Analysis in the subject of culture is connected to the study of cultural expressions like language, art, and architecture, which are used to identify the culture of each civilization.
Architecture is an integral part of human existence, and as such, it reflects and interacts with a society’s underlying cultural values and norms. Every culture makes an effort to use the same set of building materials, fixtures, and methods to symbolise its norms and values. Changing social and cultural norms in a society has the most noticeable effect on the built environment.
Accordingly, it’s clear that cultural factors must play a pivotal part in establishing a distinct style of building.
Why is it important?
Let us make an effort to grasp the rudiments of architecture. What we call “architecture” is the process of planning and designing buildings and other structures to meet specific human needs. The user’s requirements are established by the user’s activities, which are in turn well defined by the user’s culture.
The design of their dwellings and communal areas is determined by their cultural norms and customs. There are times when building designs become a clear manifestation of a culture’s or a religion’s values and ideals.
In determining the function of a building or an area, culture is among the most influential factors. The fundamental cultural significance of a space helps inform its placement, the size necessary for that function, and the connectivity between spaces. There is no way to conduct an adequate study of physical space without also considering cultural context. Culture informs the initial formation of a space, and that space in turn may prompt later shifts in cultural norms.
Some fine examples of culture shaping architecture:
- Public arguments on matters of philosophy, mythology, and science were commonplace in ancient Greece. That’s just how it was done in Greece, after all. At that spot, the agoras began to take shape as a popular public assembly area. A forum where the general public may voice their opinions and, in doing so, join the community being discussed. The agoras were the precursors to the modern public squares that can be observed in many modern towns designed in the classical style.
- The ancient Romans’ firm commitment to polytheism was reflected in their conception of the pantheon, in which all of the gods were given equal status. The concept of 12 equal beings was translated into physical space and buildings. As a consequence, a spherical ace was produced with 12 evenly spaced niches. They used traditional Roman proportions and orders in their decorations since that was what they understood best. It has come to represent all that is classical and Roman in architecture.
- In accordance with Hindu teachings, the Hindu people adhere to the space requirements outlined in the ancient text Vastu Shastra.
- As far as Fengshui and chi go, the Chinese got it down pat. The cultural practises of the people who follow that religion have informed the creation of all these laws or guidelines. In order to ensure that people adhered to their culture, they were developed. These rules continue to be regarded with awe and reverence even in modern times.
The vernacular architecture of any place is derived directly from its ancient culture, the local climate or even the materials that are available. Indian courtyard houses, which have large hallways for cultural/social interaction, are purposely built so. They also help in providing shade during the hot Indian summers and are culturally appropriate as well.
Preserving culture through architecture:
In this age of globalisation and internationalism, the preservation or development of a sense of cultural identity can be aided by architectural representations of that identity. Keeping society together is another benefit. Following this rule helps ensure that the user is contributing positively to the community in which they live. That’s why culturally aware design is essential for flourishing civilizations.
Considering how culture may both impact and be reflected in architecture’s development is crucial. Because of the influence of modernism, this idea has been lost through time. Structures don’t have any sort of distinctive design; they don’t even come close to establishing or preserving individual identities. It would appear that we have lost touch with our roots.
Architecture and culture are inextricably intertwined; we can’t separate them. We’d be better off if we came to that conclusion sooner. We can forestall the future world’s march toward architectural monotony. Buildings should always make it possible for people to freely express themselves.