The world without architecture is unimaginable, but is it possible to imagine architecture without human beings? If that night when our competitive forefathers ambushed the Neanderthals, things had gone the other way; there might have been better Neanderthal architects with better work-life balance in this field. Unfortunately, we won to lose to those classmates who bring extra sheets of assignments when we couldn’t even complete one sheet correctly. We cannot be a hundred percent sure if Neanderthals would be great architects, but we can be sure that nature is the ultimate architect and there’s no reality in which human existence is devoid of architecture. This sacred geometry and symmetry of architecture is not what mere humans can tame; we can only give a tribute to it.
The Start of Architecture
Architecture started the brief moment in time when human beings saw any meaning beyond what is just visible in everything, especially where they reside. A deep understanding of not just the physical world but having an intuition to recognise the elements that don’t meet the eye makes us human. Thus, architecture started when humans transformed from just physical creatures to profound thinkers, associating deeper meanings with any space. A word to both describe architecture and life is profound since both have infinite parameters intertwined with each other forming a complex mosaic. Laying flowers over the dead body of the loved one, telling stories and myths, trying to understand deeper meanings of existence, and attempting to cheat nature’s mischiefs, all symbolize the start of human thought and architecture. Thus, the possibility of human existence without architecture is very astray from reality.
Human need, thought and architecture
Human beings reside in their homes, except for some unbearable workaholics for whom to work is to worship. And it is widely, maybe genomically known everywhere, shelter is a basic need for every human, so how do we separate shelter architecture from human existence? If not in homes, where would we be living? Except for a few hippies, we can’t live in the open for obvious reasons. Living in the open can sometimes, unfortunately, change to dying in the open in a mere second. So for safety from climate, wild animals and adversity like the hippie culture, we cannot separate shelter architecture from human existence.
Religion was a big part of what made humans separate from amorous apes. The thought of a god who created you, who loves you and judges you for fornication, and the influence of this notion, is prevalent everywhere around us, especially in the structures and spaces we use. All these values make us human and are bound to appear in the spaces, maybe as symbols or directly. Such is the case for offices, commercial spaces, institutional architecture, landscaping parks, and interiors. All of the architecture reflects the culture, society and values of a specific place and time, which again consolidates my point that the possibility of human beings’ existence without architecture is nil.
The fictional possibility of human existence without architecture
Let us imagine we humans are superheroes. We feed off the sun, nothing can hurt us, and there’s no need for shelter from any elements, and we are all-powerful. We’d practically be gods. There would be no need for architecture in that world. Now, let us suppose we are animals devoid of any understanding of the ways of nature and completely in tune with our natural instinct making our mind devoid of any space for spiritual, social thoughts. In both these cases, we wouldn’t need any architecture and architecture students would be free from any assignments. But even if we were super, we’d still have our curiosity to know more and ambition to be more, the creative force in us would eventually find its outlet through architecture. And even if we were devoid of deeper meaning, we would respond to our environment spatially. Architecture world find it’s way into the world either through creativity or as the response to physical and spatial needs. So there would still be traces of architecture in these imaginary worlds.
To quote singer gnash’s lyrics,” I hate u, I love u, I hate that I love you”, this is how architects feel about architecture. It’s so exciting to be in this relationship that other relationships never match up. So the architect’s existence without architecture would be like a frustrated lover’s life. As for every human being’s existence without architecture, it wouldn’t be quite that different. Architecture is fueled by need, thought and creativity. These are integral parts of human nature. The creation of architecture is not an artificial process. It, throughout the development of human beings developed side to side, naturally. Therefore , human existence without architecture, if there is the slightest possibility of this, would be devoid of any humanity, thought, humor and creativity.