There are many factors influencing architecture. But among these, culture has been an over-arching and incessant element shaping structure. Culture and architecture go hand in hand, influencing one another in ways that create something beautiful.

Architecture has continuously been a significant part of humanity, even long before the term was coined. Before it was referred to as architecture, people called it however it served them: housing, dwellings, and a place to rest. Yet, regardless of what they’re called, it can’t be denied that it’s a factor in humanity that has persisted through time and united everyone. Culture and architecture always go together. From simple rock shelters and the utilization of caves as residences to people building complex habitations, architecture constantly evolves. But one thing remains, its constant reflection and dependence on culture.

Architecture exists to create some sense of livable paradise. Every product and style made should contribute to creating paradise on earth, which can be subjective to people’s culture. What another deems exquisite might be subpar to another. Standards will always be dependent on whose perspective things are viewed from. In Herman Motsios’ words, architecture will always accurately measure culture. Hence, how places are structured will always be dependent on their culture.

Culture and Architecture

By definition, culture is built through society’s history and is measured by its ideas, social behavior, beliefs, and habits. What someone has become accustomed to doing defines what kind of space they live in and what culture they observe. Under this logic, culture defines people’s lifestyles, as the latter reflects societal living standards. And as architecture exists to improve people’s quality of living further, any architectural structure should accommodate people’s lifestyles. Hence, there’s such a deep connection between culture and architecture.

In the physical context, a society’s architectural heritage and system demonstrate its cultural identity and structure. The differences in the architecture between different areas are evidence of how equally different cultures are. Chinese architecture will be physically different than European architecture due to the difference in their cultural perceptions.

Notable Evidence of This Link

A significant reflection of this link between culture and architecture can be observed in space organization. For instance, different culture value collectivism or individuality differently. In Japan, a highly collective country, instead of each child having separate rooms, they’re typically grouped according to gender. One room is allotted for girls and another for boys, regardless of how many children are in the room. This arrangement reflects how the Japanese culture values family relationships instead of rearing children to be highly independent. A difference in the housing structure and arrangement will be evident depending on the values shared and practiced by the culture.

The community of Tampa on the untold architectural history of the area, mentions how its architectural structure helped create not only homes but also provide jobs and events that better share the African-American community. Unlike the previously stated circumstances, this relationship says architecture can also help mold one’s culture instead of the other way around. The place’s structure, the existing and nonexistent establishments, can either improve or push back the society’s development.

The abovementioned situations are only two of the numerous connections shared by culture and architecture, showing their mutual contribution to each factor’s development. While architecture styles have constantly progressed, expanding across countries and cultures, architecture will always have a recognizable element in every culture, whether in a physical manner or conceptual order.

Cultural Dimension

In today’s society, architecture, and design processes typically depend on cultural differences within different communities. Culture plays a significant role in architectural patterns. For instance, if one examines the aspects that define India’s architectural design, most of it reflects the beliefs its residents practiced throughout. On the other hand, Chinese architecture depends on the Feng Shui standards they religiously follow. These prove that changes in cultural influence will also be reflected in their architectural design concepts.

Culture and architecture have a mutual relationship and impact on each other. Hence, most establishments are designed and structured depending on the widely observed culture. The architecture reflects the current cultural context existing and practiced within the area. This relationship has been observed throughout history and still manifests in modern architecture. Culture has typically been the basis of design from the pyramids to modern skyscrapers.

In conclusion, culture and architecture will always go together. The architecture will always reflect or manifest the culture, as much as the culture or people’s lifestyle will also accommodate or adapt to the architectural design and structure present.

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