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Emanuele Alberto Cirello

Emanuele Alberto Cirello


Total Article : 76

About Me:I am a Year 13 student which aspires to be an architect. I am interested in anything I don't yet know, and I mostly write about art, politics , Italian culture and inspirational people, although I will try to write for as many categories possible, just to test myself and get to know more things.

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What is architecture?

What is architecture?

Architecture is by definition a discipline that has as its goal the organisation of space at any scale, and that offers a variety of uses to human beings. It can be simply seen as the design and construction of built environments, in which art and technique mix to give shape to buildings and, like sculpture, can be classified as a visual plastic art form.

Ever since man has had intellectual ability to organise his environment and develop civilisation, architecture has always existed. It was born to protect and satisfy man’s primal needs and has, with time, developed aesthetic characteristics that have made it considered as a visual art, which was however much more complex and had peculiar features.

Defining architecture is hard, and it has always been; architecture has always hold a place in mankind’s history, and with the acquisition of new characteristics, functions, styles and techniques it has become impossible to give a singular and exclusive definition to this form of art.

Throughout history, many have given their own interpretation of what architecture is, because, as a form of art, it is ultimately subjective. Vitruvius, Boullée, Adolf Loos, van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Renzo Piano are some of the most influential architects that have tried to express what architecture is. Some of these definition look at architecture in a similar way, others are contradictory, but at the end, as every form of art, architecture creates debates and discussions but it still plays a key role in all of our lives.

Architecture is affected by social, economic, technical, scientific and ethnic factors, and therefore it has undergone deep changes and developments throughout time. Its history is vast, and the its growth has come along with the progression of civilisation, and therefore, I will dedicate some of my articles to the history of architecture and some of the most relevant historic periods for this discipline.

The vastness of architecture derives from the fields to which it can be applied and it is therefore divided in different branches; beyond the design of buildings, architecture is much more and encompasses the manipulation of the entire environment. Urban planning, territorial planning, architectural conservation, landscape architecture, architectural technology and industrial design are all branches of architecture that have different aims and provide different solutions to the needs of people.

Vitruvius, in his architectural treatise “De Architectura”, considered architecture to be a mix of structural, functional and aesthetic qualities and on these fundamentals principles, architects have been basing their studies and works until our modern age. Architecture is structure, function and aesthetics, and without the combination of these three exact elements, it would become something else. Without structure, architecture is unstable and futile; without a function, it only becomes a large-scale sculpture; without aesthetics, it becomes only construction. However, modern architects from the 20th century such as Le Corbusier, Ruskin and Loos have started to consider architecture in simple terms, and have made their works revolve around only functional and structural elements of the discipline, and have started an ideological revolution where ornament in architecture was seen as a “crime”, and superfluous to the purpose of architecture itself.

In the end, just as any form of art, architecture is subject to changes, and its evolution is a mirror of our society, of our ideals, of our taste and our visions, that ultimately gain solid shape and offer solutions to the needs of populations. Architecture is the ultimate form of art, that pleases our senses like painting, sculpture, music, theatre and cinema, but which it ultimately has a much more important purpose, as it shapes our world. Architecture is not oil paint on a canvas, nor a block of marble, not even a musical composition; architecture is our room, our house, our office, our cities; architecture is the world we live in, not just art.

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