Architecture from a layman’s perspective is simply viewing visually noticeable things. While seeing a building, people notice its magnitude, the pops of colour, and the materials used. At the same time, an architect looks at every detail and deciphers how the architect of the space would have imagined it to be. This is proof that there are two different sets of eyes viewing the same world. Architecture is a form of art that should be experienced, not explained. It’s a way of life, just like a theatre stage but on a larger scale. A production designer sets the stage according to the storyline, and similarly, an architect derives a concept from the given space data and livelihood. The architect’s design becomes the set itself, and people’s routine in their day-to-day lives is the slow play where they act and adapt to the space. The space transforms itself in different ways with the people using it. 

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Street Cricket at Thiruvalangadu, Chennai_©Mahesh Balasubramanian

Street cricket is a very common game in Tamil Nadu, India, it has the same rules as a cricket match, but since played in a smaller space, the street defines the rules. Not all streets look similar, so with a different street comes whole different gameplay. For example, since it’s a constricted space, the players are acknowledged to hit the ball in a certain range, and the boundary of this game is defined by the plinths of the houses in the street. Sometimes exterior walls are drawn on and used as stumps, and hitting on a certain roof is considered to be a wicket. Streets are planned and designed according to the accessibility of people’s use, but in this case, these kids just transformed the largest and most available space into their home ground. Of course, the game is paused when vehicles are passing by, but to those walking by; you just have to figure out a way to dodge the ball!

A War Hero

Once a battle is over, the process and its people become a legacy. No other person can experience this encounter, words may describe the events, but the vehemence is hard to endure. A picture is worth a thousand words, but Libeskind designed a space that displayed a thousand emotions with no pictures involved. Every space is designed in a way it enhances a sense of emotion as you walk past different walls. There are so many records of how the Jewish were treated over the years, but architecture has the power to make a person relive that experience.

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Jewish Museum Berlin / Daniel Libeskind_©Laurian Ghinitoiu
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Jewish Museum Berlin / Daniel Libeskind_©Denis Esakov

A visit to this museum is a journey through the Jewish lifestyle; before, during, and after the Holocaust. While typical museums had bright lights and lively works of art on display, this structure as a whole was art itself. A 66 feet tall void is consistent and runs through the entire building; this gives a strong sense of emotion and power to the space. The dark and dull concrete walls add a cold, and the narrow walls only emanate light from a small slit at the top, creating a claustrophobic feeling. The ground is covered in 10,000 coarse iron faces. Walking through such a confined, narrow space with such little light causes an increase in anxiety, stress level, and a cold sense of feeling. The choice of colour, use of materials, the angles of the walls, and the slit opening which lets in light are a few of the architectural elements an architect plays with that impact a person’s psychology. These walls hold the memory of those lost during the Holocaust; it is less of a museum but an experience depicting what most cannot understand.

A Saviour Angel

The soul of a building is felt while you’re in it, and architecture has the power to make you perceive things. A user’s experience is the top priority while solving a design problem; a hospital is the best example of this. Interiors of hospitals are well thought after as people in it spend a long number of hours working and waiting. Colours have an influence on our mood, healing colours such as blue, green, and white help in calming the nervous system and make the environment less provoking and peace-inducing. Using such healing colours for the room can significantly change the patient’s mood and body benefits. Thus designing such spaces makes a lot of positive impact on the u

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Children’s Memorial Health Institute ©H. Pixbay
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EKH Children’s Hospital ©H. Ketsiree Wongwan

Architecture has the power to speak and make you feel things without words or pictures. Such Structures and spaces often blend in and are unnoticeable, but that is the beauty of their existence. Many spaces may not be defined architecturally while planning, but the space evolves with time and people. It blends and becomes a part of the people and their environment. Emotions play a very important role while designing a space; each user may have a different experience, so defining it is inconclusive. These designed spaces may not be the biggest effect but the tiny details along the side-lines speak a strong message. There is no straight answer to how architecture impacts the user, but it drives a psychological influence and living experience, defines functions and leaves us with a memory!

Author

Chelsea is a person who is enthusiastic and eager about new things in life. A part of her is an old soul-like character that drives her to look into the history and stories behind everything and her mind maps out a trail of the deets which comes out as vocabulary.

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