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Why Learning History of Architecture Is Important

September 17, 2020, 6:30:00 PM

This is a brief excerpt from the interview with renowned Indian architectural designer Dr. Benny Kuriakose about why learning the history of architecture is important.

In this snippet, he discusses the significance of architectural history and the reasons it should be studied properly. Not in terms of the building's construction date and year, but rather in terms of the technological advancement that took place there. The classic approach to studying architectural history, adopted by schools of architecture and textbooks, involves studying or at least having an acquaintance with past historical periods. They are usually studied individually, progressing from the earliest to the most recent periods. Benny Kuriakose emphasises the need to change from this classic approach to studying architectural history.

Architectural history is the study of building through the ages. It comprises architecture and architectural styles ranging from pre-ancient civilisations to contemporary architecture. The study of architectural history forms an important component of an architect’s education, although it is a subject that is also accessible to those outside mainstream architecture. The study of architectural history, therefore, is not just about a study of the buildings themselves but also of the conditions (social, economic, political, and material) that influenced those buildings. It also involves the study of stylistic and spatial expression.

He explains in detail how architectural history should be looked at. He added that the history of architecture should be taught in a way that emphasises the relevance of the building rather than the king who built it.

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