The Relevance of Architecture
Though our natural surroundings have been extensively modified with the creation of built environments, we seldom pause to consider the impact that this has on the lives of individuals at all levels. In fact, who we are as a people is reflected in our architecture and, in turn, that architecture is a key factor that shapes us.
The origins of architecture date to prehistoric times and even as a formally studied discipline, it has a lengthy history. Architecture has undergone rapid evolution in recent decades with the development of technology, new materials and dramatically changing societal needs.
Constructing and maintaining the structures for living, working and leisure activity consume a large share of the world’s resources. In turn, the deployment of those resources and optimization of their use is a function of architectural design.
In Canada some 40% of energy consumption is devoted to heating and cooling buildings. Bringing about the necessary conservation measures and accommodating to our changing climate will require modifications to our built environment and hence our architectural approach.
Population growth is putting pressure on our urban centers and causing increasingly severe and deleterious effects on our environment. Adequate housing is considered to be a human right. Architecture is a key tool with which to address these complex problems.
Architectural esthetics are a function of our culture and play a fundamental role in defining the stature of our country and affect the well-being of its population. This is particularly important in our major cities and their suburbs. Pleasing, well designed and attractive buildings foster innovation and productivity.
The architecture of an age or a people reflects its technology, historical events, artistic styles, political processes, social organization and so on. Consequently the study of architecture is integral to understanding the human condition.