Architecture refers to the art of curating a building into inhabitable space. Architects are artists who paint lifestyles on the canvas of their built environment. They understand the importance of space, proportions, details, etc., which non-architects/ laypersons tend to miss out on. Every professional has expertise in their domain, and their technicalities and terminologies are not understood by the laypersons. For example, the medicinal terms are not understood by the patients as much as by the doctors. Every profession is different, and there are experts for each one of them, but what makes architecture unique is its existence and impact on every individual’s lifestyle.

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The National Memorial for Peace and Justice designed by MASS Design Group_©Alan Karchmer

Architecture through an architect’s lens

An architect has the eye to capture all of their experiences into pieces of architecture. Every place has a character, and architects cater to that character. Architects design lifestyles and leave a huge impact on people’s psychology. Good architecture is important for the peace of mind of the users. Non-architects or laypersons often criticize architects for bad designs or clients who do not want to pay for an architect or a designer, but the common people do not understand the vitality of good designs in people’s lives. 

The design of a space imparts a major impact on the everyday life of people. Spaces affect people’s psychology. Have you ever thought of the importance of light in your room? Have you imagined yourself living in a dark room without a window? I would feel trapped! Architects comprehend the significance of light in a space and play with it to create experiences for users. The aura of a place is composed of light, air, volume, and elements. Architects put up these elements together to create an abode for everything that exists on this planet. So, when people move through buildings or amazing, picturesque, and unforgettable places, the architect leaves an impression on their psychology through his design. 

Being an architect, I notice several features in a place that a layperson would not! For example, character, aesthetics, emotions, and so on.

What does character mean to people?

For non-architects, the character is just a word defining the ambience. On the other hand, architects understand the quality of a space and are able to appreciate it because of their in-depth knowledge and study of the subject. Architects are thinkers and designers who hold power to change the character of any space.

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©Trevor Mein

Referring to the character of a place, architects tend to bring out and understand the importance of aesthetic angles in people’s lives. Aesthetics soothe our eyes, and architects, with their developed sense over the years in the industry, have the ability to appreciate the exquisiteness of a place that laypersons do not possess. Other examples can include proportion, scale, details, and so on.

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©bbc.com

What is proportion, and what role does it play in design? 

Proportions play a key role in fabricating a spot uniquely for different expressions. Incorrect proportions can lead to disastrous spaces or buildings! Do you ever imagine why the ceiling heights of malls or public complexes are a lot higher than our homes? 

It is because proportions matter in design as much as salt matters in our food. The hierarchy of a place or building is defined by proportion. It defines the degree of publicness of spaces. For example, the Qutub Minar is an inimitable masterpiece because of its proportions. Architects address these questions through their knowledge and tend to notice these trends in buildings, while laypersons lack a sense of proportion, maybe due to less acquaintance with the subject. Meanwhile, architects have the skill to compose and bind different elements in one space, which also comes with a sense of proportions.

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The Qutub Minar_©postvikram

Another important aspect of the design is detailing. Mies Van Der Rohe correctly quoted, God is in the details”. For architects, architecture is about exploring minutiae and detailing each space to the very core of it to create masterworks. When people visit the Taj Mahal, what do they notice?

The Taj Mahal_©chuvipro  Getty Images

Most of them are mesmerized by the landscaping and water body framed by the silhouette of tall standing Minarets in the pictures they click. At the same time, the architects study the details of the intricate carvings done by thousands of craftsmen. The pattern continues to exist with whatever piece of architecture people visit. All monuments and public places are tourist visuals for common visitors but for architects; they are case studies or inspirations.

Where does discrepancy lie? 

People criticize the architects for pestering over each detail of a building or spending more time with their sketchbooks than their company while travelling. It is simply because architects have the comprehension and competence to appreciate masterpieces and the quality of spaces. For a layperson, it’s just a building, but for an architect, it is the artwork by their fellows.

There is a niche of understanding and creativity that architects devise after years of study and experience; non-architects do not, and there lies the difference. So, the next time when a relative of yours says why to go to an architect/designer, I could design that, please enlighten them with the architect’s perspective in this article.

References:

  1. Anđelković, M., 2018. Architects vs. Laypersons: Different Perspectives on a Community Development. [online] Repository.acmt.hr. Available at: <https://repository.acmt.hr/islandora/object/acmt%3A11/datastream> [Accessed 18 June 2021].
Author

Aditi is a creative soul and a firm believer in procedural learning. She looks towards building a sustainable milieu by linking the built environment to the roots of India’s culture. She is an ardent reader and holds a keen interest in art, architecture and aesthetics.

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