Architecture is a universal language, spoken not verbally but physically. a physical manifestation of one’s culture, ethics, and evolution. It is symbolic in nature and serves as a reminder of how far humans have progressed from prehistoric times to the modern era. Architecture is a portrayal of the thoughtful development of human culture over time. It is not just a necessity but an echo of the past and present. It coexists with humanity, and humans coexist with nature. One can find architectural marvels in nature itself. Take anthills, weaver bird’s nests, beehives, burrows, and many more as examples. They were all born out of pure instinct, not design, and yet they are all beautiful in their own way. Architecture is fundamental, a narration of cultural development and human progression over time. It is important since it not only provides shelter but security and dominance over other forms of living. But what happens when there is no physical manifestation to portray human culture? What happens when there are no built structures to surround human beings? What exactly is human existence without architecture? 

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Echo Chamber_©https://www.wnycstudios.org/

Primordial Reality of Architecture

Primordial times were marked by hunters and nomads, caves, and huts. Caves, a natural form of shelter, were there to sustain humans. As said earlier, architecture existed within nature itself. Caves are a similar example. Human survival would have been in question if they had not found caves to shelter themselves in. They gave warmth to the primal human beings and provided them with shelter and security from the predators in the widespread jungle around them. Necessity and security were the two driving elements in their hunting lifestyle. 

The caves were simultaneously followed by the Primitive Hut, which explored the origins of architecture and its practice. It is a concept that need not be material or physical but rather a man’s response to the natural environment. It brings forth the answer to how architecture came into being and explains the fundamental origins of architecture. The Primitive Hut as an architectural theory was theorized by Abbé Marc-Antoine Laugier, which provided an underlying structure and approach to architecture along with speculating an attainable destination for architecture as a discipline. 

Furthermore, if this need for better and improved shelter had not arisen, the human species would not have achieved what it did today and realized its utmost potential and hence ended up at the top of the food chain. 

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Darnebi Shelter_©Picture: Giorgi Khaburzania

Progressive Reality of Human Existence

Humans evolved from primal hunters living in huts and caves to people living under a solid roof, which proved their ability to adapt and improve with time. This evolution involved the advent of agriculture and the formation of human civilizations. As said earlier, the human skill set improved and so did their knowledge of the natural materials lying around. They moved forward from living in caves to enhancing the look of their dwellings. Therefore, this is how the story of architecture unfolded with the progression of human existence. 

In the beginning, it was stated that architecture is a universal language. To strengthen that point, take an example of the structures built over time. They narrate the whole story through their bodies and origins of knowledge and contextualize things as elements of culture. Throughout time, architecture has continued to be a profound reflection of culture. 

Therefore, it is quite hard to visualize a world without architecture and the built environment. Initially, necessity and security were the driving elements behind the origin of architectural development, but soon the needs enhanced along with the activities humans performed, and so did architecture. What we can gather from the following information is that architecture and human beings coexisted simultaneously, so to imagine a world without either one is incredibly difficult. Even today, architecture is a growing force, impacting humans and the entire world in the process. 

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Model of Roman Civilization_©httpswww.flickr.comphotosdalbera5839479770

Conclusive Statement

Imagine a world having no aesthetics, no heights, no identity, expression, awe, cultural deprivation, having no idea of how the world is put together. Architecture is like a thread that ties us all together and serves as a narrative of the progression of thought and identity. If human existence were deprived of architecture, there would be chaos and unidentifiable spontaneity in culture. The natural order of existence would be triggered, and the upliftment of the human race would come to a halt. 

It can be concluded that human existence would not have been possible without the perpetual development of architectural progression. The possibility of human survival without architectural development is little to none since time calls for gradual change and development. Different people might have different outlooks since this advancement in architecture and technology has also led to the emergence of a concrete jungle instead of the lush forest found in the earlier days. If that had not been the case, our world would not be on the verge of collapse in the twenty-first century, as we all know. 

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New York City as Concrete Jungle_©https://thebattuta.com/everyday-urban-concrete-jungle/
  1. Articles

Dickinson, Duo. (2021). Architecture is Human 

Available from: http://www.duodickinson.com/NewWriting.html [Accessed: 9 October 2022].

  1. Online sources

Citations for websites:

Editorial Staff (2017). 7 Ingenious ways Architecture helped humans thrive. [online]. (Last updated: April 11 2017). Available at: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/94181/7-ingenious-ways-architecture-helped-humans-thrive [Accessed date: 09/10/2022].

  1. Images/visual mediums

Steffis. Echo Chamber. [Photograph] 

Giorgi Khaburzania. Darnebi Shelter. [Photograph]

Richard Cavalleri. New York City as Concrete Jungle. [Photograph]

Bart Perdieus. Nimes Amphitheatre. [Photograph]

Author

Mansi Solanki is an architect, avid reader and an enthusiastic writer. She loves to put words to design visuals and narrate the story through a meticulous blend of words. Looking forward to go through a kaleidoscopic journey and grow not just as an architect but as an individual.