Architecture is one of the only forms of art that has a finely knit relation to humankind. Many believe architecture is the “Mother of art and design”, while others dismiss architecture as an unwanted expense. Although, the architecture is felt by everyone who lives in a built environment, whether they realize it or not. Over the decades, the evolution of architecture has been centred on the most eccentric themes in trend at the moment. In the medieval ages, religion controlled the civilizations throughout the world, and structures signified the religious, sociological, political, and other facets of civilization. But have you ever wondered what if there were no architectural styles or if there was no evolution of its style? Would it have made a change in the life we are currently living? That’s an interesting question!
Human footprints from previous millennia show human presence throughout and the progress they have made so far. Does the question arise whether this progression is due to architecture or not? Has architecture had an impact on our evolution patterns? It is observed that these footprints consist of a wide range of items, all of which are proof of mankind on earth. It is also a well-known fact that architecture is one of the most evident facets of human life in many places of the world.
Although, architecture is all about the construction of a physical form that holds monetary value. It also characterizes culture, human civilization, lifestyle preferences, and other intellectual conceptions in people’s lives. I can also predict the growth as well as the demise of many human communities and settlements. Architecture also highlights the changes in human lifestyle throughout history. These effects validate the significance of architecture and its relation to culture, lifestyle, and the modern world. Thus, we need to know what architecture entails and what our society would have been in the absence of architecture.
Former Prime Minister of the UK, Winston Churchill, once quoted, “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.”Well, he was undoubtedly right. The aesthetics of a building has the supremacy to influence; however, it is a very small component of the power that architecture beholds upon us. Architecture surely has the potential to inspire, but it extends far deeper than it seems. Every facet of our daily life is influenced by architecture, and this is the point we humans hardly take into account. The physical environment has a huge impression on our lifestyle, daily habits, interactions with those around us, success, and work satisfaction.
Say, an individual is sitting in an isolated cubical in a rat-maze workspace for 9-10 hours a day and then drives back home on a congested highway or eats the majority of his or her meals at identical fast-food outlets and resides in a cookie-cutter development, he or she would not foster any community spirit, which may lead to a sad and miserable life. Whereas, if that same individual works in a well-designed office which have carefully managed spaces for privacy, team building, and specific areas for communication; walks a few minutes on pedestrian-friendly streets to work, shops at friendly local stores, and eats at distinctive cafes run by personable entrepreneurs and lives in a place that, by its arrangement of spaces, boosts casual meets with neighbours. Then the same individual will have a very different life.
Even if we are unconscious of the degree to which architecture affects our lives daily, we are still functioning under its power. We spend different amounts of money on gas, electricity, and other utilities such as mortgages, which are, in turn, all a result of the architectural environment, we stay in. Not only that, we spend the majority of our time commuting, spending time and exploring places with friends and family, or even maintaining our houses and doing our backyards! All of these actions are a result of the architectural environment we inhabit.
Nonetheless, through buildings, an exceptional relationship is maintained between a space and humans that create space into a place. For instance, The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao brought urban regeneration and economic stability to a previously unpopular city Bilbao, which was earlier an industrial town in decline. It is an excellent example of how an iconic structure developed a new image of the whole city and how it exemplified its environment and brought a change to the lifestyle of the people resident in the town. It is also called the “Bilbao Effect”, it not only attracted tourists but also provided professional opportunities to many which contributed to their improvement of lifestyle.
Hence, we can conclude that architecture is the backbone of the evolution and betterment of the lifestyle people want. It is hard enough to imagine what our society would have looked if there were no evolution in architecture and the styles and trends it brought with it.
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Esteban, I., 2007. El efecto Gugenheim. Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama.
Haval, A., n.d. The Impact of Architecture in Our Lives. [online] www.re-thinkingthefuture.com. Available at: <https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/narratives/a5201-the-impact-of-architecture-in-our-lives/>
Sinclair, I., 2018. How Architecture Influences Life and Lifestyle. [Blog].
Vangelatos, G., 2019. How Does Architecture Impact Society? A High-Level Look | Thought Leadership | HMC Architects. [online] HMC Architects. Available at: <https://hmcarchitects.com/news/how-does-architecture-impact-society-a-high-level-look-2019-10-18/#:~:text=Architecture%20not%20only%20affects%20society,health%2C%20mood%2C%20and%20productivity.>