In a world where technology and construction play an integral role in the futuristic diorama of architectural wonder, it would be convenient to assume that skyscrapers, enigmatically designed bridges and dynamic facades embody the utopian dream. The construction industry is often misrepresented as a field that contributes to the harmful infliction on our environment. 

Although humankind is a long way from realizing its full architectural potential and its instrumental influence on our society, we have indeed accomplished remarkable feats in the architectural realm. 

A well-designed urban landscape causes a ripple effect that sets off a cascade of events that begin with an ostentatious portrayal of the society to a reflection of its psychological and cultural impact on the people. It is time to shift the mediocre outlook towards the impact of architecture and hold it to its rightful esteem.

It’s all in the Details

Whether it is the deconstructivist verve of Frank Gehry or the experimental display of jali brick facades that distinguished Laurie Baker, what set them apart was their intricate regard for details. 

Be it the subtlety of a texture, mindful use of upcycled elements, or a pattern that evokes a sense of tranquility in its inhabitants, the details impart meaning to the structure. The juxtaposition of materials and hues that seamlessly merge with the architecture of the building are the sort of details that make a design noteworthy. 

The Functionality of a Building

The cumulative effect that constitutes architectural design is brought to fruition by the functionality it embodies. Any architect worth his/her salt understands that aesthetics do not preclude practicality. A well-designed space should express its function in a way that the user does not question its motive. 

Empathizing and acknowledging the user needs and following a design process that reflects them are the fundamental aspects of quality design. Architects need to review the constraints posed by the context of the design and draw up an intelligent solution.

Sustainable Design

Though it is regarded as the most prominent issue of today, the actions taken to address it are seldom executed. A climate-responsive approach is a mandatory factor in addressing the detrimental impact of mindless construction on the environment. 

Generating advanced techniques to combat this dilemma without compromising the comfort and luxury of modern-day lifestyles is a serious challenge. Incorporating ancient strategies in new and improved ways has proven to be an inspiring tactic. The use of local materials, refurbished architectural elements and passive design strategies are some attributes that have been brought back to life. 

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Social Responsibility 

Architects have the power to design lifestyles. This power entails a responsibility to the community and the environment to pay it forward. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity volunteer their services and contribute to the uplift of society. An architect can influence the quality of people’s lives and ergo, their opportunities. 

Through disaster relief, community housing, or public spaces, architects can diversify their capabilities and divert them to a noble cause. By playing an active role in promoting the well-being of the community, one can cause a positive impact that would transform the lives of millions of people. 

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Green facade of high rise buildings ©www.conserve-energy-future.com/green-building.php
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Habitat for Humanity manifesting their potential to lend a helping hand to the community. ©www.bustle.com

Psychological Impact of Design

The first glimpse of a day and the last sight of the night are confined to your dwelling. A slight alteration in the lighting of the bedroom or the colour of a wall can impact one’s emotions a great deal. The psychological desires of the user, though inexplicable, are the foundation of design. 

The subtle way in which light strikes a space or the conscious placement of windows configures an ambiance that soothes the soul. Each space demands its unique necessities that need to be sensibly addressed. 

Health and Safety

The ongoing pandemic has revealed a whole new genre of architectural design. The social distancing strategies and lockdown protocols have displayed the integral role that architecture plays in implementing the new regulations of society. 

Consciously designing structures that are in par with health and safety guidelines will ensure a safe recuperation from this dreadful period. Urban spaces that inculcate social gatherings in a safe and effective manner will guide people to comply with the new norms and hence diminish the harmful repercussions. 

The new normal of architecture ©www.newyorker.com

There is a lot more to architecture than what meets the eye. Behind those enchanting exteriors and luxurious spaciousness, there lies a character that cannot be easily discerned with a fleeting glance. It takes profound musings and meticulous introspection to analyse the substantial impact of architecture. 

The influential factors of design are plenty. Architecture brings forth an allegorical slant to the outlook on society. The myriad layers of detail and features that constitute a design require unraveling a complex thought process. People associate emotions and nostalgia with buildings and spaces. It is no coincidence that this sentiment evoked is a reflection of ingenious planning that transcends through time. 

 

Author

Julia is a recent architecture graduate from Manipal University. Her affinity to the English language and its underrated power drove her to begin her architectural venture by doing what she loves the most - writing about it.

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