Architecture can be defined as the art of building in which construction materials and human requirements are related in ways that furnish practical use and aesthetic solution as well, thus differing from the pure utility of construction based on engineering (Gauldie, 1969). In other words, architecture is an art which is a complex function of connotations of craftsmanship coupled with requisite preconditions that can be employed to identify an artist work such as an inspiration. Architecture therefore entails the modulation of boundaries of space and time. Similarly to art, architecture is essentially abstract, nonrepresentational, and it involves manipulations of the relationships of voids, planes, spaces, volumes and masses. Since the process of building and construction is usually comprehended in successions of activities and experiences, time is an important factor of consideration in architecture. It is of great importance to pinpoint that in architecture and in most cases, there is a vantage point of view from which the whole concept of architectural structure can be understood. An architectural structure can however be enhanced by the use of light, shadow and surface decoration. This paper seeks to explore the in-depth understanding of the history, theories of architecture, as well as their interpretations.
From knowledge based on geographical and chronological findings, architecture is believed to have originated in the Nile xxiv valley. Another research shows possibility of architecture to have originated in the valley of Tigris and Euphrates, influenced by the ancient Egyptian art. Research also indicates that the Greeks might have inherited the art of architecture although some philosophers doubt the claims considering that the birth of knowledge and philosophy originated from the Greeks themselves. The Romans in turn, are believed to have adopted the external aspects of the Greek architecture and developed tithe romans then developed their architecture substituting the Greek columns of construction with their famous lintels. The Romans developed it to a completely original construction system and decoration that ultimately spread over to the civilized world. The civilized world retained this architecture and has since outgrown it (Hamlin & In Hamlin, 1928).The evolution of architecture since its invention has however seen remarkable development. This evolution has seen the shift in architectural construction from the post-and-lintel system, through the arc system which was either the cohesive type that employed plastic materials which would harden to a homogenous mass; or thrust type, to the modern steel skeleton system. In the 20th century, totally new forms of architecture had been developed.
The history of architecture is a record of humankind effort to build beautifully and traces the changes in the realm of architecture through various regions, traditions, dates and overarching stylistic trends. In the architectural context, the mere erecting of structures devoid of beauty can be considered a trade and not architecture. Therefore, architecture since ancient time, addresses the importance of beauty, as brought out through painting and decoration in general. The development of the subject of architecture can be traced back to the ancient time where it began through efforts of the Greeks and the Egyptians. Since its invention, architecture has prevailed through different lands, cultures and ages (Fletcher & Palmes, 1975). Its development has been witnessed through advance in its styles and modes of décor employed through time. Therefore, in its modest form and meaning, history has seen architecture through as principles of styles, their accompanying decorations and forms and evolution through time. In this context, the term style in relation to architecture refers to the “historic styles”, which are phases of architectural development. These styles have been witnessed to change though time and with close dependence to the cultures involved. Again, the styles are the pillars that architecture relied and relies upon for it development. They are, actually, expressive in character and have definite conceptions and solemn.
It is also of great concern to pinpoint that these historical styles where being developed or brought into existence accidentally and prevailed in a particular place and within a given period. At other times, the historical styles of architecture were brought into existence through intelligence that relied upon a setting defined by cultures of the time. Thus, it should be appreciated that the architectural historical styles were based on some particular social and political fundamental principles that sprung from the surrounding civilizations and cultures. The architectural styles however either reached perfection or died in case of interruption. It, however, was followed by new principles that probably lead to development of a new style. It was usually the case when an existing culture was extinct and new was born.
The history of architecture from the look of things appears to be an inter-connected chain of causes and effects that succeeded each other without a break. Each style thus grew and developed out that which preceded it. For instance during the 15th century, a renaissance architecture style matured in Italy. Its precedence was the then Gothic fashions. The Italian style however dominated the gothic fashions sand it was adopted and spread over England.
The theories of architecture consider architecture as a study matter, which has applications to fields that belong to both knowledge and practice. Although there are many theories of architecture, this paper will discuss on the theories of architectural experience and architectural output. These theories of architecture rely upon architectural research, architectural, history and architectural criticism to bring out clear interpretation. The theories of architecture facilitate the understanding of architectural experience and perceptions. They also define the factors which determine the creation of architectural artworks and modestly allows for the application of positive criticism that helps in evaluating optimal solutions to architectural problem cases.
Architectural theories also give the conceptual base to architectural research which enables researchers to dig into new knowledge and understanding with sound arguments. It should however be appreciated that the concepts of architectural theories are quite complex as they involve interconnections of dynamic knowledge from wide realms of knowledge. The following section seeks to explore each of the stated theories.
