“Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light”– Le Corbusier

By definition, Architecture has been associated with the design aesthetics and construction of a building. Constituting various elements, Design is considered to be the raw material of architecture but over the course of the last few decades, the perception of architecture has observed a distinct transformation. Architecture is not only the reflection of the creative process of designing a building but it has become a functional tool for understanding and enhancing the economic potential of space. 

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Understanding the city’s economic growth potential with architecture is important _©https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/biomedical-manufacturing-cushions-singapore-s-monthly-factory-production-stats

Trying to keep up with the ever-growing population in the fast-paced world, architecture has turned into something much more than just a practice of aesthetic forms and building engineering. With a housing shortage predicted in the foreseeable future, land as an asset has observed exponential growth in its value. Hence, any form of development or construction affects the economic potential of the land, directly or indirectly.

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Architecture is an important driver of economic growth _©https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-a-bigger-gdp-than-new-york.html

Being an integral part of the economic development of an area, Architecture can be an important instrument for facilitating the economic growth of a region. Architecture contributes to the quality of life and affects almost every aspect of an individual’s life i.e., office spaces where the individual works to earn a living, residential spaces that provide a roof over their head at the end of the day, recreational and open spaces to escape from the reality of life and have a moment to themselves. 

From an economic point of view, a space becomes a crucial element in the marketing game when it is treated as an object of demand and supply. With respect to the advancement of global architecture and urban design, five important roles of architecture as a tool for influencing economic growth can be pinpointed.

Tourism & Architecture

In order to stimulate the development of tourism in a region, architecture can be an important basic instrument. The presence of historically beautiful structures encapsulating the enriching history of the region that resonate with distinctive and emblematic architecture holds the potential to attract a large number of tourists which would substantially increase the revenue of the place. The built structures of a region can have a measurable influence w.r.t the contribution towards the local economy due to their architectural expression and significance.

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Tourism & Architecture _©https://vacayholics.com/architectural-tourism

In a similar fashion, buildings of various forms, shapes, and concepts sometimes become a landmark to that particular region or area like a mark of identity. These landmarks not only help in identifying and navigating around different places but also impact the economy of the place by increasing the significance of the location of the structure in terms of the land prices around it, attracting more population and businesses, the wow factor of the building, etc.

Consumers and Architecture

Commercial, residential and recreational spaces that are supported by consumer-driven designs and aesthetics stimulate the realisation of the potential consumers’ needs. Whether the space is a necessity for the inhabitants of the region or not, the creation of such spaces is primarily based on the architect’s awareness of designing places that retain their expression and the identity of the location while establishing a more spiritual and psychological connection with the region’s population. 

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Consumers & Architecture _©https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22446093/shopping-mall-real-brick-mortar-ecommerce-curbside-pickup

By understanding the primary activities of the inhabitants of the area, a social relation is established between the architect/developers and the consumer society. Unfolding consumer behaviour through this relation and designing the spaces accordingly can have a large positive impact on the economic status of the area by increasing the revenue base and also creating more job opportunities.

Sustainable Architecture

A redefined way of designing buildings to significantly reduce the inflicted damage on the health of its occupants and their surroundings is popularly known as ‘Sustainable Architecture’. This up-and-coming typology of architecture is gaining recognition as the utilisation of the resources and chemically toxic raw materials over the long term is substantially lesser than the conventional methods. Sustainable design of buildings, especially residential or commercial, also features reduced energy usage and maintenance/utility costs benefitting the social, environmental, and economic status of the area.

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Importance of Sustainabiility in Architecture & Economy _©http://legacy.iaacblog.com/maa2014-2015-economics-of-sustainability/2014/12/the-importance-of-sustainability-in-architecture-and-economy/

As renowned French philosopher Henry Lefebvre once stated – The urban environment is a result of current economical circumstances. A space does not simply exist, the space is subject to constant redefinition caused by continuous market conditions.

Architecture shouldn’t just be perceived from an artistic point of view but should also be considered as an inherent part or element of the city’s economic growth potential, social changes, and technological progress. Observing the practice of architecture as just a combination of objects and spaces where people coexist is the one of reasons why the potential of architecture is underestimated even today. Only a fraction of the field’s multidimensional properties that influence the reactions and behaviour of the audience are noticed. With the advancement of technology in the 21st century, the need for recognizing & exploring other essential qualities of architecture to create reality in an innovative way and to appraise the ability to construct an atmosphere that could stimulate the consumers’ behaviour resulting in positive economic growth.

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Rapid growth of cities in 21st Century _©Chait Goli https://www.pexels.com/photo/high-rise-buildings-during-nighttime-2224789/
Reference List:
  • Piatkowska, K. K. (2012). Economy and architecture. The role of architecture in process of building the economic potential of space. Humanities and Social Sciences Review, Vol.1, No. 2, 2012, pp. 549-555. Available at: https://iranarze.ir/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/6863-English-IranArze.pdf  [Accessed: 01 November 2022].
  • Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia (IaaC) Educational Programmes (2016). The role of architecture in Economic Development [online]. Available at: https://www.iaacblog.com/programs/the-role-of-architecture-in-economic-development/ [Accessed 03 November 2022]
  • Scottish Executive Social Research (2006). A literature review of the social, economic and environmental impact of architecture and design. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Education Department. Available at: https://www.culturehive.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Scot-Exec-architecture-2.pdf [Accessed 04 November 2022]
  • The Spruce (Kristin Hohenadel) | Dotdash Meredith Publishing (2022). What is Sustainable Architecture? [online]. Available at: https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-sustainable-architecture-4846497 [Accessed 05 November 2022]

A dedicated spatial planner enthusiast by day and a wishful writer by night. He has a keen interest in the field of environmentally sustainable architecture and integration of sustainable transportation as an approach towards climate-responsive planning of cities. He enjoys watching Sci-fi documentaries/films and pondering over complicated concepts of life as well as the occasional sitcoms from time to time.