“Life is architecture, and architecture is the mirror of life” – I.M Pei.

The shelter is one of the most fundamental elements of existence that intimates that any form of housing becomes a necessity. But architecture is a practice of understanding that the house by itself is not a single object but a part of the community that needs to respond to various conditions the environment poses on it. Although architecture is a way of infusing aesthetic sensibilities to a functional element, it offers much more than that. It is a way of how we enable people to connect, interact, and live in a way that makes their life easy and provides an enriching experience. 

Architecture helps in making a building retort to various elements of an environment such as its history, understanding its cultural sensibilities and evolution, geography, its location, accessibility, transport, weather & climate, and many more. Understanding this eventually results in a building that has character and has the efficiency to push through decades that comes ahead of it. Architecture plays a vital role in terms of development and evolution since it is the primary element of any civilization. Civilization is about making people feel a part of the community, and architecture has a way of successfully addressing that need. One of the most famous civilizations of India, The Indus valley civilization, earned its name for its architectural insights in their development and developing a community that was a very significant part of evolution.

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet1
Indus Valley Civilization, Mohenjo Daro ©countercurrents.org

In this 21st century, we, as an ecology, face multiple socio-economic threats and endangerments. Although the solutions should start from an individualistic perspective, the steps need to be on a much bigger scale for radical change and improvement. Architecture as a phenomenon can find innovative large-scale solutions that eventually helps in improving the quality of life. With a thriving population, the type and kind of houses we build are not enough to maintain balance. Hence, the architecture allows us an opportunity to bring in ideas such as a co-living space, collaborative communities providing the environment space to breathe, and the ability to use resources effectively. 

Sustainability has become an inseparable part of our daily vocabulary, and the efforts we put into building a sustainable life will be futile if they are not actively implemented in the way we shelter. Architecture is a field that is not just about the present but the past and future and as well. It is a field in which we understand the environment’s history and provide a feature that manifests everything available in the present to build something that helps the future in maintaining a sustainable environment. Humans are a part of the ecosystem, and architecture understands this concept. Therefore, creates an ecology that balances all life forms. 

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet2
Pixel building, Australia ©Roger Wong-Getty Images

Buildings consume the most energy, and we live in a world of energy crisis. There have been many innovations being invented to address this need, but they are not actively utilized in spaces. Architecture is not about constructing a building rather designing it. It maximizes the use of innovative elements inside a building for it to reach its full potential in terms of energy consumption and resource management. Examples include the use of solar panels to extract solar energy to help power a building or use large windows to minimize day-time consumption. Green buildings contribute a lot to the environment in terms of energy savings and pollution control that is a result of architectural innovation.

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet3
Seine Musicale theater ©Springwise

Development is one of the ultimate goals of any community. With creative planning and efficient design, architecture has a way of reaching that goal effortlessly. There are so many examples in the field of architecture where an effective plan of urban design has helped a community rebuild itself and develop. For example, the Denver union station is a multi-functional transport hub that has helped the community around it to gain significance, provide employment, and improve its accessibility to other parts of the world. Architecture can revitalize an entire community and provide it a fresh outlook and a purpose to build and grow.

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet4
Denver Union Station ©denver.org

Urban planning designs the way we live and connect. It is the way of how we live and survive. It is essential that any building designed has a relationship with its surroundings to create an effective community. Since architecture considers all the elements that factor into designing a building, it has a way of understanding the concept and providing accordingly. Each environment demands a different type of building, and it is vital to understand this fact to build something that is going to be a part of the community. 

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet5
Paris city aerial view ©Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Since architecture is a part of the art community it helps us understand and analyze ourselves, the humans. It allows us to study the way we have evolved over the years, our ideas, practices, beliefs, taste, and preferences. It enables us to differentiate eras through artistic taste and preferences and technological development. It helps us gain insights about our past of where we come from and guides us in a way to move forward. 

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet6
Egypt ©hendersongreenprimary.co.uk

Architecture is a way of seeing the world through an aesthetic lens although it most definitely doesn’t limit to that. Architecture is a way of integrating vital elements of society such as nature, economy, and culture into bringing a product that will be a valuable addition to society. The idea of seeing each building as a piece of the puzzle and not the puzzle itself helps in creating a self-sustaining environment. Architecture has the way of designing your everyday life, it has the caliber of building a whole community from scratch, and that is what makes architecture an absolute marvel and necessity in this modern world.

Architecture- A need or a luxury? - Sheet7
Louvre Museum, Paris ©free-photos-pixabay



Kamalavinayagam is a passionate designer and a self-taught writer whose interests also include films, food and music. She is an avid learner who is here to research, analyze and understand different fields of design and provide her take on how they influence the world.