“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us “-Winston Churchill
This is the kind of impact architecture and our built environment have on us. Humans are nothing but a product of their surroundings of which the built environment forms a huge part. We are impacted by our man-made surroundings every second of the day knowingly or unknowingly. How we interact, perceive, and feel different spaces is entirely subjective. Materials, colors, proportions, geometry generate a wide range of feelings and responses. It inspires and excites the human intellect in diverse ways. Looking around we see architecture translated into fashion, lifestyle.
How Paris got the name of “City of love” through its love for art and distinctive Parisian architecture. How Tokyo’s dichotomic architecture of the present and past exist in harmony and shape the identity of the city. Architecture affects various facets of life. It not only gives shape to a place and city in a bigger context but helps it to form a character of its own. There are indisputable ways in which architecture helps to shape the environment around us. It not only helps us understand the space within a building but also around it.
Difference in Perception
A white room that might be simple and minimalistic to one may be somber and dull to others. This is where architects come into being. They influence human behavior socially, physically, and mentally hence manipulate the spaces to suit the needs of their users. Spatial arrangements and geometry generate different patterns of behavior in the human mind. Thus, these people who are trained to see things in a different light naturally perceive spaces differently in comparison to a layman.
A study conducted by UCL and Bangor University on architects, sculptors, and painters explained how the different skill sets required by each of these professions lead to different inferences in a familiar circumstance. During the study on one hand, the architect used terms to describe the boundaries, dynamism of space on seeing certain photographs, perceiving the space in 3D while the painter had a more 2D approach in his understanding of the stimuli. The immense knowledge that architects receive while training helps them in having a heightened sense of awareness and an eye for details.
Architecture- Reflection of Human Aspirations
The architecture reflects human beings their best selves and their highest aspiration and potential like skyscrapers speak of power and public plaza aims at creating a sense of community and interaction. Architecture can act as a catalyst in the process of healing, creating greater solidarity and communication skills. Architecture is reflective of society and people. It is a testimony of the past which is rooted in the present and predicting the future. These acute observations can be made through the lens of an architect.
The Difference in Vision -Architect vs Layman
The quality of what is considered aesthetic is highly subjective. While a layman might be more concerned with the feel of the space an architect also looks into the functionality and details of that space. It is interesting to note how the different emotions affect the way we conceive spaces. While for a layman it comes from a place of emotion to an architect the place speaks about history, culture, and functionality. A layman tends to have biased opinions about the physical environment they are used to while an architect perceives the space based not only on emotion but also quality.
“What’s popular may not be right what right may not always be popular. “
This quote holds good while talking about the difference in how the impact differs between an architect and a normal person. A normal person is easily tempted by what’s in the trend without understanding the context. However, an architect has to understand the geographic, climatic, cultural, and historical context of the project to design a more functional building with the use of appropriate materials and elements.
Negative Impact-Architect vs User
However, with such imaginative minds, they take risks to push the envelope. Comparing from the point of view of the user, iconic gems in the world of architecture have had flaws.
Taking the example of The Falling Water designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Pennsylvania. Despite being considered a marvel in architecture, it is deemed inhabitable for its leaking roof. Thus, a correct balance of innovation, imagination, durability, and workability is required in designing spaces. What we need to understand is that the building the architects are building might be just another project for them but the users, this is their home, dream, or investment of a lifetime.
Future of Architecture
Pandemic-equipped architects around the world in quick response to difficult situations. In this dynamic and everything world, the pandemic made people evaluate the importance of multifunctional spaces and the future of public spaces. Like every other discipline, the future of architecture depends on its ability to evolve and adapt. The future will focus more on workability, flexibility, and inclusion of nature in design through the use of high-end technology and advanced materials, techniques.
“Life is architecture, and architecture is the mirror of life”-I.M Pie
Patrick Lynch. (05 Jul 2017).”Architects Think About Space Differently from Other People, New Study Confirms”. Accessed from ArchDaily.
Luisa Stegner. (Jan 17, 2021). The Influence of Architecture on our psyche.