The man had a survival requirement for shelter since the beginning of time. Ancient settlers transitioned from hunters and gatherers to farmers, and as a result, their shelters had to become more elaborate and durable to accommodate storage and extended periods of occupancy. This is one of the primitive stages where architecture was born.

Every space has a history that can be traced back to how it was created, what people were thinking when they did so, what the initial purpose of the space was, and what cultural norms prevailed at the time that led people to create it. 

People can be affected by architecture and design in a variety of ways, including how we think, feel, and behave in general. The beauty of the design is that it has the power to touch us on many different levels. Whether it is the touch of the smooth walls in the forts of Jaipur, or the rough texture of the Elephanta Caves- it will have a different feel altogether. It’s strange how seeing the Jallianwala Bagh walls in Amritsar can suddenly make us hurt and empathize with the people who lost their lives in the massacre. Architecture tells a tale, whether it’s a happy or a sad one. 

Designer and User 

When creating a building, a designer tries to improve the sense of community, connection, and collaboration among users as rightly said by Mr. Donald Schmitt in his TED Talk on ‘The Impact of Architecture. Meanwhile, a user might not be able to process all the efforts and thought processes a designer had put in at once but the experience of being in a place can tell a lot about the ideologies of the person designing it.

Below are two pictures that show two different office spaces, one is an office of Auroville Earth Institute and the other is a Google Office in Waterloo. Both spaces are very well designed but differently. The idea behind the office space in Auroville is to keep a sustainable, energy-saving approach in design whereas, the idea in Google Office is to make the space creative and collaborative so that people mingle together. 

What can we infer about a space from its design and architecture? - Sheet1
(Left) Auroville Office, (Right) Google office in Waterloo_©Houzz, Mulvey & Banani Lighting

Although the spaces share a typology, they differ greatly from one another in terms of design, material selection, colors, furniture, lighting, texture, and many other factors. Together, these elements create an atmosphere and give the space character. User’s behavior and experience change from one place to another due to these design elements. Julia Morgan wasn’t wrong when she said, “Architecture is a visual art and the buildings speak for themselves”.

Architectural details in our surroundings

Design is everywhere. From the chair you are sitting on, to the world’s tallest building you see, every part has thought and design attached to it. The most crucial part of designing is the attention to detail! A design is successful when each tiny, finished or unfinished feature is given consideration.

There are a few factors listed down below which majorly affect a user’s experience:

Thermal Comfort

In a place where it is -10 degrees Celsius, it won’t be wise to wear shorts or be in a space that doesn’t make you feel warm. Similarly, in a space that has 50 degrees Celsius, you won’t enjoy a warm and cozy interior. 

Lighting

Spaces that get plenty of natural light are more sustainable than ones that need artificial light all day long. A well-lit room will always make you feel comfortable and safe. Below is an example of a street that imparts different feelings with just a play of light.

What can we infer about a space from its design and architecture? - Sheet2
What can we infer about a space from its design and architecture?_©Media India Group and Patrika.com respectively, (collage by author- Reetika Tandon)

Color and Texture

The choice of color in design can make or break your impression. Designers don’t start from scratch while coming up with solutions. Instead, they carefully examine the preferences of their intended audiences. This implies that choosing a hue is never purely a matter of chance. On the contrary, it is the outcome of careful planning and research.

What can we infer about a space from its design and architecture? - Sheet3
What can we infer about a space from its design and architecture?_©Pinterest respectively, (collage by author- Reetika Tandon)
What can we infer about a space from its design and architecture?_©Pinterest

Nature and Built

Nature plays a very strong influence in our lives. In the constant hustle and bustle of the city with tall buildings where life seems to be going by very quickly, a weekend in the mountains, beaches, or anywhere near nature makes you realize how slowly life is passing and you feel much more relaxed and calm. 

Future of Architecture

As urbanization is taking a toll on us, architecture is evolving. From using Artificial Intelligence in architecture to using science and the latest technology to preserve natural sources, the spectrum of architecture and design is vast and limitless. 

In terms of tech adoption, industries like space, renewable energy, and transportation take the lead, while augmented reality, 3D printing, and robotics are all being investigated for use in building and design. These technologies have useful applications and are not just for showing or projecting an image of being progressive.

Online Education in Architecture

A skilled architect researches innovative design concepts to produce beautiful and efficient construction projects. A rewarding profession in architecture requires both a creative sense and familiarity with conventional architectural styles. In this line of work, creativity assists in problem-solving and improving architectural or building design.

Online education is restricted to a career where site visits, in-depth research, and hands-on learning are essential. No matter how hard the teachers try, a student learns best when they give it a shot themselves, make a mistake, and then learn from it. Before online education in architecture, children used to share designs with peers, mentors, or even seniors and get a varied amount of perspectives. This interaction not only was critical but a major learning experience for the student as well as the mentor. 

It has long been said that while architects design our structures, in the end, it is the structures themselves that will influence how we inhabit them and carry out our daily activities. 

References:

    1. Youtube.com. 2015. The Impact of Architecture | Donald Schmitt | TEDxUTSC. [online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVsCHMj5_Bo
  • Youtube.com. 2021. How Architecture Affects The Way You Feel || Environmental Psychology and Architecture. [online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWuqO1iY1z4>
  1. Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. 
  2. E-architect. Architecture and Its Effect on Human Behavior & Psychology. [online] Available at: https://www.e-architect.com/articles/architecture-and-its-effect-on-human-behavior-and-psychology
  3. University of Toronto. New research shows the way a room is lit can affect the way you make decisions. [online] Available at: < https://media.utoronto.ca/media-releases/education/new-research-shows-the-way-a-room-is-lit-can-affect-the-way-you-make-decisions/>
  4. Designhill. The choice of color in design can make or break your impression. [online] Available at: < https://www.designhill.com/design-blog/how-colors-can-bring-desired-effect-in-your-design-process/>
  5. Thought Economics. 2012. The Role of Architecture in Humanity’s Story. [online] Available at: < https://thoughteconomics.com/the-role-of-architecture-in-humanitys-story/>

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