ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz is the founder and principal of the architectural firm Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón, with offices in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
ARCHITECTURE INFLUENCES CULTURE AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.
Architecture will always be more than just a functional purpose. Learn how architecture helps shape communities, enhances experiences and creates a sense of place for people around the globe.
1. IMPROVES HEALTH & WELLNESS
Architectural design can improve health and wellness. A great structure doesn’t just concentrate on the execution of a complex model, but rather in the wellness that the buildings can contribute to others. The spaces where we live and work can have a significant effect on our physical and emotional wellbeing. It has been proven that boring buildings and large grey landscapes can cause high levels of stress, while beautiful and inspiring architecture has the potential to create a calmer and happier environment.
In architecture, aesthetic decisions can be responsibly made to impact and improve people’s health conditions. Thoughtful, innovative design can serve the diverse needs of others and shape how we feel and what we experience within a physical space.
2. SHAPES COMMUNITIES
Architecture shapes our communities. The design of shared spaces like housing, schools, recreational spaces, health and social services, can greatly impact a community and its residents.
Poorly designed, isolated, bland, non-accessible structures can hinder communities, its residents and its development. While high quality and functionally designed community spaces designed around its residents, can improve their lives, support the local workforce, revitalize distressed neighborhoods, promote social integration, boost an area’s economic health and strengthen the community. People who feel like they belong and that they have a say in how their city is shaped, are more likely to put the time and effort involved in protecting their communities.
3. HELPS US TAKE CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT & OURSELVES
When it comes to sustainable architecture and interior design, designers seek to minimize the negative impact of buildings on the environment by applying to their designs innovative green methods—involving energy-saving technology, sustainable materials, recycling, repurposing and other elements that support long-term ecological balance.
Sustainable design improves the productivity of people because people think, feel and work better in spaces that have more natural lighting, cleaner air, comfortable temperature, nice views of the outside and inspiring decor. A healthier environment, therefore, improves morale, retention, performance, and profitability.
4. INFLUENCES CULTURE & SOCIETY
The architecture of different cultures around the world has been a great influence that continues to shape our society today. For example, Roman city planners and architects invented roads, aqueducts, sewer systems, stadiums and other large-scale and highly functional public buildings, in order to service the needs of the Roman empire and its population.
Through architecture, we can see how buildings and structures are designed in a way that reflect each culture’s history, and the external elements that surround it. A building’s surrounding is what determines the architectural style, building materials, and site layout.
5. DRIVES TOURISM
Architecture is a driving force in world culture and travel. When you travel half-way around the world and wish to take a picture, you avoid taking that photo in a store or inside your rental car. You take it in front of a structure that will show exactly where you are.
When you think of Paris do you immediately think of the Eiffel Tower? How about Rome? The Colosseum?
People’s need to travel and experience new cultures often comes from wanting to visit the iconic structures that are recognizable in countries all over the world. These important structures are also used to attract more tourism and boost the country’s economy. That’s why architecture is so influential in world travel and tourism.
As you can see, architecture influences the way people connect to spaces all over the world. This is because architects not only design structures, but they also design connections, relationships, lifestyles, opportunities, memories, culture and communities.