What is Architecture?

The definition of architecture is the art and design of creating buildings and other structures. Architecture combines both aesthetic and utilitarian considerations. Buildings and other structures are designed to fulfill a purpose and communicate meaning. Building architecture can often reveal much about a society's relationship to the environment, history, and the priorities of the people who live, work, or worship in the space. Each work of architecture must take into account the intended use of the building, the construction of the structure, and the ideas that it communicates.

Society or the people who will use the building determine what the goal of a building should be. The demand for a structure comes first. Architectural design then takes that goal and attempts to meet it in the best way possible. For example, there are domestic buildings designed for use by a family to live and work, places devoted to religious practices and worship, government buildings, recreational spaces such as athletic stadiums, educational spaces such as schools and museums, and buildings dedicated to commerce. Each of these types of structures has different requirements and needs.

Architecture is related to art. A major difference is that unlike other works of visual and performing art, which are sometimes created for their own sake as a work of beauty or social statement, architectural structures must always have a utilitarian purpose. However, works of art can often be incorporated into building design, and a great deal of design skill goes into creating attractive and functional buildings. Architecture also reflects and helps define specific periods in cultural histories, such as Gothic, Victorian, Art Deco, and Neoclassical.

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Architecture and Design Resources

Study.com offers many resources to help students explore architecture and design. Whether learners want to be able to define architecture, study various architectural styles and historical periods, learn about famous architects or significant buildings, or be introduced to the basics of building construction, there are bite-sized lessons to help them meet their goals. These lessons are useful to enhance in-person classes as well as to be used on an independent basis. Students may complete an entire course or pick and choose areas of interest from various classes.

Architecture Courses and Lessons

This collection of architecture courses introduces students to the foundations of architectural forms and architecture design. From Gothic to Victorian to Art Deco to modern architecture, learners can explore areas of architecture and design that interest them. They will learn to define architecture and appreciate architectural art. Teachers may also find these courses helpful for professional development and to enhance their own art, architecture, and history courses.

Architectural Design & History

Learn the fundamentals of architectural design in this interesting, informative course. Discover architectural concepts such as perspective, symmetry, and hierarchy. Explore building systems and design and structural elements, including windows, columns, bridges, and roofs, as well as house styles.

Famous Architects Study Guide

Meet the major influencers in the architecture world. Be introduced to famous architects from around the world who worked in the 15th-20th centuries, including Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Thomas Chippendale, Frank Lloyd Wright, Norman Foster, Eileen Gray, Frank Gehry, and Buckminster Fuller.

Types of Architecture Study Guide

Learners exploring this course on types of architecture will examine various architectural styles from around the world, including Tudor, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Gothic, Art Nouveau, Renaissance Revival, Moorish, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, Italian, German, and Mexican.

Architectural Structures Study Guide

Go on a world tour of famous architectural buildings and structures. Examine many examples of architecture, such as mosques, theaters, opera houses, bridges, cathedrals, castles, and more. This course also covers city architecture and landscape architecture, as well as garden design.

Introduction to Construction

Discover the basics of construction in this helpful course. Learn about Joseph Apsdin and the history of his invention, Portland Cement. Additional lessons about other basics of construction will be coming soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is building architecture important?

    Building architecture is important because it shapes the way people live and work. Buildings are designed to serve different purposes. Architects succeed when they design buildings that help people fulfill the purpose of the building, such as a home to live comfortably in or an office building to work efficiently.

  • Do you need math for architecture?

    Yes, students studying architecture are expected to have an understanding of and take courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Other courses required may include statistics and linear programming,

  • What do architects and designers do?

    Architects and designers plan buildings and other structures to serve a given function and to be aesthetically pleasing. The buildings they create must be safe and meet the needs of the people who will use them.