Oh! How beautiful and joyous this space is, it radiates so much positivity, says a commoner is praising a built form.
It indeed is, but the circulation of the design needs to be worked upon; also, the kind of furniture used does not match the interiors, and it lacks optimum use of natural light.
Yes, you guessed it right, the second statement is exclaimed by an architect.
The mere study of this art form leads to the transformation of the analytical approach of a person towards an architectural space subconsciously, and then the beauty of the place is stated by how well planned a built form is, Is it functional and has smooth circulation, Is it efficiently ventilated and lit and then the aesthetics. The Different perspectives about the same built form explain different ways how an architectural space impacts its users and creators. Transference of opinions about a design from a non-architect to an architect occurs based on the respective design analyzing factors and preferences, but the architectural pieces both of these admire are the ones they connect emotionally with and which reflect their cultural beliefs and values be, whatever the perspective. Buildings reflect human beings’ emotional intellect and instil them a sense of comfort and joy. The ingrained feeling of safety and security in a space resonates with us subconsciously.
A British Architect Simon Unwin in his book Analysing Architecture compared architecture to learning a language; like a language, architecture has its patterns and arrangements in different combinations and compositions as situations suggest. But the combinations and compositions have a positive or negative impact depending on the resonance of space with the user.
Cultural impact of Architecture
“The ultimate goal of the architect…is to create a paradise. Every house, every product of architecture. It should be a fruit of our endeavour to build an earthly paradise for people,” said Alvar Aalto, which shed light on the importance of culture-oriented designs that are unique to every culture and hence provide a homely feeling to different communities.
The culture of different communities leads back in time, narrating a different story explaining the design preferences and factors governing the planning of space. Analyzing the architecture of Hindu temples depicts the fact that the design of the built form is ritual and beliefs oriented following the fundamental format of Hindu ideologies, from garbhagriha for deities to parikrama passages to vimanas and mandapas. All the cosmic elements that celebrate the values and culture of Hinduism, namely fire and water, feminine and masculine energies worshipped, incense smells, and pious shankh sounds, are incorporated into a design resulting in an impactful architectural marvel. The stories of the ancient idols are carved or painted on the walls and ceilings of the building to instil those values in the visitors and to applaud their culture and traditions.
Psychological Impacts of Architecture
Architectural psychology is the relationship between humans and their physical space. The term was introduced by Willy Hellpach in the 20th century elaborating on the effects of environmental stimuli on human activities. As we enter a space, the cells in the hippocampal region of our brain respond to the geometry of the place and affect one’s mood and behaviour. Space should be designed considering the factors ensuring a comfortable and satisfactory environment. Psychologically sound designs affect our energy levels and disposition. For instance, a building with an ample amount of natural light pouring in causes the release of a hormone called serotonin in the human body, which reduces stress levels. The colours of space create vibrations that not only affect our mood but also impact architectural perspectives, making us feel that space is expanded or squeezed
Studies on Ceiling Height showed the kind of impact they make on cognition. Individuals tend to be more creative in rooms with more ceiling heights rather than the ones with lower ceilings. A brain scan experiment indicated that the part of the brain involved in analyzing visual spaces activated when it came across high ceiling heights and not in low ceilings, which sums up that high ceilings influence people to think out of the box and explore more.
Social impact of architecture
Architecture is ever since impacted society bringing the communities together and working towards social change. Amidst the crisis of climate change, natural cataclysms, social issues, and global pandemics, architects are held responsible for keeping the communities intact and spaces socially viable. Architecture is the driving force behind finding solutions for these situations by studying the factors and causes to provide better habitat and overall environment for humankind.
Recent years have seen a major surge in socially responsive designs; from climate responsive to net-zero energy building, affordable housing to disaster relief built forms; Architecture is working on humanitarian grounds to back up a secure and sustainable future.
Looking at the current scenario of COVID-19, where everyone turned to the doctors and other frontline workers, the architects are working on more efficient designs that provide distanced collaborations, minimize human interactions in public spaces and automated designs that eliminate human touch to ensure less harm and maximum productivity.
Art and Shelter intertwined devise architecture impacting each life it touches. With efficient use of resources and responsible designing methods impact of architecture can be optimized, upgrading humankind in all aspects, ensuring a bright today and a joyous tomorrow.
Are You Working Towards it?
- Unwin, S. (1997). Analysing Architect. Great Britain. Routledge