The ways we enclose and orchestrate space have evolved, and they continue to evolve over time.
This only makes sense; as architecture moves and shapes people, the people also move and shape the architecture. It’s a beautiful cyclical process, and it’s the prime reason why architecture is the greatest testament to humanity. So then, how does architecture evolve? As people develop their views of the world and universe, the architecture will reflect their beliefs.
The principles of Feng Shui guide every step of traditional Chinese house design. Christianity and Islam both have their beautiful places of worship; churches are filled with images of Christ and saints – but for Islam these human forms are taboo when relating to Allah; the focus instead is the infinite greatness of the Almighty God- which is why Mosques articulate with geometric patterns that spread out infinitely.
Changes in social relations and lifestyle affect architecture on the micro-level and development level. The Walled City of Intramuros in Manila was designed such that the Spanish colonizers could to patrol the surrounding lower-classes with their cannons – while at the same time nesting the elite snugly and safely inside. The rise of slavery brought about the inclusion of the maids bedroom in house programming (as a best case scenario, anyway). The rise of the middle class allowed for shop-houses to become a prominent building type.
As technology makes leaps and bounds, architecture gradually reflects the developments. The earliest stone buildings needed to have very thick walls, but the discovery of more efficient reinforced concrete construction now has our walls two-fists thin. Indoor plumbing allowed our bathrooms to develop into a more sanitary and convenient experience. Television made modern society reorient their entire living room experience towards this newfound gem. Cars changed the way we travel, and brought about parking space requirements in our building codes.