Ancient Architecture's Impact on Modern Cities

Ancient Architecture's Impact on Modern Cities


Key Points

  • From sustainable heritage to human-centric design, ancient architectural practices continue to influence modern cities in various ways.
  • Cutting-edge technologies like AR, VR, and 3D printing are resurrecting and preserving ancient architectural marvels with unparalleled precision.
  • The harmonious blend of ancient wisdom and modern innovation paves the way for a future where historical heritage shapes sustainable and human-centered urban spaces.

Ever strolled through a bustling city and felt a sense of déjà vu as you gazed upon towering skyscrapers? It’s as if echoes of ancient civilizations are whispering their timeless secrets into the ear of modern architecture. This is not a fantastical notion but a fascinating reality that shapes the very skylines we cherish today.

What’s truly mesmerizing is how today’s architects blend cutting-edge technology with age-old wisdom to create urban landscapes that are not only functional but also aesthetically enthralling. Ancient civilizations, whether through the grandiose pyramids of Egypt, the columned temples of Greece, or the intricate aqueducts of Rome, have imprinted a legacy that profoundly influences our metropolises.

In a world where sustainability is paramount, it’s intriguing to realize that ancient builders were, in many ways, early advocates of eco-friendly design. From the passive cooling techniques in ancient Egyptian homes to the intricate water management systems of the Indus Valley, these practice are seeing a renaissance. Modern architects are reimagining these time-tested strategies to address today’s environmental challenges, proving that sometimes the old ways truly are the best ways.

Moreover, our communal spaces owe much to ancient wisdom. Think of the cozy, bustling agoras of ancient Greece or the serene cloisters of medieval monasteries. These designs focused on human interaction and well-being are resurfacing in the form of public parks, shared gardens, and pedestrian-friendly zones. It’s a beautiful marriage of past and present working harmoniously for the future.

And let’s not forget the digital age we live in. Advanced technologies such as 3D printing and AI are breathing new life into ancient architectural treasures, preserving them for future generations. This techno-revival is opening up previously unimaginable possibilities, allowing us to protect and even reimagine our historical heritage with unprecedented precision.

Ancient architecture isn’t just a relic of the past. It’s a living, breathing component of our modern lives, shaping the very cities we inhabit. This seamless fusion of past and present lays the foundation for a future where the wisdom of the ancients guides our contemporary ingenuity. Welcome to a world where history and modernity coalesce to inspire urban genius.

Urban Mythology

Reimagining Ancient Symbols in Modern Skylines

As the sun sets behind the gleaming skyline of a contemporary metropolis, a closer look reveals that these towering, steel-and-glass structures are not simply reflections of modern engineering prowess. They are, in fact, the new bearers of an ancient narrative, an urban mythology woven into their very foundations. Cities today are not just geographic spaces; they are stories encapsulated in concrete and steel, their symbolism rooted in the deep reservoir of human history.

Take a moment to admire the subtle nuances, the way modern architects incorporate ancient symbols that evoke mythic tales and legendary gods, breathing life into inanimate materials. From the rounded domes reminiscent of Roman basilicas to the majestic spires that echo Gothic cathedrals, the skyline becomes a storytelling canvas.

Consider the imposing One World Trade Center in New York. Its design intentionally resembles an obelisk, an ancient Egyptian symbol that signifies a ray of the sun and represents a connection between the earth and the divine. This is a spectacular example of how ancient symbolism is repurposed to convey resilience and renewal in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. It’s more than just a building; it’s a modern epic in architectural form, telling a tale as old as civilization itself.

And then there are skyscrapers adopting the art of the Greeks—columns and porticos that might seem anachronistic but convey gravitas and beauty, integrating the old with the new in a seamless dance. For instance, the architectural elements of neoclassicism often emerge amid modern landscapes, grounding futuristic designs in a timeless cultural legacy. Sophisticated yet simple forms, these structures symbolize democracy, strength, and endurance, echoing the values of ancient Athens.

In other parts of the world, we see this reverence for ancient symbols brought to life in ways that balance tradition with innovation. The Shard in London, for instance, is said to resemble a glass spire, but also calls to mind the ancient Egyptian pyramids with its sharp, tapering form. This blend of modern sleekness and ancient grandeur gives it a mystique, a sense of continuity that binds disparate epochs together, thus reinforcing a consistent narrative across time and geography.

