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Architecture and Culture: Five Characteristics of the Culture (Research Paper Sample)


To showcase the relationship between architecture and culture

Course: Architecture and Culture
Architecture is frequently considered and thus explained as a depiction of the cultural values, ways of life and activities of a given society (Rapaport, 2001). In the 19th-century architecture depicted a form of material culture. Certain historical views are presented from the studies of industrial and architectural historians, cultural crusaders and geographers.
Culture and Architecture
As a matter of fact, architecture is a demonstration of the cultural environment in places where it is used and utilized. Architecture being in the form of buildings, spaces and other structures may act as a type of cultural symbol which can be read, same to the way one might get information from the books and other sources of information available describing the social class and the kind of life its inhabitants lived. Buildings and other architectural structures are considered as the indicators of social structure. A number of anthropologists allude that architecture is meant to describe the way a given society leads its life. And therefore, architecture encompasses a lot more than just the essential necessities of a given society, thereby responding to a much more complex structure/system (Rapoport, 2001).
There are five characteristics of culture that are described as most certain to control the architectural buildings and other structures. They include a depiction of the ways in which fundamental needs are satisfied, the family hierarchy and structure, the diverse responsibilities of women in the society, approaches to privacy, and the social relations.
To begin with, the essential requirements of a given society can be somewhat diverse based upon the culture (Rapoport, 2001). For instance, a given culture may be more privileged in terms of material wealth and comforts. In which such situation their essential wants may comprise aspects about the comfort rank of heating that a building experiences. This may seem an insignificant side of a society that can differ widely and may lead to significantly different form of buildings.
A couple of cases have been used by Rapoport emphasizing on the effects of family ladder and the role it plays on the forms of architectural. Linked to the family hierarchy issue is the role of women in culture, and the consequential influence to the formation of different forms of architecture. For example, in traditional society in Japan, the kitchen is considered one of the limited areas of a residential building that is considered the woman's territory. Therefore, the kitchen is designed specifically for her utilization in terms of the available space and how the kitchen equipment is arranged. In this case therefore, the kitchen as an architecture aspect is a cultural item in terms of human considerations, besides other functional needs, are considered as an important influence of culture on architecture. In addition to this, in most African societies, their cultures dictated some level of architectural designs. A case in point is the placement of boys’ houses near the gate. Boys were considered the protectors of the household and its properties. Therefore, their location at the gate was informed as they were supposed to detect any trespassers in their homestead and act against them.
Privacy in most societies was key and therefore, had a considerable influence on the architectural buildings and other structures. Extents of privacy in a society could influence a certain type of architectural structures. Opinions concerning personal importance, boundaries, and sexual relations all impacted on the type of the building structures (Rapoport, 2001). A perfect instance of this was the society's attitudes in relation to being naked. A number of cultures had no problem with this and therefore their architecture tended to be somewhat open to the public. On the other hand, other cultures that had more reserved and subjective attitudes seemed to be somewhat closed.
Last but not least, a culture's way of relating socially could determine the design and the architectural look of the structures involved (Rapaport, 2001). For instance, a church is not only considered to have a religious role but also a place where people from a giv...
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