Architecture Being A Product Of Culture Anthropology Essay

Is civilization still in being? I keep inquiring myself. As we have engulfed ourselves with our twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours modus operandis of our life, we have continuously ignored our civilizations. Though it seems to be melting off, a subdivision of us have tried to use them to our lives, thereby non allowing it wholly die off.

To me civilization is societies transmitted behavior forms, belief and all other merchandises of human work ; it besides allows people to accommodate to their environment to foster their ain intents instead than depending on a natural manner of life to accomplish their ends. Culture besides provides a construct of history thereby supplying us a rule of fusion demoing how far a group of people or a state as a whole has developed over the old ages assisting to determine the lives of people.

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We could ne’er make away with civilization since it helps in specifying who we are, but there is this confusion between civilization and tradition since people keep on misinterpreting both political orientations. As its ever said tradition supports traveling on since it ‘s the beliefs or imposts which are taught by one coevals to the following frequently verbally, without the demand for a authorship system. Traditions are ever besides presumed to be ancient and profoundly of import since it decidedly highlights the importance of a certain establishments.

Questions are being continuously being raised if civilization does genuinely work ; one might happen that a really unusual inquiry, since civilization is something which does n’t work or neglect neither is it imposed on a individual but it is instead cardinal to the individual. The significances people add to their lives are non separate from their day-to-day activities. The impact of civilization is truly of a immense graduated table thereby doing it non easy answerable because it is non separate from societal construction, economic sciences and other characteristics of human activities.

There is decidedly a strong relationship between architecture and civilization, since architecture is a signifier of expressing civilization. Within the architecture field civilization gives us this gage of what we should take at and how we should travel about accomplishing that end, in another sense civilization decidedly helps determine architecture. But the job is you can non take historic elements of a people and topographic point it in your design, so pull a decision that you have attained that portion of the design of which you have kept the civilization of those said people. You have to truly understand the demands of that people and the maps that work within their environment, since there would be that sense of rejection of your design, if it does n’t suit in with the conforms of the people.

Though people would accept cultural developments, which would take topographic point over a period of clip edifices that are built and are non in melody with the people ‘s civilization, certainly would non reflect them.

A scenario which I recall was when a immature white adult male arrived in Ghana ; my place state, from America equipped with his bivouacing cogwheel to research more about our civilization and architecture holding a pre-judgemental idea that the state would be like a wilderness, but he was shocked by what he saw. It was far from what he was taught and told at his university. In his ain words he said it looked like New-York. For some of us it would be a really good feedback of how the state has developed to acquire this far, if it is being compared to New York. But for some of us it breaks our bosom since it does n’t give a first-hand history about the civilizations of our state

So what has changed? In all honestness a 3rd universe state would be really happy to be compared to a first universe state like America but at what monetary value? We losing our true civilization? Through the colonization of the British you can see the immense contrast between the architecture of the state ‘s capital which is Accra and the Northern Region of the state which some of us refer to as the small town side, but to me the architecture of the Northern Region reflects more about our civilization and tradition. As I said earlier on though you can take the historic elements and integrate them into your design of the edifice it does n’t needfully reflect the true civilization of the people. The metropolis ‘s architecture has been influenced more with the European Vernacular of planing, different types of edifices are being built with the purpose being at that place to reflect our civilization and tradition but to me it is n’t truly successful though we the people merely take the edifice as it is and travel on with our lives.

The traditional designed edifices look more self-imposed within the metropolis though the edifices are seeking to convey a message to visitants coming within our state that our civilization and tradition is still streamlined, but we the citizens know is non the truth since it ‘s vanishing quickly from the chief capital.

To the people in the Northern Region of the state the architecture of the metropolis would be a whole new universe opened up to them if they were to witness the difference ; in footings of the design of the edifices due to the fact that the edifices are seeking to double some cultural elements located around at that place. Though some of the architecture is non successfully working around the metropolis you could see a gleam of our civilization being reflected by the people within the metropolis to observe it. The Coastal side of the metropolis shows our fisherman at sea fishing to feed households during dinner clip. We have besides got peddlers around selling traditional vesture to people. Though that immature adult male said the metropolis looked like New-York he did n’t see our true civilization within the metropolis ‘s city, he merely merely got to witness the European Vernacular design of the edifices.

We ‘ve got several edifices within the metropolis which are seeking really hard to interrupt through the European design of a edifice into that Ghanese Vernacular with a set end in head to seek and stand for our civilization. But what is genuinely a Ghanese Vernacular themed edifice? To me it ‘s non merely the form or outside of the edifice it ‘s besides what goes on within the infinite ; that is the maps of the edifice.

