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  • Define Architecture

    I think it would be quite interesting to share our own personal definitions of architecture. Its quite a basic question but it still always stirs up lively conversation. Please feel free to add along; it can be as long or short as you want.

  • #2
    Architecture is an idea incarnate through the tectonic articulation of space

    Comment


    • #3
      That’s a good question
      Seeing, thinking and designing holistically when you see it you will know.
      What is the definition of tectonic?

      Comment


      • #4
        When one refers to architecture - does that mean good architecture or bad architecture?

        Good architecture fulfills the functional requirements of the user by integrating it mindfully and tastefully into a crafted work of art and beauty.

        Bad architecture fails on both counts.

        It's like a bicycle - it is supposed to serve a function.

        A badly designed bicyle will be heavy clunky with badly welded joints and extra supports to support the extra weight or badly designed structure. This will fail functionally because in it's short life span, the welds may give way, and the weight requires extra effort to get the user from point A to point B if compared to a well -designed bicycle. Of course it fails aesthetically as well.

        Each element of architecture has a function attached to it, which can be tricky for many to decipher.

        The "weight" of architecture
        In good architecture,

        Walls often have heft. ie.. convey the feeling of weight - it's even better when this weightiness seems to defy gravity.
        Screens are light and give the feeling of separation or division without isolation (these include windows)
        Roofs often convey lightness as like the hair on one's head.
        Floors are meant to be firm, rarely bouncy unless they are decks and transitional planes to somewhere.
        Lights are meant to sculpt the spaces and not just flood the space.
        Columns and structural members seem lightweight, slim, sleek and thin.

        The road to bad architecture is paved with good intentions.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DAC View Post
          That’s a good question
          Seeing, thinking and designing holistically when you see it you will know.
          What is the definition of tectonic?
          I like that you incorporate thinking into your definition as well as the somewhat contradictorily phenomenological "when you see it you will know" part.

          Tectonic in reference to architecture is when the structure, materials, and construction come together to communicate something. This is not the exact definition of tectonics but it is how I understand it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by spadestick View Post
            When one refers to architecture - does that mean good architecture or bad architecture?

            Good architecture fulfills the functional requirements of the user by integrating it mindfully and tastefully into a crafted work of art and beauty.

            Bad architecture fails on both counts.

            It's like a bicycle - it is supposed to serve a function.

            A badly designed bicyle will be heavy clunky with badly welded joints and extra supports to support the extra weight or badly designed structure. This will fail functionally because in it's short life span, the welds may give way, and the weight requires extra effort to get the user from point A to point B if compared to a well -designed bicycle. Of course it fails aesthetically as well.

            Each element of architecture has a function attached to it, which can be tricky for many to decipher.

            The "weight" of architecture
            In good architecture,

            Walls often have heft. ie.. convey the feeling of weight - it's even better when this weightiness seems to defy gravity.
            Screens are light and give the feeling of separation or division without isolation (these include windows)
            Roofs often convey lightness as like the hair on one's head.
            Floors are meant to be firm, rarely bouncy unless they are decks and transitional planes to somewhere.
            Lights are meant to sculpt the spaces and not just flood the space.
            Columns and structural members seem lightweight, slim, sleek and thin.

            The road to bad architecture is paved with good intentions.
            Always good to read something from you sir. I guess we are talking here mostly of good architecture.
            To take your point further, and extending from our previous discussion, do you suggest that only functionally optimized forms can be beautiful?

            Comment


            • #7
              Architecture for me is a structure deliberately constructed or assembed for a purpose.

              This definition encompasses animal architecture from eg Birdsnests / Beehives to our own Skyscrapers

              It would not include elementary cave shelter unless its been deliberately hewn

              The purpose can be purely aesthetic or functional. (Although almost always a mix of both when humans get involved.)

              Comment


              • #8
                not entirely, no... but it's a good set of guiding principles for architecture 101 students to follow before embarking on parametric building modelling or guideless exploration. Architecture is not only just confined to building... Iphone has an architect, the Space Shuttle had an architect, each car has an architect behind it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ReD View Post
                  Architecture for me is a structure deliberately constructed or assembed for a purpose.

                  This definition encompasses animal architecture from eg Birdsnests / Beehives to our own Skyscrapers

                  It would not include elementary cave shelter unless its been deliberately hewn

                  The purpose can be purely aesthetic or functional. (Although almost always a mix of both when humans get involved.)
                  Interesting point of view, architecture can also be purely aesthetic. This would include follies and sculpture, yes?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spadestick View Post
                    not entirely, no... but it's a good set of guiding principles for architecture 101 students to follow before embarking on parametric building modelling or guideless exploration. Architecture is not only just confined to building... Iphone has an architect, the Space Shuttle had an architect, each car has an architect behind it.
                    that broadens the scope of architecture as we typically understand it. we can add to that list software architects too. How then do you delimit architecture from other fields of design?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sudark View Post
                      that broadens the scope of architecture as we typically understand it. we can add to that list software architects too. How then do you delimit architecture from other fields of design?
                      "Architecture, the building sort." "Architecture - from buildings to chicken coops." "Architecture - monumentally defining"
                      Last edited by spadestick; 05-03-2012, 14:51.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spadestick View Post
                        not entirely, no... but it's a good set of guiding principles for architecture 101 students to follow before embarking on parametric building modelling or guideless exploration. Architecture is not only just confined to building... Iphone has an architect, the Space Shuttle had an architect, each car has an architect behind it.
                        Disagree - Iphone Cars etc are by designers of objects & not architects, though they may call themselves that for an ego / marketing boost.
                        Shuttle,Trailers, winebego style vans, & Naval Architecture fall within Architecture

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sudark View Post
                          Interesting point of view, architecture can also be purely aesthetic. This would include follies and sculpture, yes?
                          Follies yes but sculpture is art unless it has a function - its a moot point though

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ReD View Post
                            Follies yes but sculpture is art unless it has a function - its a moot point though
                            I was clarifying your point when you said "The purpose can be purely aesthetic or functional." so I thought you meant to include sculpture as well. But you are right, I might just be splitting hairs analyzing too deeply. I get what you mean anyway.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wish I had as much free time from finishing the build on my house, as you guys.

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