What is the meaning of aesthetics?
What is Architecture? 

The dictionary meaning of aesthetic is ‘concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty’ while the dictionary meaning of architecture is ‘ the art or practice of designing and constructing a building’. However, there is a more detailed meaning of these two words, a more detailed description. And that’s where the answer lies. 

Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet1

Aesthetics is a subjective aspect that is usually generalised but can’t always be done. It usually depends on the perspective of the person viewing the object, With architecture one who studies knows that a good, workable design is the most important aspect. But to a layman, it is what they see i.e., aesthetics, that matters. 

Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet2

The key elements of aesthetics are Mass and space, Proportion, Symmetry, Balance, Contrast, Pattern, Decoration and Massing. They can also be subdivided into categories like Unity, Proportion, Scale, Balance, Symmetry and Rhythm. All these are considered very important while designing as they bring together the whole design. However, as architects, we hold some creative rights as we have to cater to the function of the building along with its form. The utility is as important if not more. 

Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet3
Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet4

There is beauty in a lot of things around us. For example; a moss-covered building can be considered beautiful by many while most would prefer the ideal clean look. Graffiti is considered art by some and a nuisance by others. Even though the graffiti doesn’t hamper the use of the space it still carries an important role in pleasing the client. While moss can play a role in shortening the lifespan there are ways to control it. 

Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet5
Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet6

Aesthetics should in no way create a difficulty of obstruction to design. It should be an add-on to your creation. Materials play an important role in architecture as well as aesthetics. Exposed concrete, exposed brickwork or metalwork are considered beautiful when used right. The right material in the right place creates a beautiful vision.

An architect must break free from the standard practice of aesthetics and open the eyes of their clients to new aesthetics. It is not easy to change the mindset of a client to imagine it, but with technology and software, it gets much easier to put forth a point.  As subjective as the principle of aesthetics is, there are certain elements of aesthetics that can be taken into consideration to put forth a point. The primary focus, in the end, should be the quality of space. Once the building becomes habitable it is easier to overlook the beauty and get bothered by the inconvenience caused by the flaws in the design.

Aesthetics can also turn a good design into a bad design. When the building is unpleasant to live in or creates a negative ambience it will be called a bad design even if it addresses the functional aspect. There are many ways to improve the aestheticism of a building or space. Landscape being one. Plants add beauty to any space or surroundings. They also add an emotional quotient and a feeling of wellness, calm and tranquil. 

Is Architecture only about aesthetics? - Sheet7

There are a lot of examples of architecture done by great architects who are admired by millions of people. But when it comes to personal use most will be skeptical to use it. They will prefer a more minimalistic or modernist approach to design. There is another misconception that to make an aesthetically pleasing design one must spend a lot of money. However, that is simply never the same. The architect can design well within the constraints provided by the client.

Most of the important aspects of design are about what is felt when you’re in that space while aesthetics a visible aspect that allows people to see to know what they’re feeling. Aesthetics is considered to be one of the most important aspects of architecture. However, there is more to a building than how it looks. The unique aspects of a building make it more beautiful. A building should be designed to satisfy all the requirements for which it is important to understand all the elements of construction. 

Architecture is a complex process of designing a place that is very close to oneself. A person invests a lot of time, money and emotion into it. Everyone wants a beautiful home, office or any building or space they own. However one must be able to reason with oneself and find the right balance between architecture and aesthetics. 

In conclusion, architecture is not all about aesthetics even though it is considered to be a very important part of it. There are many criteria for a piece of architecture to be beautiful or even workable and as important as aesthetics may seem to be, it is not it.


Mithila’s curiosity is always keeping her on a lookout for new things to learn. She has a penchant for reading and holds interest in landscape, interiors and history. Along with these interests she’s constantly working on a way to inculcate her love for textiles in her practice.