Friday, February 22, 2008

What is Architecture?

The profession of Architecture dates back to the beginning of civilization; ancient Egyptian architects design temples, palaces and pyramids for cultural, social and religious impact. Architecture is the meaningful transformation of the natural environment to enable human habitation; it reacts to the human experience and attempts to better the human condition.

The creation of architecture, involves critical analysis of land, light, structure and materials; as well as proportion, form and aesthetics. This is the analytical part of design. Analysis is informed by, and informs the concept. Meaning, and the intent of the architect join the analysis in order to find a solution to the architectural problem at hand. This is design.

However, the design of architecture is not the same as that of a can opener. Instead of using architecture as one would use any object, architecture is to be interacted with, experienced. That does not mean that architecture must be a building, or even something physical. A work of architecture that is not built is still architecture, so is one that is not meant to be built.

Ideas, art, buildings, and objects that are designed as studies, statements or criticisms of the built environment can all be architecture. Man has the ability to transform his own environment, and to do so in a way that changes peoples lives. Thoughtful design can change the function of a street, a block or an entire community. Thought about these changes can have a similar effect. Architecture is about solving problems in the built environment to enrich the lives of its users.

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