The Effects of Architecture on Society

1918 Words 8 Pages
Architecture and the built environment
Buildings reflect the values and ideas of society within periods. The role of architecture in shaping society and vice versa largely depends on the period in question and who or what affects first. The Enlightenment, and the subsequent period the Post-Enlightenment, reflect the biggest change for current ideas regarding architecture and society and current theories. At the same time, individual identities and understanding of society, progress and truth all follow a similar evolving path. It is during this dramatic shift in thinking that the role of architecture to society and the idea of progress and truth becomes a more complex relationship. How this relationship works and its implications is
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It is through this example that architecture is seen to influence ideas in society about certain values. It was from using architecture that Bentham was able to incorporate his ideas of surveillance. Drawing similar analogies from today is a complex and intricating problem largely due to the changes in society that reflect a wide array of ideas as written by Lyotard and Foucault.
“A Post-modern building is, if a short definition is needed, one which speaks on at least two levels at once: to other architects and a concerned minority who care about specifically architectural meanings, and to the public at large, or the local inhabitants, who care about other issues concerned with comfort, traditional building and a way of life.” This was stated by architect and writer Charles Jencks who advocated the idea of postmodern architecture. In his above quote Jencks draws a distinction between those who have the knowledge to understand deeper, more philosophical intents behind a design and are concerned with broader implications as well as those in society who are more interested in how the building applies to them and their everyday needs. This does not negate that the two would likely overlap to varying degrees. What is important is that there is a clear distinction that a building will be viewed in different ways. The architect’s intentions and own personal views are likely to be interpreted largely depending on the