For a regular person, a casual observer, who is only navigating their life through the busy, bustling cityscapes and landscapes, the architectural features, buildings, bridges and urban spaces often blend in the background of their everyday life. Some of the most amazing, historically important, culturally rich or and strikingly beautiful pieces of architectural wonder are a part of daily lives, in the places we live in and commute through, but go widely unnoticed for the story they so long to tell. However, for a person belonging to the profession or lifestyle of the world of architecture, each building, each structure is a testament of architectural marvel and grandeur, a treat to the eyes and a treasure to the artistic mind. This article explores the perception of buildings and spaces from the eyes of a layman and how these spaces transform into wonderful creations as one journeys into the world of architecture.

The Layman’s Perspective

To the layman, buildings and urbanscapes are static entities, silent players in the theatre of their otherwise busy urban life. Public spaces and skyscrapers are merely functional components, offering shelter and utility, or covering the background of their hustle. It’s a perspective grounded in practicality, where structures serve a purpose but remain largely unnoticed in the hustle of daily routines. Every building has its aesthetics, some more attractive than others, but almost every building has its tale of conception and building, a story much more than what is perceived. The appreciation for design intricacies, conceptual interventions and architectural nuances is often eclipsed by the demands of modern life. It is almost like being surrounded by portraits and paintings but not understanding their meaning at a glance.  

Architectural Alchemy: A Symphony of Perspectives - Sheet1
Layman’s Lens_©Microsoft Office Stock

The Architectural Perspective

Contrastingly, for those entrenched in the field of architecture and design, each building is a monumental artefact, a song or a poetry. From towering skyscrapers kissing the sky to public areas gracefully tying the cityscapes, every space is pregnant with possibilities for creative design, abstract strategies and uncanny experimentation. Walking into a building becomes a journey of discovery, where the eyes meticulously traverse every inch of the room, floor to ceiling. Every corner has its own story, waiting to be heard, every material adding flavours to the overall aesthetics, contributing to the concept and narrative of the space. The experience is immersive, with each subtle detail ornating to the larger design symphony.

Architectural Alchemy: A Symphony of Perspectives - Sheet2
Architect Observing_©Adobe Stock

A Symphony of Design

As an architect, a designer, or an artist steps into a room, it’s akin to entering a realm of adventurous exploration. It’s as if time slows down, and the intricacy of design, materials, and colours captures all focus. The ordinary becomes exceptional, and every component evolves into a musical note or rhythm, adding to the composition of the building or space. Even the absence gains significance. The interaction between light and shadow, the selection of materials, and the spatial arrangement—all these elements blend together to create a distinctive harmony. What might appear as an ordinary room to one individual, unfolds as an entire realm of exploration for an architect.

Architectural Alchemy: A Symphony of Perspectives - Sheet3
Architects Perspective_©Adobe Stock

Evolution of Perception

Entering the realm of architecture makes it difficult to perceive a skyscraper as merely a building or a public square as just another central space. Every architect covers a journey from perceiving buildings as mere backdrops to understanding them as dynamic entities. It’s a shift from passive observation to active engagement, from seeing to truly perceiving. This evolution is not just a personal revelation but a testament to the power of architecture to reshape perspectives. Reflecting on this journey, there’s a sense of nostalgia associated with the discoveries made in the hidden corners of buildings and public spaces. It’s like unwrapping a gift, each layer revealing a new facet of design brilliance. 

Architectural Language and Bridging the Gap

Architectural language extends beyond the visual. It speaks through the textures, the acoustics, and the very aura of a place. The focus shifts from merely inhabiting a space to deciphering its language. It’s about understanding the conversation between form and function, between aesthetics and utility. The realisation dawns that architecture is not just a profession; it’s a poetic expression that rhetorically exclaims the deepest emotions to those who pause to listen. 

Architects find themselves in a unique position as interpreters of the language of spaces. It is an architect’s responsibility to bridge the gap between the layman’s perception and the intricate world we inhabit. Through thoughtful design and conscientious communication, they can elevate public understanding of the architectural language, fostering a collective appreciation for the artistry that shapes the surroundings.

Bridging the Gap_©Adobe Stock

The transformation of perspective from a layman’s lens to an architectural gaze is a harmonious coexistence of practicality and poetry. Every building, from the mundane to the majestic, contributes to the symphony of our urban experience. Architects consistently craft this symphony, extending an invitation for others to listen and comprehend the deep language that moulds our constructed surroundings. In the exploration of architecture, one uncovers the untold stories of beautiful structures.

Image References :

Stock Images, M. (no date) City. 

Lund, J. (no date) Businesswoman standing still on a busy street. 

T, X. (no date) Design mockup in white and colour of luxury house. 

Studio, T. (no date) Glasgow at night with river – Squinty Bridge, UK. 


Currently in her 4th year of Architecture at IIT Roorkee, Avantika believes that architecture is a tool for meeting people’s aspirations and providing them with better experiences. When coupled with design thinking, architecture and research have the potential to enrich our societies and have a constructive impact. Creating socially, culturally, and environmentally sustainable spaces is what architecture means to her. Her experience as an architecture student has shifted her world view and taught her to be more observant and empathetic.