Architecture has played a significant role in human history, reflecting societal values, achievements, and the eventual decline of civilisations throughout time. From the grand monuments to the humble residences and everyday buildings that compose the urban landscape, we can gain valuable insights into the lives and culture of previous generations. Today, with advances in psychological and environmental research, we are discovering new ways to understand the impact of architecture on human behaviour and well-being. Such insights raise the intriguing question of what human existence would be like without architecture.

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The Brihadeeswara Temple has a massive colonnaded prakara (corridor) and one of the largest Shiva lingas in India_ ©Reality Images

Life without Architecture

Human existence without architecture is difficult to imagine. Since the dawn of civilisation, humans have been building structures to shelter themselves from the elements and to provide spaces for living, working, and gathering.

Without architecture, we would not have physical structures that provide shelter, protection, and comfort. We would not have buildings for work, leisure, or education. Our cities would need more infrastructure for transportation, communication, and energy.

In addition to its practical function, architecture serves as a means of expression and cultural identity. It reflects a society’s values, beliefs, and aesthetics and helps shape our sense of place and community. The architecture was used as a symbol to showcase your power, wealth & grandeur by Rulers in their kingdoms. Even today,architecture as a tool is continuously growing & trying to influence people’s life.

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Chand Baori is one of the most esoteric and odd places in Rajasthan & It’s known to be the deepest step well (3500 steps moving down 20 meters down that’s 13 stories) in the world._©Edward

Without architecture, human culture would be less diverse and richer, as buildings and public spaces would be less characteristic and less expressive. In short, architecture is an essential aspect of human existence and has played a vital role in shaping human history and culture.

Imagine a world where human beings lack knowledge of how the world is put together and have no means to understand the relationship between their quests and the spaces they occupy. In such a world, architecture is the fundamental means of bringing people together, providing a space for individuals and families to connect.

Architecture, at its core, is designed to provide sheltered internal spaces for human occupation. As long as humans face challenges and seek refuge from the external environment, architecture will continue to exist in some form. Whether through the construction of homes, buildings, or public spaces, architecture plays a vital role in facilitating social interaction and fulfilling the basic human need for shelter.

Importance of Architecture

At its core, architecture serves the purpose of creating physical spaces for people to inhabit. However, beyond its practical function, architecture also holds cultural significance. It reflects our understanding of ourselves and our perception of the world. Through its design and construction, architecture shapes our surroundings and influences our behavior and emotions. Thus, architecture is not merely a physical entity but an integral part of our cultural identity.

The field of architecture holds a unique position among creative and artistic professions, as it must always be influenced by the age and cultural context that produced it. The process of designing and building architecture involves a significant investment of time, money, and collaboration from various stakeholders such as financiers, civic officials, contractors, and architects. Architecture cannot exist in isolation and is never the sole creation of just one person. Architects work with a large team of individuals to shape their buildings, and this collaboration results in a set of values that define how cultures see themselves and their world and how people interact with each other.

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Amer Fort ‘s architecture features a unique combination of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles_©Gurii

Beyond providing shelter, architecture plays a crucial role in shaping the context of our lives. It sets the stage for our experiences, whether it is the exhilaration of standing on the roof deck of a 50-story building, the vibrancy of a bustling public plaza, or the awe-inspiring feeling of being in a soaring cathedral. Communities form around architecture and take on the characteristics of their buildings. Architecture intersects with economics and science; its practitioners can be detail-oriented technicians and poets of space and form.

An architect once remarked that when one studies ancient cultures, their architecture is often the first thing people point to, as it is so expressive of who they were. Ancient Egypt, for example, is closely associated with the pyramids and the Sphinx, which provide insight into their views on religion, rulers, and building materials. The towering feats of Gothic architecture, which emerged in Europe during the Middle Ages, were a perfect reflection of their age of reverence and fear of divinity in a period of grim instability. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to Modernism, which used mass-produced steel and glass to replicate the emerging order of machine production in cities. All revolutions, particularly political ones, turn to architecture immediately to create their most prominent monuments. Architecture can explain the age in which it was built, regardless of whether it is an elaborate showpiece or a banal standby.

By observing how architecture reflects culture, one can understand that it is not just a profession but a worldview and a lens through which to interpret one’s surroundings.