Even more striking is the use of celestial motifs in contemporary urban designs. The petrospheres – spherical stone monuments that grace several ancient sites, such as the Callanish Stones in Scotland – are echoed in the spherical observation decks of contemporary structures like the Atomium in Brussels. The modern cityscape, with its calculated atmospheric views, reminds us of ancient societies that understood the cosmos as an intrinsic part of human existence. This merging of celestial mythology with modern technology creates spaces that feel both futuristic and timeless, bridging the cosmic and the terrestrial in a breathtaking interplay.

In Asia, the architectural narrative takes yet another fascinating turn. The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, for example, with its distinctive boat-shaped sky park, recalls the mythical ships of ancient maritime cultures. The elegance of its design captures the reverence that ancient civilizations held for the sea, blending it with state-of-the-art urban luxury. It stands as a testament to how architectural genius can encapsulate the spirit of a place while paying homage to its mythological roots.

Public spaces too are not immune to this mythological reimagining. The design of modern urban parks often borrows elements from ancient landscapes, be it Japanese Zen gardens that translate tranquility and mindfulness into urban retreats, or labyrinthine pathways reminiscent of the ancient Minoan culture, guiding city dwellers through intricate journeys of introspection. These spaces are more than aesthetic luxuries; they are urban sanctuaries that embed ancient wisdom into the daily lives of city inhabitants.

The bridge between ancient and modern extends even to the materials used in construction. Sustainability has become a watchword in contemporary architecture, and many ancient techniques are being revisited under this lens. The use of rammed earth, a technique championed by ancient civilizations, is once again finding its place in modern sustainable buildings. This ancient method imbued walls with stability and resilience, a virtue that resonates with the modern desire for eco-friendly yet durable urban solutions. It’s a perfect reflection of how mythology in material form aligns with current environmental consciousness.

So when we admire modern architectural marvels, we are not just experiencing feats of engineering. We are witnesses to ongoing conversations between the epochs, standing at the intersection of time, where past narratives and future possibilities coalesce. This tapestry of mythological symbols woven into modern skylines isn’t just artistic whimsy; it is a testament to human continuity, showing that no matter how towering our ambitions become, they are always grounded in our shared ancient roots.

Sustainable Heritage

Eco-Friendly Innovations Inspired by Ancient Practices

As these urban narratives unfold, we encounter not only the aesthetic infusion of ancient mythology but also the profound sustainability embedded in bygone architectural practices. Today’s eco-friendly innovations often owe their ingenuity to the wisdom of ancient civilizations, a sustainable heritage that has seamlessly woven itself into the fabric of modern cities.

Take, for example, the principle of passive solar design. Ancient Greeks were astutely aware of the sun’s trajectory and constructed their homes to harness its natural warmth during the winter while deflecting its heat in the summer. This ancient method of climate control has inspired the modern concept of passive house design, where buildings are meticulously oriented and constructed with materials that optimize energy efficiency. The Parthenon in Athens stands as a timeless teacher, demonstrating how the strategic placement of windows and orientation could regulate indoor temperatures millennia ago, a practice that is ingeniously mirrored in today’s green buildings.

The resurgence of green roofs, a hallmark of sustainable urban architecture, also finds its roots in ancient civilizations. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon might be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, shrouded in mystery and myth, but they also stand as an early example of integrating lush vegetation into structural design. Contemporary urban planners have taken a leaf out of history’s book, quite literally, by adding rooftop gardens and green walls to their repertoire. These living constructs not only reduce urban heat islands and improve air quality but also offer aesthetic and psychological reprieves from concrete monotony, bringing splashes of green into the urban jungle.

Water conservation techniques from ancient times have found their way into modern sustainable practices as well. The Roman aqueducts, marvels of engineering that carried water over vast distances, illustrate how ancient societies managed this precious resource with remarkable efficiency. Today, this is echoed in the use of greywater recycling systems in buildings, whereby reusable water is harnessed for non-potable needs, reducing overall consumption. It’s fascinating to note how designers are reinterpreting ancient hydro-engineering to craft solutions for contemporary water scarcity issues.

