Introduction to architecture

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Architecture is defined as the art and science of designing buildings and structures. A wider definition would include within this scope the design of any built environment, structure or object, from town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture to furniture and objects. It could also be defined as the manipulation of shapes, forms, space and light to change our environment. A very famous definition of architecture is the one made by french architect Le Corbuiser: "Architecture is the masterly, correct, and magnificent play of forms under the light." (Vers une architecture, 1923)

In fact, defining architecture is not easy, and one would find as many definitions as there are books about architecture. Probably, each architect has his own, preferred definition.

Doing architecture requires strong technical knowledge in the fields of engineering, logistics, geometry, building techniques, functional design and ergonomics. It also requires a certain sensibility to arts and aesthetics. Finally, it also requires a preoccupation for human questions and society's problems. Architecture is a very broad and humanistic field that is at the same time technical, artistic and social. Traditionally, architecture courses are always found at the crossing of those domains. The profession of architect demands a certain ability to synthesize information coming from very different areas, and architects often assume the position of leader, mediator or centralizer in groups made of very different specialists.

Today, however, the broad scope of construction, the demand for a wide array of different structures and the general tendency to specialization, very present in the construction field, have resulted in architecture being often divided in several different specializations.

The aim of this course is to give students a firm basis on the many elements that contribute to architectural design as well as an idea as to what section of the field they may be best suited to.


This introductory module is part of the proposed curriculum for the bold experiment to teach Architecture online, which is unique, and unprecedented. Historically, it is a fact that some of the best architects in the world have been self learners, this School of Architecture proposes a practical guide of the most important steps that have made us Architects. Becoming an architect is a long journey consisting of education, internship, and examinations; and requires the practitioner to be dedicated, creative, detail-oriented, and possess a firm resolve to complete all which you have begun. You will enjoy this experimental process and the amazing experience of becoming an architect.

Architecture[edit]

Architecture, the art and science of designing and erecting buildings, is a vast subject -- every culture since the dawn of time has had its own distinct style of making shelters for people to live in, work in, and store things in. These shelters have since evolved to become the house that we know today.

Architects provide care in the shaping of our built environment. A wider definition would include within its scope the design of the total built environment, from the macrolevel of town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture to the microlevel of furniture.

The earliest Architects were definitely not specialists, but someone who erects basic dwellings using simple tools and materials found adjacent to the site. Today, architects are licensed by a jurisdiction to provide design services to the public through the practice of architecture.

The Art and Science of Architecture[edit]

The soul of architecture is to design a structure that will be suited for humans to live in, work in, play in, etc. It is also to give comfort to its users -- to make them feel comfortable, make them feel uplifted, make them feel that someone cared about their well-being enough to design something that they would enjoy. A good Architect does more than just design buildings -- he or she understands how people's surroundings make them feel, and creates an environment that will meet their needs and desires

Objective of This Course[edit]

We attempt to design the course in such a manner to make the learning of architecture available and affordable to everyone. A conscious effort is made to ensure the reading materials will be available online as against the need to purchase costly textbooks, reference books and periodicals. As such, it is suggested that you try to go through the reading list at the end of each module or section.

Methodology[edit]

You are encouraged to bookmark your local architecture institute websites to keep abreast with the current development of the profession in your home country. We also encourage you to bookmark these links to Royal Institute of British Architects and American Institute of Architects.

See also[edit]

Articles about Architecture at Wikipedia