Stories are all around us, making us a part of the wide extents of history and its pragmatic future. Stories are the essence of imagination that displays as an alternative reality before our eyes, may it be in terms of a movie, book, lyrics of a song, or even a visual piece of art. 

Echoes and Visuals of The Evolution of Culture, History, and Modernism is Best Displayed in Architecture That Withstands the Sands of Time  

The person’s imagination becomes a narrative that gives a unique perspective to the mundane life we have. Hence it becomes quite necessary for us to have stories to keep us enthralled. Every experience, memory is etched into the mind as a fragment of a tale, this leaves an impression, the one that could be shared and would help better connect. Stories represent these fragments drawn from imagination and perceptions.

Similar to other creative fields, the story becomes the main narrative to guide the audience throughout the journey of what the storyteller wants to share and synchronize with the audience. Architects are known for their concepts and ideas through visual aids that help viewers analyze and understand the spatial representation much better. (Wallace, 2007)

The scope of interconnection between the tale of stories and the art of architecture raises multiple questions. Can architecture express and unfold narratives too, to sequentially allow the user to experience spaces? 


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Wordcraft Future of Storytelling_© BIG_youtube

Architecture is an integral evolving genre in the creative fine arts. It is a scientific expression of compelling visual art and is a media to encase the 3d spatial arrangement based on the user’s needs. The usage of traditional or modern methods to express the visual impact of the result is a must-have for any architect. The ideas need to resonate through imagery and be palpable to even a novice out there. Considering it as the bridge that batters the past, present, and future into spatial visual feeds, it creates a narrative that needs to be expressed in the right way for it to be easily interpreted. 

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Art of Narratives by Architects_©Eliinbar Sketchbook 2010

From the historic era’s architecture has evolved on cultural beliefs, traditions, geological factors and so many other ideas, each significant in narrating different perspectives. May it be from the ancient art of descriptive drawings from the Egyptian and Buddhist Architecture or to the Renaissance architecture, they often are seen as highly refined systematic methods that preserve the piece of history and orate the stories from important periods. 

Architects need to be great storytellers; their views and perceptions are usually easily translated based on the type of narrative they are often able to describe. This is quite similar to the process of method acting, a technique that actors use to interpret the character’s motives and mindset. Most of the creative fields depend on narratives to express their emotions and psychological and analytical thinking process.

The art of narration is periodical progress that keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats for every big plot twist that the storyline creates. This with context to architecture relates to the experience that the user feels while exploring the spaces designed, that truly interprets the designers’ thoughts. Charles Correa usually spoke about such concepts that he defines as “episodic architecture”. An inimitable term used by him was briefly to orate his conceptual process. The idea is to gradually unfold the spaces in sequences in a series similar to the prologue and then the chapters in a book. This amplifies the illusion of the space, and the activity, creating a better and more intricate connection between the built environment and the user. 

The architecture field represents the tales rather than one-dimensionally just the concept and process of the design is a common perception that most usually see, the depth of the tale lies with how the building is erected and how it symbolizes and signifies the senses for the user. A better-known example would be the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the building dictates the story about the lives of the people during the holocaust and resonates with every person who walks through the museum

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Jewish Museum _© Denis Esakov

The Art of Architecture is Hinted Through Scenes Placed Sequentially That is Embroidered Together in Subtlety

Every Concept, design, and building is a fragment of an architect’s imagination and their efforts to bring that to reality. Architecture can be considered similar to the theatre, as the stage becomes the base for a theatre and the props and actors add on to the antiquity architecture too have similar guidelines. The narrative speaks to the common laymen and helps connect and reiterate our bonds of the past to the future.  

The entire journey of the design finally comes together as a tale of fiction and imagination. From the initial process of content, followed by drawings that partially tell the story allowing audiences to interpret the tale in their perspective only to end with a twist as the final design is laid out. 

The head writer of O+A Studio Al McKee boldly states that as architects design is subjective that gravitates towards any type of narrative. There is a reason why it becomes so crucial for stories to become a part of our life. Any choice or imagination that the architect etches orchestrates a sense of the tale that settles as a part of a theme. The idea is to create a sense of understanding and comfort. We have a favorite piece of furniture that we use till it’s worn out, why would that be so? asks Al McKee. For a good architect, a narrative is as important as a design, as it would be arbitrary if a magnificent piece doesn’t represent a story or a memory. (Caldwell, 2020) 

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Storytelling Through Patterns_©Hannah Waldron

Humans survive and spend most of their time conjugated within this built environment. It becomes necessary that we inspire ourselves through musings that keep a human part in us alive. 

The art of storytelling subjects to various levels in architecture. A simple comparison between architecture and a mystery-fiction book. Similar to various subplots and characters introduced at various levels, architectural narratives orate in a much more similar pattern. Storytelling starts with the initial study and concepts but it doesn’t end with that, the visualizations for the clients make a subplot and introduce newer perspectives of the clients at this stage. Lastly, the ending or the dramatic plot twist is seen through the actual structure being instituted. 

The idea of creating an environment that screams a fragment of imagination or a piece of memory is to keep the history or tales immortal. Buildings may age over time, leaving behind the connection between the people and the story behind that embeds to the significant timeline.

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Architecture Narrative through Illustrations_© Tishk Barzanji


  1. Nicole Wallace, C. (2007). Storytelling through Architecture.5. University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  2. Caldwell, K, and McKee, A. (2020). Why do architects need storytellers?

VismithaYaji is an aspiring designer and a writer who is currently working in the field of Architecture & Design. She has recently decided to put her passion for writing on the front stage and has been contributing to many on-going competitions and anthologies. Being an ardent fan of motivational quotes, poetry, and designing, she is often seen questioning the current trends in a divergent and unique fashion.She enjoys a philosophical approach to life and is keen on learning and developing new skills. Being a person who has traveled and has often shifted from place to place, she has been able to explore and appreciate various cultures and lifestyles. She enjoys traveling, sketching,anything related to music or movies, and once in a while the rare opportunities of photography. Her approach towards writing is inspired by life and its unexpected turn of events. Most of her works in any field, whichever it may be reflects these ideologies and beliefs. She pushes herself to discover newer approaches in the field of design and create modernistic conclusions.