As an empty jar is full of assumptions so is the space. The space can be created and transformed to produce illusions that represent or convey an approach of thinking. The five sense organs through which the human mind interprets knowledge are the five main dimensions in which architecture performs.

Architecture has historically served as an instrument for the depiction of political, social, economic, and ecological movements. It cultivates, reforms, and commercializes common thinking. Architecture emerged as an arsenal of illustrating peace, security, power, and prosperity during the era of human conflict over territory, resources, and energy.

The Psychology of Space: How War Shapes Architectural Design - Sheet1
Space and perception_©Giovanni Anselmo

In times of crisis spurred through war and civil unrest, leaders turn to the psychology of architecture to combat oppressive approaches. An observant grasp of the nation’s cultural, social, economic, and political stability is reflected in the revolutionary architectural style, space, materials, and construction techniques explored.

Pre-War Architecture 

The idea of “pre-war architecture” encompasses architecture crafted from the turn of the 20th century to the Second World War.  Architecture developed as an art form during this time, and creative trends were free to express themselves via intricate ornamentation and excellent craftsmanship. the rooms’ ample space and increased utilisation of natural resources. 

The economies of the European nations were developed, and they frequently rose to prominence globally. Large mansions, intricately designed public areas, and roomy housing projects are all features of the architecture. The individualism in housing spread across the city and people started to build their properties with high ceilings, wooden floorings and ornamented facades. During this time, colonised nations battled to re-establish their national identities through national property and security. Take a more active role in preserving the country’s social and cultural fabric.

Pre-war times saw a continuous increase in industry as well as a rise in the usage of natural building materials like wood. The construction of the two-story homes in the city began. Individuals began to migrate away from traditional farming and towards cities, which began to thrive as major hubs of economic activity. 

As countries hunted for land politics the population of cities started to increase. The islands and the area around the sea become a presentation of trade-based architecture ports and ship buildings.

The Psychology of Space: How War Shapes Architectural Design - Sheet2
Pre-war Architecture_©

Post-War Architecture 

War creates tension on a cultural, social and economic network of the nation which in turn becomes an image of the nation. During the Second World War, the countries were focused on building security and defensive war architecture where elements like thick stone walls for territory protection, sea island reclamation and port building, chemical or nuclear reactor factories, army tents and bunkers.

World War II unveiled the potential of construction and technology and shaped an architecture that is more need-based than luxurious. The spaciousness of rooms started decreasing the city is more concerned with the safety of the lives of people. High rises started growing up which takes less land and accommodates more people. The soaring rise in steel production shows the usage of steel in construction where the cement-concrete industry become a global solution to rapid construction. 

Wars have an impact on political events by reshaping cities and their historical cores. Negatively, this results in the city’s historical centre and the city as a whole losing its purpose and energy. The functional change manifests as the absence of the traits and elements of the urban structure as reflected by sites and landmarks, as well as the connection between the major axes and nodes and the components of the urban fabric (mass and space). The old and new urban sites in the city’s urban structure have a significant and evident impact on guiding urban development strategies and city architecture after the event.

The post-war years ushered in a boom in new construction, much of it Modernist in style and utilitarian in aesthetics. “Post-war buildings are white brick and red brick,” says Davidson.

Post-war Architecture_©

Events from the war altered people’s perceptions and thoughts about the world; cities rose from ruins to become universally revered as historical icons. Following World War II, various kinds of architecture emerged; diverse construction technologies and material exploration moved the world towards the idea of rapid construction, resulting in old ornamentation and spaciousness diminished minimalistic and high-rise structures started to rise which had an impact on human life.

The modern world gave rise to fresh perspectives and ideas that pushed society towards modernism, where technology played a major role. The world is moving away from aesthetically beautiful architecture and towards creating mass and space, which results in economically sound structures. In an effort to build buildings more quickly, modernism also leads to the development of more unsustainable techniques. In broad narrative, architecture can easily depict an event and is shaped around human thought. It’s timeless and time-bound character lends itself to flexibility and innovation. 


Hi so you are (no date) HiSoUR. Available at: (Accessed: 18 December 2023). 

Williams, G. (2019) All about pre-war architecture, HGTV. Available at: (Accessed: 18 December 2023). 

Destructivism: How does war affect architecture? (2022) Available at: (Accessed: 18 December 2023). 

Hanna, A. (2022) 10 ways in which a space affects human psychology, RTF | Rethinking The Future. Available at: (Accessed: 18 December 2023). 

Salman, A.S. et al. (2021) ‘City architecture after war: A study of the impact of the war event on the architecture of the city of Mosul’, IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 779(1), p. 012046. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/779/1/012046. 


Yash, a creative seeker, is interested in incorporating human-centric research into innovative design ideation. Beyond the drafting board, he explores uncharted territories, unravelling stories within structures and cultures. Yash envisions a journey where each architectural stroke unveils narratives resonating with the pulse of humanity, transforming spaces into profound experiences.