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What is Architecture?

written by: Raunekk•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/27/2009

The aesthetically pleasing buildings and skyscrapers that we see around us are not just concrete structures, but something way beyond that. It is a kind of language for expressing the owner's personality. The worth of any building is decided by the quality of its architecture.

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    Introduction

    Architecture is the science of constructing structures and spaces using technology, materials, texture, and designs. Architecture is also the way buildings are made and designed. A fine mixture of art and science, architecture is a method for designing and constructing a viable living environment for people. However, the definitions of architecture and construction are very different. Construction would be simply putting together the materials without assuming any kind of style or design; whereas architecture involves careful planning and designing to provide both aesthetic appeal and requisite strength to the structure.

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    Understanding Architecture

    As time passed and men progressed, his idea of living also changed. In the last few decades, technology has drastically changed men’s lifestyle and his needs. However, there are different types of such architectural styles depending on the kind of region it comes from. Architectural styles such as Arabian and Iranian, American, and South Asian are some of the most famous styles around the world. A society, after formulating certain goals, assigns the architect the job of finding the means of achieving them. Thus, it is the society which primarily establishes different styles of constructing buildings.

    However, what makes a building or space special and demanding is the need for creating an atmosphere that suits the requirement of people working there. Architecture would not just be restricted to just the building of huge palaces or concrete structures, but involves each and every detail of the building, from gateways to entrances, in an immaculate manner. Architecture contains in itself a visual rhythm of the structural system. It represents a culture through its appropriateness, uniqueness, a sensitive and an extraordinary response to functional requirements. Fulfillment of both the utilitarian and aesthetic aspects of construction is what an architect does. He combines the spatial relationships and the support of activities to be carried out within a designed environment. The dual traits are relative to each other and can’t be separated.

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    Architecture as a Medium for Communication

    The main three things any architecture process will include are reliability, utility, and beauty. In many ways, architecture is similar to a language, especially the way a non-verbal communication takes place. Architecture is also a way of communicating, though a bit difficult to describe. Whether it is a crowded, isolated, huge or small structure, it is a fact that man wouldn’t cease building and designing human arrangement of space, and thus architecture would be an integral part of any building process.

    Moreover, architecture provides firmness, commodity and delight to any structure. It is truly a blend of passion, vocation, science as well as business. Architectural building is a social art and an artful science quite distinguished from other man-made structures. One, an architectural structure is different because of the suitability of the work it provides for use by human beings and the adaptability of peculiar activities of human civilization. Second, because of its features of stability and performance, it provides the much needed value to any structure. And third, it is also different because of the communication of experience and notions that it depicts through its form.

    Looking closely at the definitions of architecture, one can realize it is much more complex and broader than a language. On the flip side, it also covers desks, cooking instruments, and even clothing as part of the study. When the architects start working on the ideas, they gather details about the sense of how objects and actions are organized in the world. It could be finding answers to questions like what do people do, when should they do it, were should they place themselves, how essential is it, and how is the set of tasks associated to the rest of the society. Architecture thus contains stories that can be read and comprehended. A community passes on this tradition, like the history, to the following generation.

    Thus, architecture assists humans in becoming accustomed to the environment in harmony while promoting health and well being. It improves our lives by offering economic opportunities and developing a legacy signifying our culture and traditions.