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The Jaipur astronomical observatory, Jantar Mantar-built by the enlightened ruler Sawai Jai Singh II in 1729—is one of the world’s most accurate pre-modern observatories, and attests eighteenth-century_©

Impact of Architecture on Society

The impact of architecture on humanity extends beyond grandeur and splendour to encompass even the smallest and most mundane spaces. Inflexible, uncomfortable, unappealing, or poorly functioning spaces can have significant emotional and psychological effects on their occupants, which can ripple into other aspects of their lives. Therefore, architects and designers should not solely prioritise aesthetics but also consider the human experience and well-being of those who will inhabit their spaces. By doing so, they can create spaces that are not only visually pleasing but also contribute positively to the lives of their occupants.

For instance, some of the low-income “projects” built in Chicago were poorly thought out and caused many unintended consequences. These structures have now been torn down and replaced with better solutions. 

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CapitaSpring, Located in Singapore’s Financial district on the site of a former public car park & a hawker center, the mixed-use high-rise is defined by a dynamic interplay of orthogonal lines, lush greenery _©Finbarr Fallon

Many speculative office buildings are often poorly designed and tend to prioritize the return on investment over the well-being of their occupants. In such spaces, there may be insufficient fresh air circulation, inadequate control of temperature and humidity due to poor mechanical systems, generic lighting, poor space planning leading to congestion and poor flow of people, lack of consideration for acoustics resulting in high noise levels, and unappealing aesthetics. This can negatively affect the motivation and comfort of the people who work in these spaces, leading to lower productivity and overall unhappiness. One can imagine how a “bad” day in such an uncomfortable and uninviting environment would only exacerbate negative emotions.

On the other side, spaces that are well-designed, naturally lit & ventilated, comfortable and attractive. A well-thought office space can inspire its inhabitants, a nice office environment can increase their productivity, and a welcoming government office can make the bureaucratic process more tolerable. Space, where people would love to stay & work, is the ultimate goal of architecture.

Rising 20 stories over the bay-front, Grove at Grand Bay showcases 96 expansive residences with panoramic views from every angle  _©Rasmus Hjortshøj


Human existence without architecture would be vastly different from what it is today. Architecture is an integral part of human life, shaping how we interact with our environment and each other. Without architecture, we would lack the built environments that provide shelter, safety, and comfort.

Without architecture, humans would likely live in more natural environments, such as caves or simple structures made of natural materials. Our cities would not exist as we know them today, and how we live, and work would be very different. We would also lack the many forms of cultural expression that architecture provides, such as the beautiful and intricate designs of cathedrals, mosques, and temples.

Furthermore, without architecture, we would lack the technology and knowledge developed over centuries to create structurally sound, energy-efficient, and aesthetically pleasing buildings. We would also lack the ability to adapt our built environments to changing needs and circumstances, such as the need for social distancing during a pandemic.

In conclusion, it is difficult to imagine a world without architecture, as architecture is critical in shaping our physical and cultural environments. Without it, we would lack many essential elements that make human life possible and enjoyable.

“As Long as There Are Human Beings and their Challenges, There Will Be Architecture”- Ole Bouman

References List- 

  1. Navar, A. (2015) How can architecture better the life of humanity?, Quora. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  2. Osten, M.von (2009) Architecture without architects-another anarchist approach, Journal #06. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  3. Hill, D. (2020) Architects without architecture, Medium. But what was the question? Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  4. Admin (2021) Importance of architecture for society and in Modern World, IMPOFF. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 

Image List- 

  1. Images, R. (2019) Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  2. Edward (no date) Locations Scout. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  3. Gurii (no date) Tripoto. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  4. (no date) Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  5. (no date) Auroville. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  6. Fallon, F. (2022) Archdaily. Paula Pintos. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 
  7. Hjortshøj, R. (2018) Archdaily. María Francisca González. Available at: (Accessed: April 1, 2023). 

Ayush Tapdiya, a Pune-based Architect, currently works on Large-scale Architectural Projects. He finds pleasure in delving into ideas and theories on a wide range of subjects, and particularly relishes engaging in conversations with individuals holding diverse viewpoints. His enthusiasm & optimism fuels everyone around him. He's a goal-oriented person who thrives on challenges and constantly seeks to improve himself.