Equally notable is the Timeless Wisdom of natural ventilation found in ancient buildings, from the wind towers of ancient Persia to the latticework of Rajasthani havelis in India. These structures were artfully crafted to capture and direct wind flows, cooling interiors without the need for modern air conditioning. This method has been reinvented in today’s naturally ventilated buildings, which utilize strategic placement and design elements such as atriums and wind catchers, reducing dependence on artificial cooling systems and significantly cutting down energy use.

There’s also the practice of using locally sourced materials, a principle that ancient builders adhered to out of necessity but which modern architects recognize for its sustainability benefits. The majestic stones of the Egyptian pyramids were sourced from nearby quarries, a practice that minimized transportation energy and costs—a prescient alignment with today’s emphasis on reducing carbon footprints. Modern architectural projects are increasingly emphasizing the use of local materials, not only to echo historical methods but also to foster sustainable building practices that support regional economies and reduce environmental impact.

In the realm of energy-efficient lighting, ancient practices again pave the way. The Romans, for instance, used alabaster windows to diffuse sunlight gently into their spaces, creating well-lit interiors without the use of artificial light. Today, architects employ modern equivalents like light shelves and reflective surfaces to amplify natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting and thereby conserving energy.

Moreover, the remarkably enduring concept of biophilic design, which emphasizes the human connection to nature, has been a cornerstone in ancient architectural practices and is increasingly relevant in contemporary urban planning. The courtyards of ancient Roman and Islamic architecture, often adorned with lush gardens and water features, were not just aesthetic choices but deliberate attempts to integrate natural elements into daily life, promoting well-being and tranquility. Modern architects are resurrecting these practices through the inclusion of indoor plants, natural light, and open spaces within buildings, reflecting a deeper understanding of the psychological and health benefits derived from a connection to nature.

One cannot overlook the application of ancient insulation techniques, such as those used in the cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans. These homes, carved into the rock faces of the American Southwest, provided natural insulation against the extremes of heat and cold, maintaining a relatively stable indoor climate. Today’s architects and builders use similar principles, integrating insulated materials and smart design elements that mimic the natural insulative properties of these ancient abodes.

Furthermore, the use of communal spaces, a hallmark of ancient cities, emerges as a sustainable practice in modern urban design. Old-world town squares and marketplaces were not only centers of commerce but also hubs of social interaction and community cohesion. Today’s cities are rediscovering the value of these communal spaces, designing public plazas, pedestrian streets, and multi-functional hubs that encourage social interaction and foster a sense of community, while also reducing reliance on transportation by creating walkable environments.

These examples highlight a critical realization: many of the sustainable architectural innovations we prize today are not new inventions but rather thoughtful rediscoveries of ancient wisdom. By looking to the past, modern architects and urban planners are not merely reviving old techniques but are also imbuing them with contemporary technological advancements, creating spaces that honor our ancestors and meet our present-day needs. This fusion of ancient practices with modern innovation promises a sustainable future that respects and preserves the time-honored lessons of our architectural heritage.

Human-Centric Design

Ancient Wisdom in Modern Community Spaces

In contrast to the grandeur and aspiration towards the divine that so often characterize ancient structures, there exists a subtler yet equally impactful domain of ancient wisdom: that of human-centric design. Much of the ancient architectural legacy, from the bustling agoras of Greece to the intimate courtyards of Roman villas, was finely tuned to not only accommodate but enhance human experience. This tradition of prioritizing human interaction within built environments is making a marked comeback in today’s urban landscapes.

Modern cities, with their often relentless pace and towering built forms, can exert significant psychological pressure on inhabitants. The antidote? Architects and urban planners are increasingly turning to principles that place human well-being at the core of design. An exceptional exemplar of this shift can be found in the agoras of ancient Greece. These public spaces were the heartbeat of civic life, designed not only for commerce but for conversation, civic gatherings, and day-to-day social interactions. They were welcoming and open, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Modern equivalents can be seen in the rise of accessible and multifunctional public spaces, like community parks, open-air markets, and pedestrian-friendly plazas, all designed to nurture social interaction and community bonding.

