Since the beginning of life on earth, the very idea of comfort under a shelter has been the one which has kept the generations exploring, creating and doing wonders. The term ‘architecture’ encompasses the entire thread of social, political, emotional and economic status of societies across the world. It is not limited to just an amalgamation of four walls and a roof but rather an emotion withheld by the makers and the people using the space.
Architecture has changed the perspective of viewing public spaces, skyscrapers, community areas, etc., in the most subtle yet significant way. A person would have a number of emotions and memories attached to a particular place. Bringing together every tangible and intangible aspect has been one of the most powerful entities of a building. Someone somewhere has a distinct memory of them playing in the courtyard while their grandfather made paper boats for them, watching them as they giggle with wonder in their eyes; someone still repeats the time when they saw their mother cooking food from right across the kitchen, someone finding their happiness, someone losing their anger. Spaces perhaps hold one of the most significant positions in someone’s major life stories. They offer people to be themselves, perform and discover, rejuvenate and find themselves. Be it movie theatres or restaurants, bars or open sky, the dynamism of ever-changing spaces is what makes them come alive, blending in with our stories.
To look beyond the given, to try digging deeper into the meaning of existing elements, to try understanding the intention behind a certain colour, a particular door frame, a specific detail, is what architecture has been about. It is not only challenging for the ones who build but also for the ones who visit, use and stay.
On a wider scale, skyscrapers have been one of the most influential types of buildings in recent years. They do not only show the economic and social status of a person, but they also establish the skyline of the entire city. They are not only about the good views and comfort; they are also about the efforts and energy they took to be built. Thus, defining the city to its core. Similarly, public spaces provide a major opportunity for people of the city to get together and celebrate themselves celebrate life. Community areas play a significant role in developing a person’s mindset. Not only are they home and a loving neighbourhood, but they also build a person in terms of social and cultural skills. In all of this, the architecture makes us realise its importance as a whole and in-depth. The walls built around us in a specific manner are intentional and make us behave in a certain kind of way, subconsciously.
We, humans, are driven to the places where walls and ceilings draw us. Architecture makes us look beyond that; it teaches us to question, ponder and look for answers, look for reasons which are not readable but yet important. The strength a place holds to make us feel, to trigger hidden thoughts within us, to submit, to be, is enormous. Space holds power to channel our emotions. Every wall, every window, every room fosters a meaning, apart from the obvious, apart from the one which is literal and clear. There are intentions behind a space made; we need to recognise them and, in the process, appreciate it all because of the capacities it makes us realise for our own selves. Architecture changes one’s perspective in the minutest way. From the way that they move to the way that they stand still, from the way that they think to the way they take a decision, it has been one of the underlying causes.
The different styles of architecture across the world suggest the types of people and the reflection of their mindsets that have made them. The extensive use and exploration of a particular material, construction method, design and development show the process and growth of a society. They exemplify the culture and religion of a place. They state the situations and status of existing politics and the economy. They give people the power to build and destroy, to bring together, to tear apart. To make something the most important, to outright reject. It gives freedom and courage to try, test and take a step to do something a little more for society and themselves. To leave a mark for a longer period of time. To remember and ruin, to worship and to bring justice.
Architecture is for the people who dare to dream about contributing something so powerful and effective, who don’t take a step back when they’re challenged; instead, they break all the stereotypes and make the most out of the given. It changes one to become a better, fuller, happier version of themselves.
“God is in the details.” – Mies van der Rohe