Social Significance of Architecture The use of architecture to improve society dates back as far as any records go. Whether it was the Romans building coliseums, Egyptians constructing pyramids, or the Indians putting up teepees, architecture was a very important aspect of people’s lives. Since the earliest of times, architecture has been used to design homes and shelters, as well as centers of gathering for the public.
These structures were very well respected by society, and for many years were the only thing for the public to take pride in. Architecture proved to have a huge impact on the lives of people many years ago. But over the past century, the social significance of architects and architecture in our society has been going down. The importance of well designed, eye-pleasing buildings has begun to be overlooked. The hard work and dedication that many architects put in everyday is being ignored by today’s society.
But I believe that architecture strongly influences the choices that people make in their daily lives, helps aid the economy, and gives architects critical thinking skills that allow them to make decisions that could have a significant impact on society. The most straight forward way that architects affect today’s society is that they design the structures that people use everyday for businesses, sports events, and homes. Architects make a community much more livable and attractive for those who view it.
For an architect, it is vital to ensure and dignify the lives of those who live in it (Heyer). For this reason, communities will expand greatly do to the aesthetic quality of the buildings and homes. Along with the sense of visual appeal, another factor that comes into play are the mental aspects that many people subconsciously have while viewing a structure. Several people will make decisions not only off the look, but also the sense of security and safety that they feel about a certain structure.
Local architect, Kelly McMurphy, said in a personal interview that “the aesthetic quality of the design comes second to the precautions that must be taken to ensure the safety of the people”. The mindset of the viewer can be strongly influenced by the architect, and will in turn encourage or discourage a person towards the piece of work. Another way that architecture has an impact of society is that it aids in boosting and supporting the economy. An architect must assume a vital role in protecting the economic state of a community, state, or country (Heyer). As businesses urchase buildings to further their market and families purchase homes to move into, money is shoved into the economy in large portions. With more and more people looking for venues to start or continue their industry, the need for architects rises to new heights. The economy is stimulated greatly by the investments of these structures, and it all begins with an architect designing the structure to be purchased. Architects can also have a significant responsibility in society by the decisions that they make and the role that they play in the community that may effect the public.
The architecture programs and job fields often facilitate the development of critical thinking skills that can often be applied to solving problems and addressing situations beyond the realm of design (Jubany). The ablility to plan, order, and discipline is quite characteristic of modern architects (Heyer). Architects play a significant role in improving the well-being of the community by being involved in nonprofit organizations and raising critical awareness of social issues (Jubany).
Because of this, architects can influence society in ways outside of the studio that do not require their professional skills, but rather their critical thinking and ability to process situations in an educated fashion. The last way that architecture displays an impact on society is the fact that it sheds a new light on the modern art. In a time where the arts are beginning to dwindle out, architecture helps portray the importance of having respect and knowledge of modern art. Along with the increase in the public respect of art comes the increase in respect of the arts by the government.
In recent years, the government has begun to make nationwide cuts on art funding. Funding of art programs by local and national governments have been cut nearly in half over the last ten years (Heyer). The rise of respect and knowledge for art will help in encouraging the government to put more funding towards art and art related groups. Many may argue that an occupation in architecture is not as important to society as a teacher or a doctor because is does not have as direct of an impact.
But when it is looked into deeper, the jobs of doctors and teachers are only possible because an architect provides them with a place to carry out their occupations. Improving education, treating the ill, and imprisoning the criminals would not be an option if it were not for the designing and planning of an architect. The importance of an architect in today’s society is strongly overlooked by most people. Architects provide visual appeal to a community and give people a sense of protection and security.
They are also capable of affecting society outside of the studio by providing educated decisions to the community. Without architects, many other businesses and occupations would struggle to expand, or not be possible at all. Works Cited Jubany, Helena L. “The Social Responsibility of Architects. ” DesignIntelligence. Di. net, 9 June 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://www. di. net/articles/archive/the_social_responsibility_architects/>. Heyer, Paul. Architects on Architecture; New Directions in America. New York: Walker, 1966. Print. McMurphy, Kelly. Personal interview. 22 Apr. 2012.