building not fall down and also be useful. It is the third that beckons us to ask what fulfills us in life. Is an architect one who creates pretty baubles — a staircase that takes us from here to there — or a path on which civilization ascends?