In architecture, “visual perception” describes how people experience and perceive the built environment through their visual senses. It has to do with how people seem to take in, process, and interpret visual information like colours, shapes, patterns, textures, lighting, and spatial relationships in architectural spaces, as shown in Picture 01_ Mexican neighbourhood turned into Macromural, a precise example of how visual perception can be made into a community and decrease the crime rate in the locality by using colours wisely. Architects manipulate lighting, texture, scale, and materiality to create a sense of depth, contrast, and movement, among other design elements, to create an environment that enhances visual perception. Visual perception is essential to the success of any architectural project, as it affects users’ overall functionality, aesthetics, and emotional response. Visual perception is essential because it directly impacts how people perceive and engage with the built environment. 

Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet1
Mexican neighbourhood turned into Macromural_©Bloomberg

A well-planned architectural space can give its users a sense of ambience, assurance, and harmony. Perception in architecture plays a significant role in shaping users’ physical and mental well-being, even through using colours. Architects must carefully consider both the physiological and psychological impacts of perception in their designs to create spaces that are functional and promote their users’ health and well-being. 

Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet2
Grid Diagram_©Wordpress

Irregular forms and regular forms can have different impacts on perception in architecture. Irregular forms are shapes and forms that deviate from regular geometric shapes, such as circles and squares. They can create a sense of dynamism, movement, and energy, as well as a sense of uniqueness and individuality. Irregular forms can also evoke emotions and feelings, such as surprise, curiosity, and excitement. However, irregular forms can also create a sense of disorientation and confusion, especially if they need to be better integrated into the surrounding environment. Regular forms, on the other hand, are shapes and forms that follow a regular geometric pattern, such as circles, squares, and triangles. They can create a sense of stability, balance, and harmony, as well as a sense of order and predictability. 

Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet3
Thinking Diagram_©Wordpress

Regular forms can also provide a framework for the design of the surrounding environment, making it easier to understand and navigate. However, regular forms can also create a sense of monotony and boredom, especially if they are overused or poorly executed. Overall, both irregular and regular forms can effectively create a desired perception in architecture, depending on the intended function and context of the space. Architects must carefully consider the impact of irregular and regular forms on perception and how they can be used to enhance the user experience.

In the modern era, where people think, altering is not an option; instead, we must adhere to the culture and advance the culture in all our designs in a world where change is essential and required. Aspects of design from the past, like how the streets were originally planned, can also be carried forward. Since every city has an old neighbourhood inside it, curvilinear streets are a constant feature, creating fascinating corners that are initially invisible to the naked eye when standing in front of the street. While if it were a straight road, everything would be in view, what was ahead would be obvious, and there would be no interest or happening. Ar. Sanjay Puri once mentioned in his article and in one of the lectures I heard why he always uses curves in his designs. The answer immediately conveys the same aspect as mine: The organic nature of these streets in any old city is inspiring due to this nature, of not knowing what one will experience or see next, of each part getting a unique identity.” The design is, seemingly to the naked eye, erratic, as Puri explains, and serves multiple purposes of capturing sunlight and improving sight. According to studies, a building’s architectural form greatly influences how people feel about and interpret it (Bustami, 1981; Lee, 1985; Stamps, 1994). Curvature has special properties that set it apart from other architectural forms. Some researchers have observed curvilinear forms to be peaceful, joyful, and unwinding in architecture and various other fields.

Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet4
Street layout of Desai ni Pol Ahmedabad showing curve lanes_©Case Study
Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet5
Street layout showing straight lanes_©Google Maps
Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet6
Zaha Hadid Heydar Aliyev Centre conceptual sketch_©Pinterest

Zaha Hadid was an architect known for her unique and innovative designs that often challenged conventional notions of space and form. Her designs often considered the user experience and visual perception in various ways. User experience was a key consideration in Hadid’s designs. She sought to create functional, comfortable, and engaging spaces for users. Her designs often incorporated sweeping curves, undulating forms, and organic shapes to create a sense of movement, dynamism, and energy. She used innovative materials and lighting to enhance the visual impact of her designs and create a sense of drama and excitement. Her designs often challenged conventional notions of space and form, and she sought to create memorable and unique user experiences.

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects_©Arch Daily
Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet8
Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects_©Arch Daily
Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet9
MAXXI National Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects_©Arch Daily

On the other hand, Sanjay Puri’s designs often incorporate strong geometric shapes, patterns, and textures to create a sense of dynamism and energy. He pays great attention to the site’s context, incorporating local materials and cultural references into his designs. His buildings often incorporate natural light, ventilation, and open spaces, creating a healthy and comfortable user environment.

Importance of Visual Perception In Architecture - Sheet10
Context in Architecture by Sanjay Puri_©FOAID YouTube
Context in Architecture by Sanjay Puri_©FOAID YouTube

While both architects consider user experience and visual perception in their designs, Zaha Hadid’s designs often push the boundaries of what is conventionally considered possible in architecture. In contrast, Sanjay Puri’s designs incorporate a more contextual approach, blending local materials and cultural references with strong geometric forms.

In conclusion, visual perception is important in all design and architectural projects. Architects and designers can create useful, aesthetically pleasing, and emotionally engaging spaces by understanding how people perceive and interact with the built environment. To create a logical and meaningful whole, visual perception requires manipulating various elements like lighting, colour, texture, and scale. By considering visual perception, architects can design usable, cosy, and enjoyable spaces for all users. Space might not be as practical, effective, or aesthetically pleasing as it could be without careful consideration of visual perception. Users may experience negative emotional reactions, poor productivity, and limited accessibility. Therefore, architects and designers need to consider visual perception in their designs to create spaces that meet the needs and expectations of their users.

In summary, visual perception is an essential component of design and architecture that greatly improves the user experience. To design spaces that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and emotionally engaging, architects and designers must consider visual perception. By doing this, they can design welcoming, cosy, and enjoyable environments for all users, which will ultimately boost both the success and satisfaction of the design team and the users.


Raivati grew up in Ahmedabad, India and have always been fascinated by people, places and stories. She has completed three-year diploma course in Architecture, Bachelors of Design (Major : Space Design) from Anant National University, and currently pursuing my Master’s in Architecture and Urbanism which is focused on Computational Design, Robotic Digital Fabrication and Urban Design from University of East London. She always looks forward to expand through experiencing and learning different things while working, travelling and capturing the essence in every possible place she can. She is skilled in AutoCAD, Maya, Sketch-up, hotoshop, Architectural Writing, Design Research, Architectural and Interior Design. She has worked with various Architectural and Interior Design firms in Ahmedabad, India and in London, United Kingdom like Sachin Gandhi and Associates, Accanto Interiors, etc. She has a keen interest in Urbanization, and about how cities get evolved due to people and identities. Being in this process, she has learned to manage time and challenges and always plans to engage herself with work which gives happiness and learnings.