What is the meaning of architecture???
I have heard this question many times. The first time I heard it was first day of my architecture college and last time was only few days’ back. But the interesting point is that I have always got a different answer for this same question……
Generally by architecture people refer to buildings. But is it really so…..is architecture only related to buildings??? ….. Why the word is even used by software people???….In what ways do it control or affect a building??? …… How does architecture affect our day to day life???…. There is a long list of questions whose answers we need to find out to get a clear picture of architecture…..
Architecture is derived from the Latin word “architectura” which is derived from the German word “arkhitekton” meaning “chief builder/carpenter/mason”. If we go according to the definition given by Wikipedia “Architecture is the art and science of designing and constructing buildings and other structure for human use and shelter”. It is also defined as “both the process and product of planning, designing and construction”. Everyone has got their own definition of architecture. It depends upon your point of view that how you define it. Even world’s greatest architects had their own definition for it.
Anything that is ‘designed’ falls in the domain of architecture. “You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces, that is construction, ingenuity is at work, but suddenly you touch my heart and do me good, I am happy and I say, this is beautiful, that is architecture,” –Le Corbusier
“What is architecture anyway? Is it the vast collection of the various buildings which have been built to please the varying taste of the various lords of mankind? I think not.
“No, I know that architecture is life; or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived. So architecture I know to be a Great Spirit….
“Architecture is that great living creative spirit which from generation to generation, from age to age, proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man, and his circumstances as they change. That is really architecture.”
—Frank Lloyd Wright, from In the Realm of Ideas
Some people also refer architecture as……”it is an expression of life.”
Architecture is concerned with entire built environment around us or else we can say that it is concerned with the planning of entire space around us. For architecture to serve its purpose the space around us should be utilized in the best possible way satisfying our needs as well as our fascinations. Sometimes architecture is also referred as art + technology. When we go in depth, we realise that art and technology just behave as tools which architecture uses to serve its purpose more efficiently. Architecture also plays the role of story teller. Different architectural works tell stories about different civilizations, their ways of living, problems and achievements. As one civilization got influenced by other, so did its architecture.
The term “architecture” has been adopted to describe the activity of designing any kind of system, and is commonly used in describing information technology.
Architecture facilitates our buildings and our built spaces to serve us more efficiently. It takes into account important factors affecting the performance of buildings like lighting, ventilation, sustainability, durability, costing, quality and it’s social, environmental and economical impacts over the society.
Out of all the resources available to us, land is a very important one and in this time of population explosion we need to use it very efficiently. Architecture shows us ways how to plan our built spaces so that we can solve our problems regarding this resource. It tells us how to control the way our built spaces get affected and affect the environment around it. It makes our built spaces eco-friendly, energy efficient and suitable to the native climatic conditions. As we move from one place to another climate changes, culture changes and so does the architecture along with it. All of us are different with different preferences and also some of us are differently challenged. Architecture allows us to personalise our space according to our demands. Architecture is not only limited to physical experiences but it affects our emotional and spiritual experiences as well. The feeling of a palace and that of a church are completely different from each other. Architecture has the ability to control our moods, make us silent, excited, peaceful, scared etc. It has always satisfied our demands with the changing time whether it is Taj Mahal or Empire State building or our imagination of future buildings which enable us to have better lives; they always attempt to provide us the best. At different times it plays different roles in our lives. Somewhere it has been a symbol of life, somewhere of death, somewhere of war, somewhere of peace, somewhere of love and somewhere of hatred but it has always been there to show our reflection to us.
I’ll like to sum it up as “our architecture is our identity”.