This theory involves relationships between architecture citing close interest in the perceptions and objects of architecture. The theory also relates attitudes towards architecture by people either who may be direct users of architecture artworks or who may simply have pure perceptions about architecture. Thus, they can either be specialists in the field of architecture, researchers or even totally ignorant individuals to matters regarding architecture. It makes it hard and complicated for one to conclude that there exists a definite architectural experience for the whole concept involves a mixture of conceptions and perception from a variant of individuals. The experience therefore is multiple and changeable. In logic, an architectural experience becomes concrete only when the perception of an individual is well-defined and understood in a manner that disproves multiple interpretations.
Our daily life is usually inscribed in well-defined physical frame for which architecture owns a fair share. Many individuals do not commonly realize this. The theory of architectural experience, however, makes it clear that our pragmatic relationship with the environment that surrounds cannot be ignored or neglected either. Instead, the theory stipulates that our relationship with the environment that we encounter on a daily basis is permanent (Johnson, 1994). The theory however leaves the conclusion as to how attitudes we develop whenever we interact with our environment open. Philosophers argue that some people cerate geometrical perceptions in order to arrive at a particular architectural design whereas others simply form a general mental picture.
In conclusion, the theory of architectural experience forms it argument on the fact that different individuals have different perceptions and expectations whenever they encounter scenarios, with totally different attitudes towards artworks just for any single individual. Therefore, in constructing insightful schemes, one cultural background, educational background is considered of importance and that this plays a major role in determining attitudes. Thus, people are believed to believe in their own superficial impressions which in turn go a long way to evaluating the aesthetic quality of a design, decoration and structuring of a building, as they perceive it. Lastly, the theory of architectural experience stresses on the importance of acquiring architectural skills and a general understanding by going through a learning process since childhood. In this respect, the theory argues that, the formal language of architecture is assimilated primarily in one’s first life years.
This theory was developed to cover up the loophole that arose in the ancient years in the history of architecture. It was due to a reason that concrete architectural tasks could not only be realized through theory only. There was therefore a need develop a technical and formal means based on the existent theory or theories (Tafuri, 1980). The theory of architecture designing therefore helps formulate technical platforms and procedures that help materialize and lead to the achievement of architectural artworks such as buildings and other complex structures such as bridges.
With close reference to the theory of architecture designing, the creation process cannot be exclusively learned through logical mechanisms despite the fact that analytical methods are necessary. It is, however, assimilated through practice. The theory also argues that the creation process can only be developed via the use of an existing analytically defined matter, but with sound theoretical background formulated on the basis of institution, sensibility and imagination. The design theory works focuses majorly on helping architects to define the tasks of their artwork correctly bound to a realistic time frame
This method in its application rejects formalism. It, however, admits defining challenges and problems with the objective of achieving easy and unbiased interpretation, and in accordance to suitable means of covering the architectural totality as well as integrality. It is also of great importance to highlight some of the components of architectural totality as the pragmatic, expressive, technical and semantic aspects of the architectural design. In the designing process however, the theory of architectural design points out that, in the design process, the artist must encounter two secondary problems (Baste%u0301a, 2004).
They include the necessity of auxiliary means he or she intends to employ to present his or her ideas. The means in most cases center on the models used in expressing ones design ideas. The second involves the need of the artist to make him or her or the idea at hand clearly understood. It should, however, be appreciated that the means of presenting ones ideas have evolved, and those existing nowadays are an improved versions of those which existed in the ancient time.
Architecture is the art of erecting structures such as buildings, which incorporates and strictly advocates for aesthetic values such as beauty to the environment. Thus, architecture is all about creating a beautiful environment through the techniques of art such as decoration through painting. This realm of art originated from the application of the Egyptians ancient art skills to construction. Later, the Greeks are believed to have inherited the Egyptians architecture and developed it. The Romans in turn adopted the art of the Greek architecture, totally transformed it and passed it on the civilized world where it has evolved up to date. Also, the discussion above brings us to the point that: the analysis of buildings and especially with close reference to the history of architecture provides an insight into past cultures as well as eras. On the other hand, architecture is simply the styles which were developed by generations on the basis of their cultures and the needs of the ancient societies.
The deep understanding of architecture can be drawn from the theories which stipulate that every individual has different points of view and attitude when he/she encounters any architectural artwork (Baste%u0301a, 2004).
The theories also suggest that the finest skills of architecture can only be achieved through studying, especially in one’s first years. The theories of architecture also help architects define the tasks of their artwork correctly bound to a realistic time frame for best accomplishment of any architectural project.