As Architecture is more than just a science and an art, the impacts of Architecture, too, run deeper than that. Architecture is ever-present in our lives — be it from an inside perspective of a four-walled room or looking out from the outside of a long array of city blocks. Since its presence is deep-rooted in our lives, it’s without a doubt that Architecture influences how we live, feel, and interact with others.
Thanks to the phenomenal developments in technology and education, modern Architecture can be very astonishing to the eye of a user or an observer. It’s safe to say that the impact of architecture has never been felt like it has in the modern-day world. Today, Architecture has become much more than the argument of whether form follows function — or vice versa. In fact, depending on a given project, the two are ever interchanging. In some instances, form does follow function, and in others, like in generative architectural design, it’s the exact opposite, and function does follow form.
Regardless of which one comes after the other, architecture is incomplete with just the two. Architecture is not just a science but a form of art too, and thus emotion plays a huge factor. It’s for this reason that people can walk into spaces and feel an abundance of awe and other instances, feel cold and timid. Thus the impact of Architecture on our daily lives would be incomplete without the element of emotion.
Time travel as an Impact of Architecture
While it’s a known fact that the built environment has an influence on our moods and how we perceive spaces in the current state, it can also bring about emotions from the past. For this reason, it’s safe to say that, in some way, Architecture is a form of time travel because it can take people back to a time in history. Unlike other forms of travel where one can go back to a place they have been before, the architecture allows people to experience places from decades ago that they couldn’t have possibly experienced except through the remains left today.
Currently, numerous places around the world have buildings and structures that date back to a time in history and stand tall (or beneath the ground) and symbolize a culture or heritage that would have been forgotten. The pyramids in Eygpt, the Acropolis of Athens, and St Marks Cathedral in Italy are only a few examples of this. The impact of Architecture in places where historical architecture is present gives locals a sense of belonging and, as a collective, helps people understand the past — and most importantly, their own.
When people are able to understand their heritage, or at least have questions about it based on historical findings, how they treat places changes. In some communities, a huge emphasis on preserving historical settlements has shaped how people live, work, and even how they use spaces. In some parts of Europe, like Budapest, for instance, old factories in previously marginalized areas today serve as ruin bars. These bars, which are merely an example of similar scenarios in different other places, represent places of victory, despair, and trouble in the past. Places of historical value that have been repurposed and are now a large part of post-modern culture attract several tourists yearly. In such cases, the impact of Architecture is not just a reminder of history but a driving force towards the economy through tourism.
The good and bad sides of the Impact of Architecture
Be it old or new; Architecture is much more than a structural component but a tool that provides people with experiences. Buildings and structures can give a sense of romance, grief, and everything in between simply based on their form. Depending on a variety of things like who the observer is and how the buildings are built, one’s experience in, out, or around them can vary. What an unknowing observer would see as merely a good building, from an architect’s point of view, could be much more than that. It could be pleasant to the eyes for specific reasons or even unpleasant based on apparent ones. Since architects and designers are trained or learn to practice architecture, they experience it differently. Details of symmetry, colour, perspective, and balance, among many others, are apparent features that create the building as a whole.
Besides perception, another impact of Architecture on our lives is how it shapes our environments and how we behave. Architects and designers have the power of creating environments that shape cultures by opening up communities or creating closed spaces. A lot of where people decide to spend their time, how they decide to get there or leave from there is largely dependent on how the city is built.
To say whether the impact of architecture is good or bad is entirely subjective. The reality of the matter is it’s certainly both. Poor architecture, even in the best places, can create unlively spaces, cause unproductivity in the education and workforce, and in turn, have a bad effect on a place. On the flip side, when architecture is properly executed from conception to realization, beautiful spaces and productive and happy communities are in turn created. This is without a doubt a good impact of architecture in our lives.