This is the physical manifestation of society’s hope for civilization. The most successful building is not just used as a shed or a living box. Culture allows us to assert our existence to ourselves so that we are not just “now”, but-essentially-forever.

We are very aware of different periods. Due to their particularity, differences in methods, and differences in results, we can identify every moment of time in reality.

There is no doubt that the purpose of teaching history in the context of architecture is to bring these materials to life, to present them, and to be inspired and learned.

Urban Engagement and Building Better Cities 

Every day, millions of people get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then trek through their cities to go to work, school, appointments, or anything that happens that day. This is one of the unique characteristics of urban life-the relative proximity to home and work, and a series of interconnected sidewalks and paths connect the city and promote pedestrian travel.

But how many of these urban travellers, this two-legged commuter, have evaluated their surroundings? How many of us just have a vague idea of what passes along the way, from point A to point B? To what extent are we disconnected from the surroundings that make up our environment? What motivates this visceral feeling of living in the city?

If something is well designed, you don’t need to add anything or delete something-any of these behaviours will weaken the whole. In this sense, the function is important, but all these other aspects are also important and they cannot be separated.

Architects can manipulate size and proportion, form, colour, and texture.

Urban Engagement and Building Better Cities - Sheet1
Taj Mahal_

Before joining the building, no one understood the value of space and the reason for designing it. Let us take the Taj Mahal as an example. To be sure, before joining architecture, no one knew why it was an architectural miracle and one of the seven wonders of the world. Even if someone wants to know curiously, no one knows the development and factors that led to such a beautiful design. Everyone just saw this structure, and did not question the existence of the design, even about the living environment, no one questioned why and how, and its impact on us.

Have you ever wondered why white marble is used as a building material? Or how is the arch designed? Or how is the dome designed to be spherical? Or how is the design developed? No right? This is the main difference between before and after the architecture.

When students understand the concept of ‘design’ and the elements and principles of design, they will learn more about the surrounding environment and begin to pay attention to the subtle details. During this time, they were also introduced to famous architects to understand their design techniques, strategies and principles, why architects use such strategies and the factors/reasons that led them to design. These studies will stimulate students’ curiosity, they will understand why and how to be better and criticize.

Case Study 

Urban Engagement and Building Better Cities - Sheet2
Psychogeography, Urban Engagement and Building Better Cities_Mirvish+Gehry Torontof

Professional planner and land manager Nigel McGurk believe that the Lowry Museum in Manchester is a good design case. He asserts, “The creators of Lowry have created a new community with a true sense of place by combining galleries with restaurants, theatres, shops, and bars. ”Since Toronto is developing faster than almost all cities in North America (second only to New York), it is very important to understand the ecology of the site and consider how development can have a positive impact on the psychology of the local population. Like the Lowry Museum, Mirvish+Gehry will be a mixed-use building with galleries and shops inside, a theatre and a bar nearby, and more commercial and retail space to be filled. Frank Gehry is also very aware of the possible psychological impact of high-rise buildings on pedestrians on the ground, and decided to design Mirvish+Gehry accordingly. A rigid rectangular obelisk looks spectacular from the street, but the podium, different volumes and cantilevered top help break Mirvish+Gehry’s line of sight, making them a welcome sentinel in the city skyline. The project also has facade changes from top to bottom. On the ground floor, Mirvish+Gehry ranges from the exterior of the historical warehouse on one side to the modern, gleaming glass entrance on the other. Each side of the building provides passers-by with a different appearance and new opportunities to ask and participate in the building.


Dl, V. S. M. (2012) The role of architecture in humanity’s storyThought Economics. Available at: (Accessed: June 26, 2022).

Mani, M. (2021) “How has Architecture changed your perspective,” ForBuddingArchitects, 6 July. Available at: (Accessed: June 26, 2022).

Spence, C. (2020) “Senses of place: architectural design for the multisensory mind,” Cognitive research: principles and implications, 5(1), p. 46. doi: 10.1186/s41235-020-00243-4.


Akshita Gahlaut is an architect based in Delhi who strongly believes in the ability of the architecture and research combined with design thinking. She is an avid learner who has a penchant for understanding different fields within the architecture and aspires to promote sustainable development.