“I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter, it is only about a very simple enclosure. It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.” – Zaha Hadid

While growing up, travel was the one thing I always anticipated, whether it was to a park or a historical monument. Travel is like meditation for many. It helps us find peace and also gives us a sense of adventure. Thus said, who doesn’t like travel and the thrill of numerous experiences along the way? The essence of traveling in architecture and planning is similar to adventures. Every corner of every city is brimming with numerous stories if only one remembers to listen carefully. 

Travel in Architecture and Planning: How does it matter? - Sheet1
How to travel as an architect_© Architecture chat

As architects, we learn to design structures by encompassing the essential design considerations and services required. We step into the profession with the knowledge we gain in college, which is sadly 30-40% of what architecture is. Like every other person, we learn to observe the details, be it on a structure, a public space, or our fellow human beings. Architecture is such a vast concept that you keep learning new things every day, even though you may have 20 years of experience in the profession. 

Travel is an experience that everyone enjoys. Travel makes you more prone to all-embracing traditions and cultures. There is so much to grasp in this world, even with very few resources. When you blend architecture with travel, it makes you stop at places you might not have even heard of before. Traveling as well as architecture are both such mesmerizing experiences that visiting a place once might not be enough. The exchange of cultures and traditions go a long way in earning a perspective into the world of our fellow human beings. The time capsule that we go on while traveling shapes us to pursue a newly renewed mindset.

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An architectural piece in the midst of city life_©Archdaily
Travel in Architecture and Planning: How does it matter? - Sheet3
A masterpiece in bamboo_©Ivo Tavares Studio

What makes travel so essential in architecture and planning? To travel is to explore, to finish a journey. It feels similar to a canvas where you paint your art with absolute concentration and focus that lets you move your hand around freely. It is imperative as an architect that when you start a journey to explore architecture, it becomes an analogous step to grow in the world of architecture and planning. Traveling nurtures a wide sense of perspective that is essential in every architect’s journey. For an architect, inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere. Travel helps in finding that inspiration and turning it into different concepts. There is a diversity of various cultures and architectural styles all around the world. 

Nonetheless, architecture is not only about structures and the styles used in the design of these structures. Psychology plays a much bigger role in architecture than you might think. When you walk into a space, how do you feel? Would you go ahead and explore the entire space, or would you go back to your car and drive to the next place? How many times have you thought of how a space might make you feel? When you travel, you are excited to make your itinerary and write down all the places you want to visit. If you ponder upon these questions then you can understand that traveling in architecture and planning is the key to perspective, inspiration, and network as well. 

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The exchange of cultures_©Archdaily

For many architects around the world, traveling is like breathing. Going hand-in-hand, it exposes us to the historical and many other marvellous structures and places. Every architectural masterpiece has an aura of magnificence, and to absorb that aura, traveling is essential to understand the transition of these spaces. Traveling means understanding the outlook of a structure, elements used in the building along with the façade and aesthetics. Another reason why architects travel is to sketch and to imprint onto paper the memories of the places. Sketching comes easy to many architects and thus they are always traveling with a camera or a sketchpad in hand. To sit and capture these intricate designs of the buildings resembles a tradition. Even the most celebrated architects like Charles Correa, Le Corbusier, or Geoffrey Bawa have illustrated several sketches.

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Architectural sketches_©Pinterest
Sketch drawn by Geoffrey Bawa_©Geoffrey Bawa Ttust

During travel, we often opt to discover the locality that is at the heart of the city. Traveling locally helps us interact with the local people, learn their traditions and cultures and consequently make new friends. Who could be better than the native people to experience the most happening journey filled with escapades? As traveling opens up timeless encounters to perceive the architecture, it becomes essential to seek the rhythm, and balance of the spaces. Traveling in architecture and planning has always been on the list of agendas that architects follow without any discomfort. As the architect’s design speaks for itself, traveling speaks for the soul of the architect towards innovation and creativity that can only be triumphed by the journey.


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Available at: https://www.woarchitect.com/

  1. World architecture [online]

Available at: https://worldarchitecture.org/

  1. Archdaily [online]

Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/search/projects/categories/tourism


Abha Haval is an Architect who has a vivid imagination of this world. She believes that every place has a story to tell and is on a mission to photograph the undiscovered whereabouts of various cities and narrate the story of its existence.