This article is a personal reflection on the journey of architecture and how it changes one’s perspective on the built environment. The author shares their experience starting with re-learning their calligraphy skills and way of thinking, to understanding the intricate relationship between form, function & aesthetics in the built environment & how it is an inevitable result of the influence of the local traditions & culture. They highlight in-depth the importance of sensory experiences in understanding and feeling the space, and the role of the architectural features from the past in the current designs. Overall the article highlights the unique and constantly evolving world of architecture and how one who is curious and always willing to learn would thrive in exploring this eccentric world known as architecture.

The Beginning:

The first thing taught to anyone who has joined the journey of architecture is how to write again (They teach calligraphy, because all the manual drawings have to look presentable and uniform, but every individual has their unique way of writing), but little do they know that they have embarked on a journey in the realm of architecture which results in slowly without one’s knowledge learning how to see again, in the sense how to see the world from a different perspective (if you a gamer the shift from a user perspective to the game designer view).

The Journey:

Every year as one progresses deeper into this unique universe, there is a minute but significant shift in how they perceive the world around them. 

One sees the intricate and carefully woven thread between form, function and aesthetics of the built environment and how they are completely influenced by the local traditions, culture and human behaviour. These patterns are not only limited to the particular built spaces but the entire urban landscape as well.

The Discovery:

Once Architecture is learnt the world is not only perceived differently, but as an avid user of spaces one starts to experience it with sense as well – like

  1. Visually – One starts to see patterns, identify different materials and try to figure out the layout of the space you are confined in. 

In image 1 it can be seen how the pathway leading to the monument is broken into different patterns to make the huge distance between the entrance and the destination seem interesting and also helps in creating zones.

2. Touch – You try to understand the different materials with your hands or while walking with or without footwear and feel the roughness of the stone, the softness of the grass or the wetness of the rain on the pathway with the foot. 

Image 1 shows the different materials used on the long walkway which can be felt by any type of user group.

Discovering the World Anew: A Journey through the realm of Architecture-Sheet1
Break of Pathway both Visually and Texturally [This is the pathway leading to the Sun Temple Konark, Odisha] _ © Rightfully belongs to Vineetha Kotha
3. Sound – The mostly ignored feature by any type of user of a space is the acoustics, one only tends to observe it if the spaces are designed badly and they can’t hear the other talk.

4. Mentally – How is this space treating its users at this moment in time – is the space properly lit, is there circulation of fresh air and finally is this space truly doing its job that it was designed to do? 

5. Influence from the past – After truly understanding and observing their surroundings one can see the influence of the past in the current construction of built spaces, it can be as obvious as replicating the architectural features in the same building type or just taking a small element and using it aesthetically for other purposes. 

Images 2 & 3 show one such feature, image 2 shows the openings in the ancient ruins of a temple which was used for ventilation, which can be seen for almost all Kalingan-style temples, the same feature you can see in image 3, which has been used aesthetically for a compound wall design.

Architectural feature used from the past _ © Rightfully belongs to Vineetha Kotha
Discovering the World Anew: A Journey through the realm of Architecture-Sheet2
Architectural feature used from the past _ © Rightfully belongs to Vineetha Kotha

The Change:

These experiences with senses truly shift one’s perspective, character and habits to one of more appreciation and understanding of the local diversity, human behaviour and built spaces, and as a user, you can be more efficient in navigating yourself.

Despite the rapid urbanisation where the majority of people try to take in the influence of the Western style and try to replicate it exactly, there is a very huge influence of the local style on them, making it uniquely theirs and no one can say it otherwise. One such feature that can be commonly seen is the paintings on the walls, under the flyovers or the underground roadways.

Local Odishan patterns under a flyover in Bhubaneswar _  © Rightfully belongs to Vineetha Kotha

The Future:

With the rapid advancement in technology, architects are now able to create more complex and more innovative designs within a very short amount of time, and a once unimaginable ease. From 3D printing to Virtual reality, the ever-evolving & growing technology has opened up a whole new world for architects to design with and for the changing climate as well. However, it is important to note that despite these advancements, the importance of understanding & appreciating the local culture & traditions cannot be overlooked as it forms the base for any type of built space at any given point in time. And it is this balance between technology & traditions that makes architecture a constantly evolving & exciting field to explore.


Architecture is a vast world of uniqueness, adventure and most importantly designing, and there are many genres to it, and one can only keep discovering it through Patience, Curiosity, Out-of-the-box thinking and a constant desire to keep learning and exploring. This is a field which even when taught for 5 years, would only be scratching a very tiny surface, and just like its users, architecture keeps developing and constantly evolving and prepares itself for the future, from its past experiences.




Embark on an architectural odyssey with Vineetha Kotha a design connoisseur, who unravels the stories within structures, blending keen observation with articulate prose. She offers insights that elevates one’s understanding of the built environment, making each article a captivating exploration of the art and science of architecture. Welcome to their insightful journey.