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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Architecture and civilization (Essay Sample)

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Architecture and civilization
Throughout history various civilizations have had profound impact on the architectural landscape of their lands, and culture embodies the architectural designs. Other forms of art including paintings and sculptures also capture the cultural themes prevailing in these societies during different times. Even though, the design characteristics became complex over time, most societies maintained their own distinctive architectural designs that defined their way of life, culture and beliefs.
In Egypt, the concept of time played a vital role in the society especially with regards to the flooding of the Nile River which defined cycles in the society. The Nile River extends from the South to the North, determining the economic activities of the Egyptians, whereby the sun’s path and flood levels defined these cycles in ancient Egypt. Consequently, symmetry and geometry were common features of the architectural designs of this period (Gardner et al., 95). The location of temples and other important places seems to have been deliberately chosen to reflect on direction and show time. Equally, the design characteristics of the temples sought to integrate various ideals of the ancient Egyptians including social harmony and stability in the society as established by the gods.
The ancient Greeks were renowned for their quest for knowledge, with less focus on spiritual matters but on acquiring knowledge and culture geared towards achievement (Gardner et al 100). The quest for knowledge led to a focus on acquiring the necessary skills through studying, applying and modifying these skills. Thus, the designers of these period sought to compete against there fellow craftsmen as though the practice of architecture were a contest. This culture led to emphasis on the role of balance and symmetry in the designs of buildings. The Greeks likened numerical symmetry to the working of harmonious tunes; this in turn led to emphasis on mathematical calculations being employed in the designs.
The prominence of mathematical calculations led to a distinct style that highlighted on proportionality and excellence in the architectural buildings and temples that typically were long lasting. Emphasis on plane geometry meant that the laying of stones took place following elaborate measurements. Thus, the dimensions of the buildings took the form of related proportions that sought to have designs adhering to specific dimensions with regards to ratios of the buildings. With their attention to detail, the Greeks produced imposing buildings with emphasis on the outside parts of the buildings, which shows that their culture typically focused on outdoor activities.
The design characteristics of buildings in ancient Rome had their inspiration from ancient Greek, but they added more ideas and focused on the interior parts of buildings (Gardner et al., 80). The population density of the ...
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