The very first day of architecture college is always a mix of excitement and nervousness for every student! The design professor started the class with a question.”What is architecture?”. The room was filled with enthusiastic students, each one eager to make a good impression, all with a nervous look on their faces. The Professor looked around and picked the first student to answer the question. The poor soul who stood up quivering hesitated for a moment before answering, “Architecture is about creating buildings.” Not satisfied with the reply, the next student was picked. This one seemed a bit more confident and replied, “Architecture is the art and science of designing spaces.” Another student answered with a cheeky smile exclaiming “Architecture is the magic that turns dreams into realities! “The room burst into laughter, and the Professor had a good chuckle too. He appreciated the light-heartedness amidst the serious answers and quipped and admitted that this was the most magical description of architecture he’d heard so far! “ As the Professor continued to go around the room, the answers started to get more and more elaborate, with students trying to impress the professor with their knowledge. Some even brought up philosophical references and complex words, just to get a glimpse of a smile on the professor’s face. But alas that didn’t happen, he left the class assigning each one a task to ask family and friends about what they thought architecture was. Furthermore, order the most important profession to the least among doctors, engineers, and architects.
The Next day the students came up with their replies. Little did we know that this question would lead to a hilarious chain of responses. Some answered that their friends thought that architecture was about drawing pretty sketches, and some described it as making beautiful buildings. This led the room into jolts of laughter with the funny and bizarre responses one after the other.. However, the room was brought back into composure when the review of the most important profession came in, where the majority of the responses preferred the order, doctor, engineer, and the last one given to an architect. Everybody’s unanimous reasoning because “doctors save lives!” This gave us aspiring architects a reality check with a sudden shift in perspective. The sadness lingered like a bittersweet melody in the background. The professor broke the silence trying to immediately enliven the mood by quoting Frank Lloyd Wright, “A doctor can still bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines” to which the class responded with a burst of laughter.
Architecture across time
The very first definition of architecture is ‘shelter’. The 4 necessities of humans are notoriously known to all as Food, Water, Shelter, and clothing. Hence, the shelter started as a basic requirement even before medicine.
However, Over the years the definition has changed from time to time.
First, Architecture was synonymous with beautiful buildings, starting from Classical to Romanesque, Gothic to and Baroque Architecture.
Architecture with decorated columns, repeated ratios, solid proportions, and symmetrical facades. The Greeks, from the Romans to all of Europe, defined their architectural styles by the well-renowned buildings that stood as mark bears as a witness to aesthetics and architecture. Early 1900s shift in perspective, designs that emphasized function using man-made construction materials, glass, metal, and concrete.
Hence Architecture has come a long way from need to aesthetic to functionality. However, the basis of architecture throughout; to serve the purpose of life at a particular time.
Architecture is not just a building.
Imagine a world without Architecture. Without architecture, there would be no structures in which to worship a higher power; nowhere to store volumes of the recorded ideas shaping mankind; nowhere to observe groundbreaking works of art; nowhere to hang around with friends, and nowhere to call home! Without architecture, Settlements would be disorganized and wreak havoc. Without architectural expertise on Modern infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and transportation systems, would lead to the doom of human mobility and trade! No cohesiveness and no one to care about the environment, beauty and aesthetics, and the overall impact on humans. Hence, without Architecture, one can say there would be utter chaos in every possible sector of life. Complete mayhem would erupt even if this were a reality in another verse!
Concluding A world without architecture is unimaginable. Human existence without architecture would be characterized by a simpler and rudimentary way of life. The built environment would lack the sophistication, functionality, and aesthetics that architecture brings to our modern world.
Architecture as Storytelling
Even though humans are transient, the buildings they make stand the test of time to serve as testimony to how humans lived and what has been. Basically, unfolds a story, a series of experiences, and daily activities that give life meaning. For example, the built spaces of the Egyptians or Mesopotamians, their architecture spoke volumes of a way of life.
Without it, many iconic landmarks, and ancient structures, which serve as a link to our past, would not exist. This is because Architecture unfolds a story.
From prehistoric cave paintings and humans to sculptures depicting mythological stories, leave an indelible mark of life by depicting visual stories to preserve information amidst the terrifying reality of impermanence, Humans.
Architecture is human.
Architecture is integral to human existence. Since it brings people together, forms a habitat, and affects moods. It has not only grown as a function of society and as a reflection of the way of life. It transcends the boundaries of just buildings. A vision that shapes societies bringing order to chaos. Hence, Architecture brings visions and dreams to reality.
The professor entered the class once again in the final year of architecture. This time to a bunch of confident mature students. He reminded everyone of the question that had remained unanswered for years. the question whose answers every student had tried either consciously or subconsciously to answer in their journey to becoming architects. The answer Was finally unveiled, Architecture is more than just building beautiful buildings Architecture depicts the ways of life. It is faith, culture, and identity. The five-year journey was summed up beautifully in these simple three words. These three words left an everlasting impact on the way these budding architects looked at architecture forever.
A shift in perspective once again,
There can’t be Art without artists,
form without space,
Light without the dark,
And Humans without Architecture.
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