Photo by Ezra Comeau

Architecture is more than just pretty buildings and sturdy houses – it is laced with the soul of the time and place, plus the outpoured sentiments of the hands behind it. How do we appreciate architecture today?

Appreciating architecture takes a whole definitive experience. Understanding it as a piece of functional art may help you get inspiration for any of your creative endeavors. Especially when it is about learning the history behind certain buildings.

The book “Untold Architectural Black History of Tampa, Florida” by Ronald Lee Harden is a testament to his 36-Year Architectural Career in Tampa. Full of rich black history, the city boasts iconic buildings which establish the city’s legacy. For Harden, an artist has a unique point of view on colors, shapes, and forms.

Architecture appreciation involves a spiritual experience of taking in a building not for its built physical form but for other aspects like the inspiration and story behind it are crucial too. Apart from looking at every architectural masterpiece at face value, we must look deeper into how we can maintain that same appreciation for future generations.

Ways we can appreciate architecture

Fostering a perspective that leans toward spaces designed by the greatest minds in history is necessary to move forward. Culture and architecture walk hand in hand, plus appreciating architecture today can be done in various ways. Here are some suggestions:

Study and Research

Take the time to learn about different architectural styles, periods, and notable architects. Understand the historical, cultural, and social contexts that influenced architectural movements. Explore books, articles, documentaries, and online resources to deepen your knowledge.

Visit Architectural Landmarks

Visit iconic buildings, landmarks, and architectural sites in your area or during your travels. Experience the spaces firsthand, observe the design details, and understand the intentions behind the architecture. Museums, galleries, and architectural tours can provide valuable insights as well.

Engage with the Community

Attend local architectural events, exhibitions, and lectures to engage with the architectural community. Participate in guided tours, architectural competitions, or workshops to gain a hands-on understanding of the design process. Connect with architects, historians, and enthusiasts to foster discussions and exchange ideas.

Document and Share

Capture architectural beauty through photography or sketches. Document interesting architectural details, unique structures, or innovative designs. Share your appreciation on social media or online communities dedicated to architecture, fostering conversations, and inspiring others.

Support Preservation Efforts

Many historical buildings and architectural treasures risk being lost. Support organizations and initiatives that work towards architectural preservation. Volunteer your time or contribute financially to projects that protect and restore significant architectural heritage.

Explore Contemporary Architecture

Keep up with contemporary architectural trends and developments. Visit recently completed projects and explore how architects respond to current challenges, sustainability, and new technologies. Attend architectural exhibitions or read about award-winning designs to gain insights into the evolving architectural landscape.

Experience Architecture in Different Contexts

Architecture goes beyond buildings; it encompasses urban planning, landscape architecture, and interior design. Explore public spaces, parks, and gardens to appreciate the relationship between built environments and nature. Observe how architecture shapes cities and impacts daily life.

Reflect and Interpret

Architecture influences emotions, experiences, and well-being. Consider how the design of spaces can affect human behavior, foster community, or contribute to sustainability. Engage in discussions and debates about architecture’s role in society, aesthetics, and functionality. Adopting these approaches can deepen your appreciation for architecture, foster a greater understanding of its significance, and contribute to preserving and celebrating architectural heritage.

Architecture from an appreciative lens

It is crucial to learn about different architectural styles, periods, and notable figures that shaped world architecture to what it is. A way to enhance it would be to see these fascinating structures yourself. And as you take the time to look at these built wonders of the world, you begin to realize how culture and architecture are intricately intertwined.

To further the agenda of appreciating architecture, it helps to engage with the community who are well-versed in the history and identity of these places. That way, you can carefully document and share your experiences to further support preservation efforts.

Finally, include contemporary masterpieces also part of our modern history. After all, they supplement multiple contexts which are apparent in the place’s identity. Upon reflecting and interpreting the message of these buildings, appreciating architecture takes us to a whole new level of understanding art better.

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