Imagine a world without Architecture! Imagine a world where humans coexist with nature and its unadulterated form, where modern buildings and concrete jungles do not encroach on the landscape of nature. Even at the beginning of life on earth, Homo Sapiens were aware of architecture without being conscious of it, they craved light on dark nights, a cool breeze in hot weather, serene shelter in sunny summer, and cosy warmth in cold winter, and it is all possible because of the architecture of nature. Our emotions are connected with the spaces we are present in and spaces come with architecture. However, can human existence truly thrive without architecture? This article explores the concept of whether the world is devoid of architecture can exist or not.
“A building is always the container for human life and action and agency, but it is also the meaning itself contained.” (Stead #)
It suggests that a building is more than just a physical structure that houses human life and activities. It implies that a building embodies a deeper significance or symbolism beyond its functional purpose. On one level, a building acts as a container, providing shelter and physical space for human life to unfold. In this sense, the building is a vessel for human life and action. However, the statement also suggests that the building itself carries meaning. It implies that architecture can potentially express and communicate ideas, values, and cultural significance. A building can embody symbolic or metaphorical meanings, reflecting individuals’ or communities’ beliefs, aspirations, or identities. The design, form, materials, and spatial organisation of a building can evoke emotions, convey messages, or make statements about the society or culture in which it exists. It recognises that the architecture of nature has the power to shape and influence the human experience.
Architecture is directly related to the psychology of human beings. We feel the presence of architecture through our 5 senses. Architecture has visual and acoustic impacts, can influence the circulation and concentration of scents in our surroundings, provides physical structures that we can touch and interact with, and creates spaces like restaurants, cafes, and the kitchen,, which contributes to the sense of taste. We experience this all with the presence of architecture created by us human beings. However, we can also feel all this in the absence of architecture because it is present in the architecture of nature and is our basic need.
“A bridge made from the roots of rubber trees, in the village of Mawlynnong, India. Indigenous and ancient architectural practices are having a revival as people reconsider the failures of Modern design.” (Saval and Watson)
The bridge is made of natural elements itself, giving us the experience of all 5 senses, witnessing the beautiful and strong bridge created naturally, hearing the sound of roots moving when wind flows through the bridge, and feeling the rough, smooth, sticky texture of leaves and roots, smell of earth and water which is incomparable to any smell, enjoying the available food present in the forest within nature. Such an experience can only be achieved with the presence of architecture of nature.
Architecture shapes not only physical spaces but also social interactions. Without fixed structures, human gatherings would take on a different dynamic. Public spaces would shift from squares and plazas to natural settings like forests, mountains, or riversides. Community bonds might strengthen as people create makeshift gathering places and adapt to the environment. The absence of architectural divisions promotes a more egalitarian society, as there would be no symbolic structures representing the power of hierarchy. Architecture has long been celebrated for its aesthetic value. However, in a world without architectural wonders, the definition of beauty would be reshaped. Natural landscapes, untouched by human hands, would become the new canvases for artistic expression. Humans would learn to appreciate the raw beauty of nature, finding solace and inspiration in the untouched vista. The absence of man-made structures might also lead to a renewed appreciation for the simplicity and elegance of natural materials.In the absence of permanent structures, a nomadic lifestyle might prevail. Humans would live in mobile shelters reminiscent of ancient civilisations or indigenous communities. Tents, yurts, or other portable dwellings would provide temporary adobes, allowing individuals and communities to move freely and connect with the natural ecosystem. Human existence without architecture presents a captivating and thought-provoking concept. While architecture has undeniably shaped our world and provided us with countless benefits, a world without it offers opportunities to reconnect with nature, embrace a nomadic lifestyle, and foster resourcefulness and innovation. It challenges us to redefine our relationship with the environment, promoting sustainability and a deeper appreciation for the inherent beauty of our planet. Although purely hypothetical, considering a world without architecture encourages us to reflect on our role in shaping our surroundings and the potential for alternative ways of existing. Architecture and Human existence go hand in hand. In the absence of architecture created by humans, humans will be connected to nature, and nature itself is a great Architect; humans had experienced the architecture of nature before at the beginning of life when homo-sapiens came to existence; architecture also came to existence naturally. And nowadays, humans have started embracing the architecture of nature and going towards sustainability.