The room you’re in right now may be controlling your mind, the only difference is that an architect may be aware of this and a person from any other field may not.

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©Darren Bradley, Salk Institute by Louis Kahn, San Diego, 1963

To the untrained eye, and when I say untrained it simply means somebody who isn’t using what I like to call ‘Architectural Perspective’, the world is starting to look more like a concrete jungle with a few voids left for interaction. But, to an architect, this merely represents a challenge, a way to transform and mold the cityscape to create a perfect rhythm between the built and the unbuilt. 

For me, dating back to pre-architecture student life, public spaces used to be just a common point to meet in the open without any dependencies. Now when I look at it, public spaces aren’t just a break between structures or spaces that define a neighborhood’s aesthetics. It is what forms the context, it is what gives character to any neighborhood.

An architectural perspective turns a home that gives shelter into an abode that binds personalities, it transforms a park that is used just an open space into an interactive zone designed to build society and it lays the groundwork for roads that are used to commute into pathways that portray the unison of a culture that represents a city.

As we talk about this topic on how architecture has changed my perspective let’s go deep to know more with a very simple example.

What would you say the Taj Mahal is? A symbol of love or an iconic piece of architecture?

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©Prof. Marvin H. Mills (2002), Taj Mahal (Esamskriti)

Most of us have visited this magnificent Mughal era structure in Agra at one point in our lives and if you haven’t, you definitely should. 

Visiting the Taj Mahal as a child only reminded me of all the history I had studied back in school, of how the structure narrated a story of love from a man’s heart reaching out in vain to his deceased wife. Also at a glance, it seemed like the most beautiful big white building ever with a gorgeous surrounding garden. 

Now that I go back and just wander on the open grounds, what my architectural perspective allows me to admire is the crisp symmetry, the engraving that depicts the Mughal history, the dome that represents a timeless style of architecture, the Mughal gardens incorporating pathways running in all four directions with perfect alignment, the simplicity yet richness of the material used and so on.

So once again I ask, myself this time, about what the Taj Mahal represents, and I would have to say it is both, a tale of love and sentiment that has created an iconic structure that speaks of its narrative with every minaret, every step and every engraving in various ways to each spectator it beholds in its vicinity.

This being one example, there are so many more structures, spaces, communities, and even cities that speak of how the change of perspective gained through architecture has rewarded me and my contemporaries. 

When we talk of the tallest buildings or skyscrapers, their significance for most is that they are just buildings that have no end, structures that go on forever. That very building or skyscraper that I see now, in post-architecture student life, represents the advancement that technology and design have created to outline the skyline of a city and make it memorable for all.

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©Daniel Parodi, Linear Juxtaposition and Architectural Perspective

“Spend some time observing how architecture reflects culture, and you’ll get the sense that it’s less of a profession and more of a world-view, a lens with which to interpret all of your surroundings.” Study Architecture

‘True architecture’, in the language of architects who have extensively studied the subject, knows that it is not a superficial facade, decoration, or a medium of beautification as it is sometimes thought to be. It is also not synonymous with construction activities and though it is detail-oriented it does stand only to measure building capacity. Architecture is something that helps us navigate through what we view in our day-to-day lives and incorporate it into our style of design and representation of a story with a personality. 

Even concepts as simple as light and shadow create different imagery in our minds when influenced by an architectural perspective. Architecture is something that plays in tune with the physical, the emotional, sometimes the hypothetical, also the very real, and finally the aspirational. 

©Daylight@Lees Associates, Architecture and Design

For most, architecture exists to create and depict the built environment we live in, give it shape, structure, functionality, and aesthetics. But, architectural perspective has bestowed upon me the privilege to conceptualize and experience spaces, perceive their uniqueness, and be a part of their respective culture. Architectural Perspective  has given me a personal lens to admire and modify, to commemorate and replicate and simply to relate to any story with more gusto and resonate with the details in every form of design put before me.


Ishani is an architect and a published author. She is passionate about writing and has been a part of the social sector for two years, helping underprivileged children through the power of design via interactive playgrounds. Reading books and hosting workshops are among a few of her hobbies.