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Definition for Architecture

What Is Architecture?


Architecture is from the Latin word architectura, which is formed from the words for architect. So, what comes first, the architect or the architecture?


The word architecture can have many meanings. Depending on the context, architecture can refer to:

1. any man-made building or structure
2. a man-made building or structure that is important, large, or highly creative
3. a carefully designed object, such as a chair, a spoon, or a tea kettle
4. a design for a city, town, park, or landscape
5. the art or science of designing and building buildings, structures, objects, and outdoor spaces
6. a building style or method
7. a plan for organizing space
8. the flow of information on a Web page
9. the planned design of any kind of system
10. a systematic arrangement of information or ideas

Is This Architecture?

Depending on your perspective, you might use the word architecture to describe any number of things. Which of the items listed below would you call architecture?

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Frank Lloyd Wright on Architecture

"What is architecture anyway? Is it the vast collection of the various buildings which have been built to please the varying taste of the various lords of mankind? I think not.

"No, I know that architecture is life; or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived. So architecture I know to be a Great Spirit.

"Architecture is that great living creative spirit which from generation to generation, from age to age, proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man, and his circumstances as they change. That is really architecture."

—Frank Lloyd Wright, from In the Realm of Ideas

Barack Obama Defines Architecture:

"It is about creating buildings and spaces that inspire us, that help us do our jobs, that bring us together, and that become, at their best, works of art that we can move through and live in. And in the end, that is why architecture can be considered the most democratic of art forms."—2011, President Barack Obama, Pritzker Ceremony Speech

Common Misspellings:

arcatecture, arkitecture, artitecture, architector, architechur, arcitechur Readers Define Architecture:

  • An art that reflects human feelings and dreams in shapes within science, environment, and humanity.—Guest hasmukh
  • Ability to dream like an artist, think like an engineer.—Guest Mohamed A.El-Kady
  • Architecture is a process, beginning from conceptualization of anything useful in any form or shape for use by mankind, especially buildings, etc. conforming to basic acceptable norms in a given environment, providing physical functional shelter.—Guest Arc. Etu
  • I think Architecture is art through which we can walk.—Guest Bob Peniel
  • Architecture consists of building stuff, like forks, chairs, tables, tree houses, and stuff even as big as houses and cities.—Guest Boo
  • Architecture is the thoughtful design of the structural elements of a 'body or building', both underlying armature and overlaying sheath or skin. It is 'premeditated evolved problem solving' at its most complicated, and at its simplest - pure form following function. (Now, more than ever, it is 3D creative problem solving that is evolving other dimensions - considering timelines, spacial concerns and sophisticated organic materials that react to both interior and exterior conditions as they relate to the human condition.—Guest jeanneocity
  • For me, architecture is art and engineering. It manifests itself in design. That is the creative part. Science tries to discover something.—name_exists
  • An architect worthy of the name must not only know how to design functional structures that will be safe in all kinds of conditions, he must also have an eye for beauty. Many in the field just try to come up with something different that will draw attention, but if you will observe the most charming and lovely neighborhoods, the architecture of the homes will harmonize and complement each other. This is especially true in many of the villages in Europe or Japan. What is true of gardens and apparel is also true of houses. Just as one wouldn't usually plant flaming red flowers under a redbud tree or wear colors that clash, the same is true of houses. An architect should have a sense for such matters and be able to enhance the overall effect of a neighborhood rather than destroy the beauty that others have achieved by putting a mismatch in their midst. Too often today loveliness is sabotaged in the attempt to compete for attention. A true architect, however, will appreciate beauty.—Guest Don Daniels (wigglecane)
  • Architecture is a systematic arrangement of components.—Guest Amit keshri
  • The study of form, space, and order is called architecture.—Guest moin

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