Each individual has a different perception, whether it is about interpreting a book or viewing a building. According to one’s experiences and background, one typically connects to a space from a non-architectural perspective in terms of its obvious beauty, romanticized history, etc. When it comes to having an architectural background, whether as a student or as an established architect, it is the sense of experiencing architecture that begins to develop, it isn’t restricted to just built environments anymore. Still, it enhances the understanding of how people occupy a given space. 

Architecture is a blend of art and science, spanning fields such as history, psychology, structures, design, planning, and so on. One gets exposed to multiple dimensions of perceiving a single space. Whether starting afresh or analyzing an existing design, there are new perspectives of viewing a space, even if one has spent their entire life over there. 

Based on the era in which a building was constructed, one can understand its architectural style and the technology which was followed at the time. The architectural style followed is based on the climate of that particular region, making a building more resilient. Climate determines the techniques that will need to be followed in the construction process.

Architecture is more than just the built environment; it also provides an understanding of cultural aspects. It furthers the understanding of the occupants inhabiting a space. Hence, architecture opens the mind to new aspects of experiencing space. It enables one to understand a space’s potential and its optimum utilisation level. 

Architectural Perceptions - Sheet1
Experiencing architecture in a built-environment_https___www.reading.ac.uk_discover_-_media_discover_images_tiles_carousel-tiles_research_rd-be-impact.jpg

Whether a public park or a historical monument, attention to minute details increases. The spaces within a building, the spaces between two buildings, the public spaces, the private spaces, everything encompasses what the architecture of a place represents.

The city of New Delhi, the capital of India, provides a diverse range of perceptions and understandings of the various architectural styles and the impact they have on shaping the city. As a prime example, the city is home to historical monuments, buildings constructed during British rule, and additional post-independence developments.

Architectural Perceptions - Sheet2
Monuments of New Delhi_©https://www.india.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Delhi-Monuments.jpg

Perceiving Public Places 

Any place open and accessible to the general public is a public place. But as one grows further into the architecture of such places, it becomes far more intricate than just a public-accessible place. It begins with the concept of space utilization. The spaces within a public space define its character. The way people use the space defines its character.

Architectural Perceptions - Sheet3
A potential public place_©https://cdnarchitect.s3.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/2019/01/07110740/sidewalk_labs_-_public_realm_visiona.jpg

The public place isn’t just about the number of people gathered, but the potential typologies of inhabitations that are taking place. The type of public place and the environment it generates becomes important.

Whether it is a neighbourhood park or a Civic Centre, both are public places, but the character of the places makes them different. As an architect, one begins to analyze the optimal use of the public space that has been created. The number of people who visit the site, the age group of those who visit the location, and even whether or not the location can cater to that age group.

Considering the transition from a non-architectural to an architectural background, a neighbourhood park is more than just watching children on swings; it is about the different potential inhabitations being formed, such as solitude, intimacy, and congregation. Suddenly the use of the place during different times of the day is what counts toward its optimum utilization.

Perceiving Skyscrapers

The glorious height and the beauty of the views a building offers. Isn’t that what a skyscraper is? Probably yes, but that’s not it. Ever wondered how it is built?

Being an architect, one does understand the technicalities behind a skyscraper. The location is what is most important. The location dictates the climatic conditions the building will face and whether the designed structure is even feasible or not. 

Everything is required for a successful skyscraper, from the type of foundation to ensure soil strength to the façade’s ability to withstand wind loads. The cost of constructing a skyscraper must be optimized if and only if the design adheres to the structural parameters.

Architectural Perceptions - Sheet4
Burj Khalifa_ ©SOM / Nick Merrick Hedrich Blessing 2010 https://www.skyscrapercenter.com/building/burj-khalifa/3

It is the depth to which one can perceive a building that develops when one steps into the field of architecture. Whether it is the structural parameters, the architectural style, the functionality of a space, or the space utilization, everything changes the perspective of how one views a space. 

One may or may not be related to the architectural profession, yet no two individuals can think the same. That’s probably the best part. Architects can view spaces in a wide variety of ways, resulting in the development of their field. It adds to the experience when one walks into a space, and something just feels right or it doesn’t. This further recognizes architecture as a profession capable of embracing space and developing a sense of experiencing it.


Ketki is a fifth year architecture student and a Kathak dancer currently interning in New Delhi. She discovers an intersecting dimension between the two creative fields in order to further her real-world experience and refine her skills.