Moreover, the role of collaborative housing models, inspired by ancient communal living practices, is gaining traction today. Ancient Romans had insulae, essentially early apartment complexes that housed the urban working class in close-knit communities. Modern architects have drawn from this legacy, increasingly designing spaces that balance private residence with shared communal areas like gardens, kitchens, and recreational spaces. Co-housing communities, for example, are designed to bring people together, fostering a deeper sense of connection and mutual support among residents, while still providing private living spaces.

Another vital concept borrowed from the ancients is that of scale and accessibility. Ancient cities were often built on a human scale, ensuring that no space felt too overwhelming or disconnected from those who walked its streets. The ruins of Pompeii, for example, reveal a city meticulously planned with wide streets, modestly scaled buildings, and frequent public spaces. Today, the concept of human-scale design is returning, emphasizing buildings and environments that are approachable and relatable, fostering a sense of comfort and safety. Walkability studies, which emphasize ease of movement and access within urban environments, are a clear nod to this age-old wisdom.

Natural light and ventilation, as explored earlier, are also crucial in human-centric architectural designs. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks constructed courtyards and atriums that allowed sunlight to permeate living spaces, providing not only warmth and light but also a connection to the outdoor world. Modern designs frequently incorporate large windows, skylights, and open-plan layouts to maximize natural light. It’s about forging a connection with the environment, infusing interior spaces with natural elements that uplift and energize their inhabitants.

Biophilic design is yet another contemporary practice rooted in ancient wisdom. This concept, which harnesses the therapeutic properties of natural elements within built environments, can trace its lineage back to various cultures. The verdant gardens of Babylon, the tranquil oases of Islamic gardens, or the Zen gardens of ancient Japan all speak to an intrinsic human need for connection with nature within our living environments. Modern iterations include vertical gardens, indoor waterfalls, and spaces designed to blur the line between indoors and outdoors, all contributing to reduced stress, improved mood, and enhanced overall well-being.

Spatial psychology also plays a crucial role in human-centric design. A well-structured space can influence behavior, productivity, and emotional state. Ancient builders intuitively understood this, creating spaces that provided a sense of enclosure and openness in measure, guiding human movement in ways that fostered comfort and interaction. Modern-day examples include open-plan offices that enhance collaboration while still offering private nooks for focused work, educational environments that prioritize open, flexible spaces for diverse learning styles, and healthcare environments designed to promote healing by incorporating natural elements and serene spaces.

Significantly, acoustic design, though less often discussed, holds a critical place in creating human-centric spaces. The amphitheaters of ancient Rome utilized sophisticated designs to enhance sound quality and reduce noise pollution, showcasing an acute awareness of auditory experiences within architectural spaces. Today’s designs increasingly focus on using materials and structures that manage sound effectively, ensuring that public and private spaces are both vibrant and serene as needed.

Similarly, sensory architecture, which considers all five senses in the design process, is being revisited from ancient practices. Traditional Japanese houses, or minka, often featured textures, smells (from tatami mats and wooden elements), and sensory experiences meticulously curated to create harmonious living environments. This holistic sensory approach is gaining modern traction, leading to spaces that delight and comfort on multiple sensory levels. The texture of materials, ambient scents, and the play of natural light and shadow are all considered to craft experiences that resonate deeply with occupants.

One cannot discuss human-centric design without addressing the concept of cultural inclusivity within architectural practices. Ancient cities were often melting pots of different cultures and ideas, with spaces designed to be inclusive and celebratory of diverse heritages. Modern cities are echoing this by designing public spaces that reflect and honor the cultural diversity of their inhabitants. This is seen in community centers, cultural hubs, and architectural elements that incorporate and celebrate local and migrant cultures, fostering a deeper sense of inclusivity and community cohesion.

It is clear that tapping into ancient wisdom provides a treasure trove of strategies for enhancing modern living environments. From the communal courtyards of ancient Rome to the meticulously scaled urban plans of Pompeii, these time-honored practices provide valuable insights into crafting spaces that cater to human well-being. These age-old principles are not only relevant but essential as we navigate the complexities of contemporary urban living, striving to create cities that resonate with the needs, aspirations, and well-being of their inhabitants. The path forward is illuminated by the past, showing us that in embracing ancient wisdom, we can design modern spaces that are not only functional but are also places where communities thrive.


