As rightly stated by Frank Gehry, “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness”. Art in the form of built structures, public spaces, and ancient monuments has always impacted the traditional, cultural, religious, and moral values of a community associated with it. Architects have dictated how a certain built form should be portrayed for a specific building use and that has been constant for ages. For instance, a church might look different from a temple and similarly, that’s how the representation of values and ethics of a community might differ from the other. At the early stages of a career, people often think that architecture is only associated with the local art of the place, but after entering professional education or practice, the realization hits that the architecture of a structure or space is often carefully derived considering several complex factors. That is something that can only be realized upon entering into the professional field. 

The Journey through Architecture – from Personal to Communal - Sheet1
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Learning Architecture – Demanding yet Thrilling 

The journey of learning and studying architecture as a subject can seem quite daunting at the beginning, as there is an immense amount of knowledge and skills to acquire. Keeping pace with ever-changing architectural trends with changes in location, climate, topography, and local and cultural aspects is quite an exciting experience for a fresher. There are several architectural styles, materials, construction techniques, vernacular techniques, and building forms to explore within the field, all very unique from one another. Moreover, a built environment can affect you emotionally to an extent. For instance, commercial and recreational spaces are designed with a sense of inclusion of people inside the premises to promote and gather people in that space. On the other hand, the planning of a hospital is encouraged to be functional with a great sense of ease of movement and connectivity. These very different typologies of internal planning are what make learning architecture burdensome yet fascinating. Over the course of five years of intensive study, one learns to create a balance between form, function, purpose, and aesthetics for a complete building design. 

Impacting Local Communities 

The architecture of a building not only impacts the surrounding space aesthetically but functionally as well to a great extent. Designing within the local settings and limits is what impacts the feel and texture of a city. It is observed how the architecture and planning of a town or city is a derivation and extension of its historical impacts. The architectural style is often influenced by the style adopted by past settlements. In the northern parts of India, there is a colonial touch in the buildings, while facades in the western parts have a Rajputana and Mughal style. These different styles derived from different cultural and ethnic groups pave the way for a certain style of architecture and detailing in that locality. This creates a generational impact on the architecture of the city. Learning and practicing architecture is learning and adapting to these local and vernacular practices and incorporating the principles of climatology. The influence of art and architecture can be seen through history well soaked within the flavors of cultures and traditions of a place. 

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The Impact of Studying and Exploring Architecture 

Architecture, since ages, influenced various lives at personal and community levels. That is why understanding architecture not only includes studying practices, techniques, and bylaws but also realizing its impact on various civilizations. Throughout studying architecture, students learn about various styles, construction techniques, materials, climatology principles, and theories of designing and planning, which can be further imparted in practice. Furthermore, college helps explore and learn various trends and topics so that one may choose and practice the subject of desired interest. Architects learn the importance of functionality and practicality through various building case studies throughout the course and professional practice. 

Artistic styles through the ages have been often confused as the core principle of architectural design, but studying architecture in deeper layers that it varies so much about only the depiction of art. It is a perfect combination of analysis of form, function, environmental setting, and purpose of construction. A well-designed building is the perfect blend of all these factors inculcated into one built form. Also, architecture has deeply impacted various individuals, communities, and settlements in terms of their personal and cultural beliefs, and it has proved to be the best way to depict the reflections of our society. On the other end, the ever-changing modern architectural trends bring a new flavor to metropolitan cities where high-rise structures are a representation of massive wealth and power owned by mega companies. To conclude, architecture is not limited to the portrayal of designs and desires of a certain designer, but it extends to the principles, beliefs, values, and aspirations of a certain group of people which are influenced by their local context and habitat.

Author

Gurleen Takkar is an Indian architect with an experience in handling government and private projects. She has about 1 year of internship experience at renowned architecture firms. She has prepared strategies for various Municipal Corporations for a few months and she is currently involved in the same. She has also been an active part of various local and state level NGOs to work towards community and regional development. She aspires to work in the fields of urban planning, green architecture integrating community development to create an inclusive living society for the same and portray her ideas and expressions through architectural literature.