Attested as a discipline that translates art and intellectual philosophies into tangible- inhabitable spaces assisted with technology, Architecture opens possibilities of vast fields of experiences from minuscule details to towers of soaring heights, intricately carved sculpture to fine lines of minimalism. 

Studying architecture inculcates cognizance to apprehend and appraise buildings through various parameters beyond being seduced by their visual aesthetic.

From merely being in awe, gawking at an architectural edifice, to looking beyond, analyzing how they function, how an abstract idea might have taken shape, and far beyond, how was that idea even born in the first place, are just a few of the hundred thoughts that cross an architect’s mind.

Strolling through the streets

Acquiring knowledge in the field of architecture makes one more observant and transforms mundane experiences into pragmatic intellect. For instance, while walking down a street of an old city, one perceives its spaces beyond what the eyes of a common man appreciate. Right from assimilating how certain street sections promote human interaction and foster a sense of community that induces life in a street; An association with the architectural fraternity has defined one’s perspective on analyzing the trilateral interrelation of walkability, temporal perception, and urban ambiance. 

Furthermore, it makes one recognize and acknowledge the fourth dimension:  the social dimension which encompasses spatial configuration & activities and sensory experiences enabled through them.

The altered perspective: An architect’s way of viewing the world - Sheet1
Stories woven by the enticing charm of Indian streets_©Charu Chaturvedi

Bowing down to religious marvels

Art has always been an integral part of religious institutions that have fascinated generations over time. Formerly visited solely to worship, one couldn’t consciously recognize the stimuli instilled by the space. But after having studied temple architecture, for instance, one is amazed by how arrangements of volumes contribute to imbuing peace in an enclosure while visiting a temple.

Instead of mere vision, one is in conversation with several realms of sensory experiences which interact and fuse. Enthralled by the intricate details carved in stone and the dignity they bear; one also begins to observe how designs vary geographically and throughout a historical passage of time under the reigns of several dynasties.

Although everyone who visits a temple undergoes a transition in spaces from mandala to garbhagriha, as an architecture student, one now takes a moment to discern how the quality of light, the material palette, and the changing soundscape contribute to creating a calming experience and an environment to delve deep within ourselves and connect with the divine energy.

The altered perspective: An architect’s way of viewing the world - Sheet2
The spiritual undertone of Indian Temples_©Volker Glätsch

Looking up to colossal heights

With advancements in technology and the exigency to provide solutions sufficing the needs of a rising population, skyscrapers made their way to the jeweled urban skyline right from the early 1900s. 

Way beyond just tall structures, mostly enveloped in glass, an architectural perspective enables one to deeply analyze its development of form, structural system, impact on users & environment, and how it affects the economy. 

Skyscrapers act as representations of the socio-economic status of a city and play an intrinsic role in re-establishing the identity of a city. These architectural marvels reserve more space on earth by going higher, portraying “development” but arguments against them for killing the sense of community, disconnecting users from nature, inducing loneliness having adverse impacts on mental health stand equally strong.

They have always been among the ambiguous topics; Discussions of that highlight conflict of opinion, often leading to debate, but just being able to view them with that crucial eye comes from the understanding of architecture. 

The altered perspective: An architect’s way of viewing the world - Sheet3
New York city crammed with skyscrapers_©Leonhard Niederwimmer

Through the realms of public spaces

“A city without shared public spaces, is a city without culture, without history”, as quoted by Charles Correa, one of the greatest Indian architects known for his adaptation of Modernist tenets to local climates and building styles focuses on the importance of having public spaces and their importance in an urban context. 

The paradigm of Indian markets is usually chaotic and bustling with crowds, yet amidst all the madness, brews a million stories that contribute to keeping the city alive. While a layman moves around, only getting his work done in a market, he subconsciously builds relations with other people and vendors around him, over almost involuntarily friendly gestures of a smile or a subtle nod. Social interactions overlapping a multitude of activities induce a strong sense of community and the notion of its essence emerges through the tension between various human and natural orders. These spaces work with internal logic with some metaphysical value.

The tinted lens of having studied architecture facilitates one to absorb its multifaceted nature offering value and function through apparent chaos and disorder. Identification of geographical, demographic, and social characteristics of these public spaces and the context they fit makes one appreciate the multiple layers of richness and beauty of these spaces in the urban fabric of our cities and hence celebrate the “chaos”.

The altered perspective: An architect’s way of viewing the world - Sheet4
Vibrance of Indian Market spaces_©Lakshita Sivakoumar

References: 

  1. Hassan, D.K. and Elkhateeb, A. (2021). Walking experience: Exploring the trilateral intherrelation of walkability, temporal perception, and urban ambiance. Frontiers of Architectural Research. doi:10.1016/j.foar.2021.02.004.
  2. Pallasma,J . (1996). The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. (2005 Edition). West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd,
  3. Arcana Gupta  & Ansuman Gupta (2016)Celebrating public spaces of India. [online] Retrieved from: https://issuu.com/mapin/docs/celebrating_public_spaces_of_india
Author

Confident in expressions & creative in conception, Keya is an architecture student weaving ethereal stories in the existing social fabric through her words and illustrations. She ardently believes in the power of sustainable design to revolutionise the lives of people and influence it in the most intangible ways.

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