How Digital Tools Resurrect and Preserve Ancient Architectural Marvels

Yet, amidst this renaissance of ancient wisdom, the role of technology in resurrecting and preserving architectural marvels cannot be understated. As we navigate the interplay between the past and present, digital tools have emerged as a crucial conduit in this dialogue. They not only help us preserve what once was but also revive its essence in our modern cities.

Picture this: standing atop the Acropolis in Athens, with augmented reality glasses, you see the Parthenon not as a ruin, but in its full ancient glory. Such is the power of modern technology—where the line between history and the present blurs, allowing us a glimpse into a long-gone world. Augmented Reality (AR), is revolutionizing the way we interact with ancient structures. With tools like these, tourists and scholars can appreciate the grandeur and detailed craftsmanship of ancient wonders without the wear and tear of time clouding their view.

Moreover, Virtual Reality (VR) transports us to the heart of civilizations long past. For students and history enthusiasts, it’s nothing short of miraculous to virtually walk through the streets of ancient Rome or the meticulously planned gardens of Babylon. These immersive experiences, powered by technology, offer an unparalleled depth of understanding and connection. Museums and educational institutions are increasingly adopting these tools, providing interactive tours that breathe life into static displays and enhancing the educational value of historical artifacts.

Beyond visualization, Building Information Modeling (BIM) plays a transformative role in preserving architectural heritage. This sophisticated technique allows us to create detailed digital replicas of ancient structures, capturing every nook and cranny with precision. These digital models serve multiple purposes: they are invaluable for restoration projects, help in studying the structural ingenuity of ancient builders, and can even predict potential issues that might arise in maintaining these relics with today’s environmental conditions.

3D Printing technology has also seen groundbreaking applications in the field of architectural restoration. Imagine recreating ornate, centuries-old sculptures with modern precision. 3D printing allows us to reconstruct missing pieces of ancient buildings, providing a new lease on life for structures that seemed irreparably damaged. In some instances, entire sections of historical sites have been rebuilt using this technology, marrying the old with the new in a seamless blend.

Laser scanning, another marvel, offers a non-intrusive way to capture the intricate details of ancient architecture. High-resolution 3D scans of ancient sites provide comprehensive data that can be used for everything from academic research to practical restoration efforts. This technology ensures that even the most delicate and weathered carvings are recorded and preserved in digital perpetuity, providing a database for future generations to explore and learn from.

Additionally, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have become instrumental in understanding the historical context and spatial dynamics of ancient civilizations. By mapping and analyzing geographical data, we can uncover hidden patterns in land use, trade routes, and urban planning that defined ancient cities. These insights are invaluable for urban planners and architects who seek to integrate ancient wisdom into contemporary designs effectively.

Furthermore, artificial intelligence (AI) is making headway in architectural preservation. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of historical and architectural data, identifying patterns and predicting structural weaknesses in ancient buildings. This proactive approach enables preemptive measures, ensuring that restoration efforts are timely and effective, thereby prolonging the life of these historical marvels.

Another fascinating application of technology is seen in drones and aerial imaging. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors are used to survey and document ancient sites that are otherwise difficult to access. This bird’s-eye view offers unique perspectives and comprehensive data, aiding in meticulous planning and restoration efforts.

Interactive exhibits are becoming increasingly prevalent in museums and cultural centers, enhancing the visitor experience manifold. Digital touch tables, holographic displays, and interactive timelines allow visitors to delve into the rich histories of ancient architecture at their own pace. These tech-enhanced exhibits not only engage audiences but also ensure that the ancient wisdom encoded in these structures reaches a broader and more diverse audience.

Technology’s role isn’t restricted to just preservation and restoration. It also plays a pivotal part in sustainable architecture practices inspired by ancient methods. By utilizing environmental simulation software, architects can analyze and optimize the natural cooling, lighting, and heating methods used in ancient buildings. These simulations help in designing modern structures that are energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable, echoing the eco-friendly practices of old.

The integration of virtual and digital archives has revolutionized academic accessibility to ancient architecture. Scholars worldwide can access detailed digital databases, blueprints, and 3D models of ancient buildings, fostering collaborative research and education. This shift democratizes the knowledge, ensuring that anyone with an internet connection can study and appreciate the architectural marvels of yesteryears.

