Architectural Form Evolution Throughout History


People can draw inspiration from many components of their daily life, including nature or different types of art. Thus, the evolution of form in art is connected to human development over the years. To analyze the component properly, one must be able to understand the meaning behind the piece. Knowledge regarding processes and aspects that contribute to the creation is needed. This paper aims to explore the connection between different art forms, and their influence on architecture.

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The Evolution of Form

The underlying relationship between the articles by Wade, Housen, Matisse, Randall, Brooks, and Whyte is their outlook on human nature and sources of inspiration that help people achieve their goals or create art. Numerous items one encounters in life can inspire artists or architects. Wade offers an example of nature to explain the relationship between it and human beings1. The author states that “sensitivity to nature is not an innate attribute to indigenous people” (122). Thus, nature is the primary component that can provide ideas for future creations, because each can be fascinated by it. For instance, Wayde tells a story of Canadians exploring the Amazon to substantiate the claim. Although these people were used to various natural phenomena, the enormous river of Amazon captivated their attention.

It is essential to identify the connection between the conscious and subconscious mind of a person, which can explain the origins of the form. According to Brooks “noncognitive skills, which is the catchall category for hidden qualities that can’t be easily counted or measured” are crucial for achieving anything (9)2. The inner mind affects people in a significant way, although the impact cannot be easily assessed.

Most importantly, it influences the emotions that people receive from things, which is especially crucial for art. Brooks states that the unconscious mind is behind the great thinking processes that affect people’s life. In the context of art, it can be argued that the creations of individuals have a more complex structure that can be initially perceived. It is because people’s conscious thinking and understanding do not guide the process.

Architecture can be regarded as a synthesis of both factors because the need to connect construction aspects and complex calculations are linked to creativity through a combination of various factors. Whyte explores the topic of form, which can be perceived as the primary idea behind any creation. The author states that “the pattern determines the properties of the constituents” (1)3. The perception of art, in Whyte’s opinion, is important because the author argues that one cannot be indifferent to everything.

A different perspective that affects the thinking process of a creator is a personal experience. Housden (2001) argues that an individual’s own story inspires each art piece4. It is explained in the example of Mary Oliver’s poem The Journey, in which the author highlights the importance of focusing on inner needs and desires. The experience that Housden describes illustrating his first reading of the work displays an array of emotions. Similar objectives can be seen in the painting, because of its close association with other art forms, for instance, with literature.

Matisse describes the connection between the two art forms. The author states that his primary objective for work is an expression of himself, which can be applied to any creative process. Matisse displays his creative process by explaining his paintings – “the entire arrangement of my picture is expressive” (84)5. It includes the space, figures, empty places, proportions, and other components that can be seen. The connection between the elements creates a complex structure that conveys a thought of an author. Matisse gives an example of his thinking process to illustrate how he adjusts his creative idea to the given means of expression, in this case, a sheet of paper. This aspect provides an essential incentive for architecture because the creator has to consider different components of the environment and purpose, not only the creative idea that he or she wants to convey.

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Different artists can use various approaches to the creative process. Randall explored this perspective by examining exceptional physicists and the ways in which they contributed to the subject6. The author stated that “some were visual, some were mathematically gifted, and some had a prodigious capacity to absorb and evaluate information” (Randall 399). While physics differs significantly from art in its objectives and scope of operations, it requires creativity to be able to explore the world beyond what is currently known.

Randall states that math and other exact sciences were developed mainly due to people who are eager to synthesize ideas and find new methods of explaining the world around us. The implication is especially crucial for architecture because of the incorporation between creative design and mathematical calculations.

Creative Process

The points mentioned above can be applied to the understanding of the creative process and exploring from within the art. Firstly, one should acknowledge the inner perception of objects and events that people employ when creating an object. The matter is compound; however, it is crucial to look beyond the visible aspects of a painting or a building to understand its real purpose. It can be argued that as civilization progresses, the approaches to art change and become more complicated.

It is the primary connection between perception, creative process, and form. People can be inspired by anything that surrounds them, including natural wonders or other art pieces. Due to the synthesis that is done by the subconscious mind, artists can express their emotions, while people consuming the creation can experience various feelings as well. Additionally, creativity is a vital component of any significant achievement. As was discussed by Randall, even exact sciences require this component because it creates interest and desire to develop ideas. Therefore, creativity and inspiration are vital for any artwork, especially for architecture.

In regards to architecture, it can be concluded that a creator has to synthesize different components to develop his or her work successfully. The broader social and politician understanding implies that each process in life includes both conscious and subconscious thinking. Additionally, as society develops, the process evolves and becomes more complicated.


Overall, it can be concluded that the six articles examined in this paper argue that art pieces are elaborate creations because the subconscious mind is responsible for the process of their development. Thus, to understand the form in the context of art one must analyze various aspects that affected an individual. In addition, the articles emphasize that people can be inspired by many things, including those that are familiar to them such as nature or other art pieces. Architecture can benefit from such an approach because the synthesis of conscious and subconscious can help combine various aspects of the art form.

Works Cited

Brooks, David. The Social Animal. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2012.

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Housden, Roger. Ten Poems to Change Your Life. Harmony Books, 2001.

Matisse, Henry. Notes of a Painter. Edited by Jack Flam, University of California Press, 1995.

Randall, Lisa. Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Harper Collins, 2011.

Wade, David. Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire. Island Press, 1998.

Whyte, Lancelot Law. Accent on Form. Routledge, 1955.


  1. Wade, David. Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire. Island Press, 1998.
  2. Brooks, David. The Social Animal. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2012.
  3. Whyte, Lancelot Law. Accent on Form. Routledge, 1955.
  4. Housden, Roger. Ten Poems to Change Your Life. Harmony Books, 2001
  5. Matisse, Henry. Notes of a Painter. Edited by Jack Flam, University of California Press, 1995.
  6. Randal, Lisa. Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Harper Collins, 2011.
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StudyCorgi. "Architectural Form Evolution Throughout History." May 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Architectural Form Evolution Throughout History." May 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Architectural Form Evolution Throughout History'. 29 May.

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