So though the design of the edifice may bind in with our civilization, the map of it plays a major function. This is where the European styled edifices seem to neglect. The National Theatre of Ghana is an elegant and enforcing theater which has a really complicated building molding and a fresh exterior characteristic. When looked at from a distance the whole construction resembles a elephantine membranophone. Some say it looks like a mammoth ship or a seagull distributing its wings, but to me the characteristics look more of one of our local membranophones, when viewed at from the top.

A membranophone within the Ghanese communities play a really of import function with the different folks, and every type of membranophone has a really symbolic significance to it ; this is where the National theater about succeeds in seeking to demo off our civilization. The type of membranophone the theaters form resemble is the DONDO membranophone besides known as the speaking membranophone, which is doubtless one of the oldest membranophones in being in our state and its history can be traced back to ancient Ghana Empire times.

Its pitch can be regulated to the extent that it is said that the membranophone starts to speak. The Dondo is a widely used membranophone in Ghana but it is particularly by the Ashanti Tribe. During the Empire times it was used to direct messages of felicity, sorrow and war to other folks through the whipping of the membranophone. Many discrepancies of the speaking drum exist with basically the same building. Though the outside of the edifice attempts to accomplish a Ghanese Vernacular the experience of the edifice and its maps I think do it a bit successful.The theater helps advance the development of the acting humanistic disciplines in Ghana, and besides to develop and advance the cultural humanistic disciplines. It besides engages in cultural maps as the Government of Ghana may delegate it.These maps of the edifice helps drives the cultural facet of the state, though the architecture is assisting a spot.

Entering the inside of the infinite you could experience it arousing our civilization and tradition, I do n’t believe people realise the enrapturing experiencing the interior decorators created when you walk through the infinite. The topographic point is filled with two of the chief colors of the state gold and brown, the colors which help maintain the cultural and traditional subject traveling. The large membranophones and the large glass instances lodging some of the local vesture besides aid light up the topographic point. The gold decorations and tusk bangles some stand foring the different folk of our state shows of civilization from our bow male parents until these present yearss. Some would state it is packed with excessively many things which make the topographic point tacky, but it ‘s candidly one of the beautiful and possibly thought arousing infinites in Ghana. But once more that marble flooring ruins that cultural and traditional feel, since it brings upon that European feeling but staring upon the cultural elements within the infinite you are reminded once more that you are within a infinite which is demoing off the cultural facets of our state.

The National Theatre of Ghana The DONDO membranophone

Though the designer tries to win by adding elements of our civilization into the design he does n’t truly make plenty, since him the designer feels he has done plenty to foreground our civilization but if it was n’t for the map and usage of the edifice it would hold failed miserably.

A construction which I feel succeeds in naming itself a Ghanese Vernacular edifice is the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, I do believe this edifice succeeds because it is non allow down by the design and its maps. The Mausoleum besides known as the Kwame Nkrumah Park is the concluding and last resting topographic point of the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah. It is dedicated to him for his outstanding run to emancipate Ghana. The Entrance to the site is from the 28th February high street merely along the seashore.

The Mausoleum provides a forepart for the statue of Nkrumah covered in bronze ; whereas the museum is subterraneous it ‘s placed in a place that does non vie with the mausoleum for attending. Rhythm, contrast and harmoniousness are the chief key rules used in the designing of the edifice. Those three cardinal rules in the design begins to demo how the designer has researched and investigated into deepness about the different folks and kins within the state by understanding our civilizations good, since those are the chief qualities some of the folks apply to their twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours cultural activities.

Inside the Mausoleum houses the personal effects and publications of the first president which shows his life history and struggles to achieve the independency for Ghana. The organic structure is buried under a catafalque within the Mausoleum raised in the Centre of the park with symbols which reflect Ghana ‘s civilization and history used to portray non merely Nkrumah ‘s vision to advance Africa ‘s personality, but besides to demo the different civilizations people have used to accommodate to their environment, through the development of the state over the old ages. These symbols decidedly makes the mean Ghanese to appreciate the design of the infinite ; shows you the degree of understanding the designer has attained about the cultural elements of our state. The full statue of Dr Nkrumah have oning a fabric in bronze is sited at the exact location where he proclaimed Ghana ‘s independency. As you approach the chief manner heading into the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum you will see springs on either sides of the paseo. Each spring has seven bare-chested crouching figurines of horn blowers, who seen to be welcoming the reaching of people into the mausoleum.

