Architecture has been a dynamic catalyst for change for many years, and its impact has resulted in a shift in individuals’ beliefs. By transforming our experiences, architecture takes us on a journey and inspires an emotional response to space or the surroundings. The role of visual communication in how we communicate with society has nourished the essence of architecture.

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The idea of architecture reflecting society is not new. Every period of human history has its own architectural voice. From the monumental structures to the residences and buildings that conjure the material of a city, we can learn a lot about who the people were who inhabited them long before our time. The fabric of the city, as well as the quality of living, is composed of architecture that depicts society, its ideals, accomplishments, and failures. The sense of belonging, connection, recognition of the traditions where all communities come together with all artistic lore arise. Architecture has a huge impact on the environment, the culture, the people ultimately impacting human psychology. By modifying our perspective, architecture takes us on a journey and inspires an emotional response to space or the environment.

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Architectural Volumes and Users_©Gensler

Role of Architecture in Shaping Communities 

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In earlier times, architecture was majorly about primitive shelter from dangers. Now it has evolved with time as a space for social support and economic assets bringing communities together. The impacts of architecture vary from person to person. As a designer, one communicates to structures with intuition and emotions, learning and understanding each detail on the façade. While to a regular user, it is just a pretty building and resonates with the landmark. 

“Architecture is an expression of values—the way we construct is a mirror of the way we live,” says English architect Sir Norman Foster. Building designs are opportunities for bringing communities together. The architecture itself creates a sense of place. A visual link to trees, landscapes, buildings in surroundings, thus enabling a person to stay connected with nature. Spaces that link to the future and connect with the culture.

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Communication within structures_©Sanyam Bahga

Conversations with spaces

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Architecture is capable of connecting deeply with the user’s emotions. Walking through the realm, the volume of space, quality, and characteristics tend to impact thoughts. Think of these examples:

If one lives in a city, possibilities are they could go a whole day without seeing the horizon in those skylines. Contrasting to that is an obstructed view of the horizon from a seashore giving a faraway perspective, making the user more connected to nature. On a mountain top, one can feel the vastness, and when in contrast with constant obstructions in a crowded city, one subconsciously reacts to the environment. Countless researches suggest that architecture psychologically tends to affect emotions. Journals including World Health Design, Environment Behaviour, and HERD have recorded the concept that architecture can affect behavior. The spaces that surround us shape us and our minds. It’s not only the function of the place that resonates with the person on a unique, subconscious level but a connection between the user and also the space itself in an emotional way.

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Life in the cluster_©RichardBURGER

Community, Colours, and Connections with Architecture 

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The sense of space, colors, and even the facade of a building creates a sense of belonging, connection, and recognition between man and nature. Variation in spaces triggers emotions thus, making them more aware and motivated or even ancient and fearful. Environments with natural light, good south induced light, and views have shown significantly better and faster odds of recovering than those who don’t. Architecture, with its impact on psychology, plays a huge part in triggering emotions. Blue signifies creativity, trustworthiness whereas Red is often associated with bold, solid focus, and aggression. Green symbolizes peace and stability, an abundance of nature, and prosperity. 

Studies say stress levels elevate in sterile, monotonous, dark, concrete landscapes and uninspiring buildings. The user feels more relaxed, happy, and engaged when buildings and towns are designed to combat this, whether through gorgeous, awe-inspiring architecture or simply a thoughtful connection to nature. Humans tend to connect with nature through architecture. Good light, views, and a good environment have a measurable impact on psychology.

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Architectural and the community_©AnishKapoor

The space we are in affects the way we feel and act. That sense of record respecting history, culture space, recognizing the importance of architecture in improving conditions, where we can create and innovate, and that sense of being constructive about climate change. The future is technology amalgamated with sustainability. Not only will technology help the architectural community, but it will also recognize human ties with the built environment as we look to the future of architecture and its impact on our lives. 

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People, well-versed in the language of design and the average user, can help shape communities, change viewpoints, affect moods, and even challenge to do the unthinkable by using architecture as a tool. Architects can continue to evolve their profession and adapt to the changing requirements of our society in a variety of ways. Accepting the challenge and believing in the ability to succeed is the way forward.

References: 

Websites

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  1. TEDx – TEDxTalks, The Impact of Architecture by Donald Schmitt [youtube video] 

Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVsCHMj5_Bo

  1. Bee Breeders. [Online] The Role of Architecture in Shaping Communities. 

Available at: https://architecturecompetitions.com

  1. HMC Architects. [Online] How Does Architecture Impact Society? A High-Level Look.

Available at https://hmcarchitects.com/ 

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  1. InspirationTuts. [Online] How Does Architecture Affect Society?

Available at https://inspirationtuts.com/

Author

A recent architecture grad student who believes design and research play a creative role in shaping society while providing advanced solutions. Her curiosity has drawn her passion into understanding the psychology of architecture with human behaviour and art. She relishes reading, discovering, and craves to learn more each day.

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