Humans are influenced by everything around them. Every person in your life, every place you go, everything you see all impact how you behave. Architecture plays a powerful role in influencing human behavior. Humans subconsciously adjust their behaviors based on the environment of the architecture of the buildings around them or that they are in fosters.
Architecture And Creating Social Expectations
Every choice an architect makes cultivates a specific type of environment. The materials, the structures, the kinds of windows, the interior, the roof all convey a specific image and purpose for every building designed. Architects combine form, environment, human character, and function when designing to evoke the desired atmosphere and purpose their client wants.
An office building is very different from a performing arts theatre, and social expectations are different in each space. Architects utilize their skills so that you can know merely by looking at or walking into a building what it might be used for and how you’re supposed to behave.
Inside Buildings And Human Behavior
Buildings tell us about the people behind them, about what’s in them, and influence how we behave. The interior of a building plays a major role in this. An open office space encourages teamwork and communication, while offices with doors ask for more privacy. Lots of windows allow lots of natural light, which can help boost one’s mood. Sometimes, buildings don’t have the desired effect, so an architect can provide a design that will.
When people realized that a cold hospital environment in psychiatric hospitals made mental health patients uncomfortable and was negatively impacting recovery and treatment, architects designed psychiatric hospitals to feel more like a home. Common areas were made to look like living rooms, more windows were added, and with patients feeling more comfortable, it improved mental health recovery.
Every choice involved in architecture influences people, from the materials, to the outer design, to the layout of the interior. But there are more large-scale ways architecture can affect human behavior too.
Cultural Impacts Of Architecture
Architecture relays culture and profession and personality and function. Different cultures have different architectural designs that have resulted in distinct looks that are easily identifiable. The architecture of any specific culture both reflects the culture itself and influences it, as human behavior is affected by anything a person is exposed to.
Mediterranean architecture is known for stucco, bright roofs and shutters, and high archways. Japanese architecture is known for tiled or thatched roofs and utilizing posts and beams. Every culture has different histories and designs for similar purposes based on their beliefs, values, environments, and the materials available to them. You can trace cultural influences through architecture, like how Brazil shows a strong Portuguese influence. Architecture informs you about cultures and architecture tells a story.
How Architecture Tells Stories
The Portuguese influence in Brazilian architecture speaks of the history there. Architecture can tell you about history, about who lived where, where designs may have come from. It can tell you about war with concrete buildings built as shelters; it can tell you about art with wide ceilings and light to best display paintings and statues and the like.
It can tell you about colonization, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, it can tell you about people who came together in peace, harmoniously blending their cultures through the new buildings they design. Domes and spikes in buildings from Rome to India to the United States can inform about religious influence, with domes and spikes designed to reach to the heavens.
As people travel and learn, they bring bits back with them, implementing what they liked into their lives, which reflects in the buildings, too. Merely by looking at the architecture of a building, you can infer if it was originally designed for a purpose it’s no longer used for, or when it was built and what was valued for architecture at the time and place.
The Vitality Of Picking The Right Architect
As you can see, architects don’t just design buildings. The choices they make affect human behavior too. As such, it’s important to find the right architect who can work with you to bring your vision to life. With how every step involved in architecture impacts how we behave, you want an architect who will not just make a building, but design it with the specific purpose and atmosphere and personality you need.
Do You Have Questions About Architecture?
BGW Architects recognizes the importance of creating a building that speaks to the environment you need. From cultural to financial to commercial to educational buildings, we design buildings that highlight a sense of community. We believe in working collaboratively with our clients so that our design fits your goal. For any questions about architecture or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at BGW Architects today.