In essence, technology is the bridge that connects the grandeur of ancient civilization with the ingenuity of modern times. It allows us to not only preserve but enhance our understanding of architectural heritage, ensuring that the wisdom of the ancients continues to inform and inspire our urban landscapes.

As we step forward, blending ancient wisdom with modern innovation, the horizon of architectural possibilities expands, promising a future where history and modernity coalesce in a harmonious dance.


Standing on the precipice of this harmonious dance between history and modernity, we find ourselves imbued with a newfound appreciation for the enduring influence of ancient architecture. This exploration has taken us across vast temporal landscapes and myriad cultures, revealing a rich tapestry of architectural wisdom that transcends time. As modern cities evolve, integrating the lessons from our architectural ancestors, we gain a deeper understanding of how ancient designs continue to shape our urban environments in profound and diverse ways.

One cannot overstate the cultural significance of ancient architecture. These structures are more than mere buildings; they are the physical embodiments of the beliefs, values, and ingenuity of the civilizations that birthed them. From the Tower of Babel to the pyramids of Egypt and the grand temples of Greece and Rome, ancient architectures serve as touchstones of human achievement. They remind us that creativity and innovation have long been cornerstones of human society.

Moreover, the infusion of ancient architectural principles into modern urban planning fosters a deep sense of continuity and connection. This bridge between the past and present is particularly evident in how cities incorporate symbolic elements from ancient cultures into their skylines. Our modern skyscrapers and monuments often draw inspiration, if not direct design aspects, from structures like the ziggurats, pagodas, and cathedrals of old, which convey power, spirituality, and community on a grand scale.

Perhaps the most poignant illustrations of this blending are found in sustainable architecture. Traditional methods—natural cooling and heating systems, intelligent use of light, and the reliance on locally-sourced materials—are increasingly relevant in our quest for eco-friendly innovations in modern construction. The ancient Greeks and Romans, for example, were masters of passive solar design, incorporating features that harness natural light and heat with remarkable efficiency. By revisiting these age-old principles, we find that they align seamlessly with contemporary sustainability goals, offering environmentally viable solutions where modern techniques may fall short.

Equally compelling is the focus on human-centric design in ancient architecture, which remains highly instructive today. Ancient builders prioritized community, comfort, and social interaction in their designs. The agora of Athens or the forum of Rome, bustling with communal life, serve as archetypal models for modern public spaces that prioritize human interaction, wellbeing, and accessibility. This legacy informs current trends in urban design, where planners strive to create inclusive and vibrant community spaces that foster a strong sense of belonging.

Meanwhile, the advent of digital technology has added an entirely new dimension to our engagement with ancient architecture. Augmented and virtual realities (AR and VR), Building Information Modeling (BIM), 3D printing, and other technological advancements allow us to reconstruct and preserve these historical treasures with unprecedented precision. They offer us the surreal and thrilling experience of walking through long-lost worlds, bridging millennia-old gaps in ways that were previously unimaginable.

For instance, modern architects can now use laser scanning technology to capture the minutest details of an ancient façade, ensuring that every groove and carving is preserved digitally before physically deteriorating further. These technologies are not just tools but are pivotal in democratizing access to knowledge, making the marvels of ancient architecture accessible to a global audience irrespective of geographical constraints. The integration of these advanced tools into the preservation and study of architectural heritage has arguably catalyzed a revolution in historical conservation.

As we harness these technologies, we embrace an inclusive educational ethos. Digital exhibits and online databases elevate the educational experience, turning passive observation into active participation. Imagine students from disparate corners of the world, sitting in their classrooms or homes, virtually exploring the labyrinthine corridors of an Egyptian pyramid or the serene courtyards of a Japanese shrine. These experiences ignite curiosity and foster a deep respect for cultural heritage, encouraging broader cultural awareness and appreciation.

Ultimately, the enduring legacy of ancient architecture lies in its ability to adapt, inspire, and persist through the ages. The ancient builders, in their quest for beauty and functionality, set a foundation that not only weathered the sands of time but has also proven resilient and adaptable in the face of modernity’s relentless pace. Our challenge and privilege lie in continuing this legacy—ensuring that our cities reflect the wisdom of the ancients while championing the innovations of the future. By melding the time-honored with the cutting-edge, we create urban spaces that are as meaningful and magnificent as the storied civilizations that inspire them.