It never fails to amaze the space around us; and in fact, within us. The space within us, however intangible it might be, has a direct, impactful relationship with the one around us, and that relationship holds inversely too. We never stop being part of this space, this architecture, yet we remain unaware, unbothered by its charm. Architecture provides a contrasting experience for both kinds of users, the aware and the ignorant. Oblivion is said to be blissful, but spatial cognizance can be inherently gratifying. 

Every day we are exposed to architectural features of the built environment without realizing their significance. We go about our everyday lives without pausing to comprehend our surroundings. We glance through pretty buildings, tall towers, and lush green parks that catch our eye without knowing the thought behind the building or the story behind the park. Understanding sophisticated architectural theories and concepts is not required to appreciate the beauty around you; all that is needed is a keen eye. But to truly admire the utility and function of a structure and to cherish the essence of open space, one needs insight into the vast world of architecture. 

From Artsy to Architectural

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Perspective photography_©backlightblog.com/perspective-photography

What was once just a tall office building we passed on our way to school has now become a solution for providing a space for thousands of workers in a congested city. The park, which used to be just a place to hang out in the evenings, has transformed into a fantastic example of recreational landscaping. We began to notice other built structures after just being aware of those that fell immediately beneath the radar of use. They evolved from merely buildings or open spaces to structures with function and concept. All of these transformations are only possible with knowledge about architecture and design. We missed out on experiencing the significance of these spaces because the rationale for creating any structure looked worthless or unknown until we learned about architecture. Everyone merely looked at the building as is, without analyzing its existence, living environments, whys, how’s, or impact on us. However, knowledge breeds curiosity, and curiosity, while it may have killed the cat, brings the soul of design to life.

Architecture provides a place for ordinary people to flourish, for artists to study and inspire, for admirers to celebrate masterpieces, and for critics to criticize deficiencies. This new perspective allows us to appreciate and praise the environment around us, genuinely experience the spirit of these areas, and form bonds with them, so that we can identify our memorable experiences with not just people but also places. Memories made both within and outside the walls of structures can linger for centuries. When everything else becomes too much, we frequently reminisce. We return to the areas where we have made some of our most cherished memories in the hopes of finding inspiration, recharging our batteries, and reconnecting like a favorite restaurant, a quiet reading spot in the garden, or an old playground.

Eye of a Critic

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Architectural criticism_©www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/A1002-Web-Things-to-know-before-pursuing-a-career-in-Architectural-Criticism.jpg

Buildings can be found in all shapes and sizes, both enormous and small, ugly and beautiful, ambitious and inept. We walk among them and live within them, primarily as spectators in cities made up of towers, houses, open spaces, and stores that we did not design. However, we are the most dominant audience for them. Owners, clients, residents or other users come and go, but architecture endures, playing a part in the city’s and citizens’ lives forever. It changes with us while still not changing at all. 

The more we learn about the ideas and principles of architecture and the concept of developing a structure, the more we notice its defects. These problems include dimly lit interiors, a lack of open spaces, poor design, and insufficient ventilation, to name a few. A building is complete when all of its defects and strengths are combined. That gives us an absolute sense of being in a civilization shaped by architecture. This is how we comprehend the amount to which we are influenced by our constructed and natural environments.

Look out for an Improved Outlook

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Children village in brazil_©Leonardo Finnotti

The most basic lesson that architecture teaches us is that raising a kid requires the involvement of the entire village. These buildings around us, the structures that are a vital part of our daily life, are a lot like kids. To build them from scratch takes so much more than just an idea. Being a jack of all trades, rather than just a master of one, is what distinguishes an architect. The eye-catching design aspects motivate us to progress. The defects in the same design stimulate us to be and achieve better. People are inspired to explore their inner skills, to be able to develop and invent, and contribute back to society when they look at things from a different perspective.

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” [G1] 

This quote by Winston Churchill aptly captures a man’s relationship with his surroundings. While we may all interpret this quotation differently, I believe he understood the power of a building and, in this case, believed that a building was more than simply a structure; it was a place of trust that shaped all who entered and engaged with it. As a result, when we develop the built structures around us, such as our parks and plazas, roadside walkways, schools, homes, and workplaces, we are creating surroundings of trust, power, independence, and development for ourselves and future generations.

Citations:

[G1]Winston Churchill, from a speech at the House of Commons, October 28,943.

Author

Gargi is strong willed, sure of herself and fiercely moral. Whether it’s taking on a challenge at work or striking up a conversation with a friend, she can always be counted on to make the courageous move. Gargi’s drive to create and inspire fuels her every move - at work, with friends and at home. Whether she’s involved in artistic pursuits or problem solving at the office, her creative side always backs her up.

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