Design is a form of art

design of art
Looking at a building should be a visual experience. Architecture is criticized and evaluated first and foremost on the basis of its contribution to the visual delight of the observer, either from the overall appearance of the external elevations or the way that space and light have been used in the interior. Great architecture is often likened to sculpture in the way that form is used to carry meaning, often abstracted from the initial concept and use of the building. However, architecture can seldom be the same as art in the purest sense of original creativity, because buildings are primarily designed in response to someone else’s requirements. Perhaps in this way it is more akin to portrait painting, where the artist or architect uses representational skills to fulfil a commission.

‘What distinguishes architecture from painting and sculpture is its spatial quality. In  this, and only in this, no other artist can emulate the architect. The view that architecture is both a profession and an art is accepted by sociologists, but regarded by them as its chief eccentricity’ (Pevsner, 1968).

This is not to detract from the skills of the designer, but perhaps to present a word of caution in that little about architecture is pure art in the conventional sense. There is obviously a great deal of creativity and originality required on the part of the architect in the interpretation of the brief. Indeed, an architect occasionally manages to achieve such originality that the whole of architecture is led in a new direction.
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