Photo by Rok Romih
The Untold Architectural book by Ronald Harden shares the author’s architectural project that contributed to the community’s improvement. This exhibits that its significance goes beyond simply building shelters. Architecture does more for society.
Can people live in a society without architecture?
You’re probably heavily contemplating for an answer, imagining what the world or city you’re in would be like without architecture. Highly likely, your answer would be no. People can’t live without architecture simply because they haven’t been in a society without it.
Architecture is the practice of designing and constructing buildings. One would argue that perhaps ancient people can attest to living without it. After all, buildings didn’t exist during their time. However, by its most basic definition, a building is a structure with a roof and walls. Hence, any structure people have inhibited counts as a building that’s a product of architecture.
Architecture and Society
Wherever one looks, they’re greeted with architecture. It’s a remarkable societal element, reflecting its status and symbolizing people’s creativity and self-expression.
People determine society’s quality of life by the buildings surrounding the area and the art that livens the land. Buildings may look like an empty four-walled shells. But they reflect the society that built them and represent art that stands the test of time. From the pyramids in ancient Egypt to the honeycomb-like city found in Turkey, they’ve been created with purpose and significance.
Some reflect the power hierarchy during the era, helping define how people’s psychology changes throughout time. Others are simply an expression of love or respect. But generally, these ancient architectures have become a great source of inspiration, paving the way for modern architecture.
Architecture’s Influence on Society
A perfect example to encompass what architecture provides society can be found in the Untold Architectural book by Ronald Harden. The book compiles his previous works, such as The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Bloomingdale High Schools, and Mobley Park. His projects have helped the community expand economically and culturally, creating homes and cultural events for African-Americans and other communities.
Beyond being the inspiration for future crafts and a means of people’s expressions, architecture has the power to change the world. It may not be through something drastic and immediate as changing people’s behavior. But its influence on people’s surroundings can contribute to how society is molded.
The world is unfair. It’s, unfortunately, a fact that everyone has already grown accustomed to.
While some live lavish lives in magnificent places, others are exposed to horrible and unimaginable situations. Architecture can be a powerful tool privileged people can provide for the unprivileged to improve their lives. Indeed, building a structure contributes little to alleviating the injustices these people experience and only provides shelter among the various necessities they lack. But this behavior from the purest intentions can inspire others to do the same to these communities.
Additionally, instead of only helping through donation drives and charity works, where people can’t meet and collaborate, architecture can unite communities toward the goal of changing lives and improving the future.
One of the intense problems people are experiencing revolves around the effects of global warming. The world is becoming uninhabitable due to people’s ever-damaging behaviors and activities.
They can help mitigate the effects of global warming by changing their habits and reinforcing positive behaviors such as planting trees and recycling. But beyond these, architecture can also play a significant role throughout this change. Instead of cutting plants to make way for buildings, architects found a way to incorporate these plants into their buildings, calling them green buildings.
This process is undeniably a sustainable and excellent alternative to traditional architecture. Now, plants don’t need to be compromised for people’s interest. Fewer natural resources are sacrificed for society’s improvement.
Psychology and Overall Health
Unlike in the past, when people spent most of their lives struggling under the sun’s heat, at least 80% of the current population spend their days indoors, all made possible by architecture. This led to people enjoying more benefits, not just physically, with structures shielding them from harm’s way, but also stimulating their neurological systems. The improvement of architectural designs made way for the creation of better auditory, visual, and sensory stimuli.
Humans are social beings. They naturally crave the comfort and presence of other people. The difference in their lifestyles would have long been isolated from each other. But these buildings made opportunities for the opposite. Without architectural structures like entertainment centers, hotels, or gardens, people won’t be encouraged to interact with each other.
A society without architecture isn’t the only one without a touch of creativity or personal expression. It also becomes one that’s void of life and love.