At its core, architecture is a vast amalgamation of thoughts, ideas, creativity, and imagination. It is the very definition of a myriad of existence that co-depends on the people and the places in it. Since prehistoric times, architecture is a term considered prominent in reflecting the culture and history of time and its people. So, what if there is a world where architecture does not exist? Living in the absence of architecture is an other-worldly concept. But what if the world is deprived of such a concept and lives without building space? 

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet1
Contemporary Architecture in Painting_©SerraGlia

Where It All Started

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet2
Capriccio with Architecture and Figures_©Pietro Capelli

“To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.” (Libeskind, 2015)

Architecture and its existence cannot be defined within a particular time and period. It is as old as humanity and the emergence of humankind themselves. It can be interpreted that the early civilization must have gained inspiration to create architectural inventions by accumulating inspiration from nature. This analysis is evident from the shelters constructed by the people who lived in the caves and their willingness to seek more knowledge hidden in abundance. The exact origin of architecture could be said to date to the Neolithic period, around 10 000 BC, and the urge to design an architectural artifact was fueled by much more than the mere need for aesthetic appeal (Lee, 2016).

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet4
Daily life in Hinds Cave_©Peggy Maceo

Architecture Through The Years: An Evolution

Our history and stories are primarily intertwined with the evolution of architecture and depict the development of life in general. Therefore, imagining a life that would have been in the absence of the invention called architecture in the early times is beyond unbelievable. In retrospect, humans and architecture have knowingly or unknowingly depended on each other. The evolution of architecture is a topic debated rather subjectively, but evidence shows that the early wonders of architecture are tombs and pyramids. With time and constantly changing human needs, architecture has undergone immaculate trends over the years, from buildings made of mud and thatch to buildings developed through computer graphics. 

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet5
The Step Pyramid of Djoser is the oldest pyramid in Egypt_©Ulrich Hollmann

Blurring Boundaries Between Architecture And People

The boundary in terms of architecture can be defined as a primary element of ancient city form. But in this context, the focus is mainly on people and their conventional limits to architecture. Architecture has always been a crucial factor in history and civilization, rather than just the track record of architects doing their thing according to the agenda of a specific profession (Harrouk, 2021). Fundamentally, developing and representing architecture begins with the human nature of adapting and attempting to create a place of their own. For the early beings, security and the necessity for living were the prime concerns which gave birth to the built spaces around us. Furthermore, it evoked an understanding among them about the resources available and utilizing them for wellbeing. Even though architecture plays the main character in the profession of architects and their value, it equally measures the fine lines of the dependency of the existence of common people. The absence of architecture cannot be outlived by society even if they willingly try to attempt it. And here is where the beliefs of architecture as a factor dictating the world and its existence come to play. People’s dependence on architecture remains a significant influence on development even in the 21st century

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet6
The Fountain_©Xavier Veilhan

Architecture As An Art Of Communication

“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.” (Churchill, 1943)

Day by day, professionals in the art and design field are introducing newly discovered and recently developed tactics to implement architecture and its functions in people’s everyday lives. A parallel and equally consistent transformation of architecture can be seen toward more and more utopian and philosophical, more metaphorical, even metaphysical solutions that are characteristic of humanistic knowledge (Mizia, 2014). An architect contributes his design and approaches the clients through narrative storytelling of thoughts, ideas, and inclusive feelings. Architecture is a medium that impacts and evokes a sense of identity and belonging through the transference of emotions in people and places. A city is described by how it is created and how the various building spaces of that place convey nostalgic memories to the person expressing it. Alternatively, the world would be without meaning in the absence of architecture. The beautiful world depicting imaginations and vivid ideas of mankind is the one we are all accustomed to, and to think of existing without one, without architecture, is a meaningless thought but also worth the curiosity. 

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet7
Exterior of the Center for Mental Health, Paris_©Meredith TenHoor

At The End Of The Day

When addressing the elephant in the room that is human existence without architecture, the advantages of architecture often withstand time and history. Be it past, present, or future, the world lives and breathes in the presence of architecture. In retrospect, the buildings and spaces built and developed over time are lives led by humans. Architecture has a profound way of impacting the occupants and playing in shaping society both on a personal and emotional level. It is an area that covers many others, such as economics, politics, sociology, psychology, and more, and hence is considered an art and science coexisting together.

A World Devoid of Imagination: Existing Without Architecture - Sheet8
Construction of The Empire State Building, New York_©Lewis Hine

Architecture articulates and inculcates curiosity, creativity, and imagination in humans. The opposite discussion and debate on its existence can further lead to obstinacy. Humans are adaptive, and they invented the different aspects of architecture due to the implications that their living conditions demanded. Therefore, if architecture is not present in the world for some bizarre reason, undoubtedly, the world will cater to other creations and ideas to continue living. While it can be debated that humans are adaptive and can live in the absence of architecture, it is also vital to acknowledge that the value, perspectives and remaining knowledge won’t be the same. 


  1. Harrouk, C. (2021). ‘As Long as There Are Human Beings and their Challenges, There Will Be Architecture’: In Conversation with Ole Bouman. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: [Accessed 28 Sep. 2022].
  2. Lee, P. (2016). The History of Architecture in a Nutshell | Widewalls. [online] Available at:
  3. Mizia, M. (2014). Architecture as an Art of Understanding. The Polish Review, 59(4), pp.82 and 83. A parallel and equally consistent transformation of architecture can be seen toward more and more utopian and philosophical, more metaphorical, even metaphysical solutions that are characteristic of humanistic knowledge.
  4. Tenenbaum, E.B. (2015). (De)constructing memory – Architecture’s wunderkind Daniel Libeskind reveals the dreams behind his awe-inspiring creations – The Glass Magazine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Sep. 2022].
  5. We Shape Our Buildings; Thereafter They Shape Us. (2018). Grammar of Complexity, pp.159–190. doi:10.1142/9789813232501_0007.

Apart from being immersed in books and fictional worlds, you can find Akshaya being engrossed in the world of literature, art, and architecture. As a graduate of architecture with a deep passion for writing, she aims to merge the worlds of creativity and create fresh ideas to implement in her works.