The horn blowing figurines represent an of import tradition that goes on within all the different folks and kins, but horn blowing is largely done by the Akan Clan, which is located at the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The tradition of horn blowing begun when a traditional priest was instructed by the Gods to let go of their powers through the sound of the horns, which would enable the Gods to protect the state. It ‘s said that the horn liquors were unable to defy the colonialist invasion, but clearly they still maintain their power today. The principle behind this pattern is that the sound emitted from the horn is a spirit that dispels evil liquors. This design characteristic helps play an of import map at the mausoleum to maintain that civilization subject traveling within the infinite. It ever warms my bosom to see the figurines, since an of import characteristic of the people of Ghana is being respected.

Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum

The Horn Blowing Statuettes

The design of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum itself represents blades which have being turned upside down ; this within the local circles symbolizes peace. The type of blade the mausoleum resembles is the AKONFENATA, a dual edged blade typifying nonpartisanship, equity and justness chiefly used once more by the Akan people.

All these grounds mentioned above to me AIDSs in doing this construction a successful Ghanese Vernacular designed edifice, since the designer and his interior decorators have truly paid attending to every cultural patterns which are being conveyed by all the folks and kins throughout the state.

To a tourer this edifice would merely be another mere construction which is merely seeking to exhibit what Ghana represents ; the peace loving and low state, but to us it shows off our deep rooted civilization which goes on twenty-four hours in twenty-four hours out in our lives. Though some of our cultural patterns have been neglected the remainder which have been able to last throughout the cultural development old ages of our state and worldwide, has been blended in good within this construction to maintain them alive.

Culture is said to be noting patterns every twenty-four hours, so what are these chief cultural elements which are included within the design stand foring? How have we the people channelled all these patterns to this present twenty-four hours Ghana? Since you ca n’t ever be stuck in the yesteryear but have to travel on into the present times. In our mundane life patterns some of these of import cultural elements which have ever been relevant since our sires have been exceeding into modern twenty-four hours, doing them available for everyone to pattern them without the significances tied to them being lost. Be it funerals, parties or cursing in ceremonials of caputs that would regulate big establishments.

The first mark of the horn blowing patterns is when you are go forthing the state ‘s major airdrome which is the Kotoka International Airport you would detect the another immense statue in modern twenty-four hours vesture, looking to be blowing a large horn to signal the reaching of people into the state or welcoming them into the state, some say the statue is front of the airdrome is besides seeking to chase away the evil liquors which some people are arrive with into the state. This shows you how we are still seeking to convey our ain cultural patterns to assist maintain them traveling, non merely would you happen the horn blowing statues at the Mausoleum or the airdrome, but at several unit of ammunition outs which lead into major towns Centres and coach terminuss you could besides descry some of these statues, they all play the same function ; hence they stand foring the same significance.

Under funerals before the organic structure is sent to the graveyard for entombment you could besides hear the horns been sounded out through speaker units, they have been recorded on compact phonograph record ‘s and being sold to people so they can still hold that impression that they are chase awaying evil liquors off from the funeral evidences. This is one really common pattern which is being used throughout the state, since it is non everyone that is fortunate plenty to acquire horn blowers under of import maps. Peoples would ever desire pattern this cultural component so supplying it to the multitudes on compact phonograph record has been a really good manner of conveying it into the Modern epoch. One of the few assorted ways we could assist maintain some of our civilizations in being.

Walking through the streets of capital ; Accra, you could besides descry some people have oning our local fabric sewed into modern garbs seeking besides to convey that local fabric civilization into the modern epoch, you would detect that bronzy statue of Kwame Nkrumah ever wears that type of fabric. Not merely would you see it being worn on particular occasions but people do have on them on a day-to-day footing. The beating facet of our civilization has non besides disappeared in our mundane modern lives. Daily you could hear the membranophones being played on wireless and telecasting, seeking to convey the message that the day-to-day intelligence of the state is about to be read or signalling the start of a new twenty-four hours. Not merely during those cases, but maps like calling ceremonials of babes or during funerals the membranophones are besides played to direct out a message of felicity or grieve severally. Though we have moved onto the present twenty-four hours, the cultural pattern which our sires begin is still being recognised.

The blades which were being represented at the Mausoleum are besides an of import cultural component which is besides being used during these present yearss. During swearing-in ceremonial of the new president it is used hand-in-hand with the bible symbolising that the president would do certain he or she would keep nonpartisanship, equity and justness ; some chief subjects of our civilization, it is non merely a pattern which is done during the curse cursing ceremonial of the president but besides during every twenty-four hours cursing in ceremonials of people who are traveling to head big constitution which would be supplying wealth to the state.

So though all these patterns were being used during the yesteryear we have found out ways of conveying it to this present twenty-four hours, though a batch of cultural development has taken topographic point.

By utilizing contextual forces such as civilization and historic elements Modern architecture has been able to be given that sense of intending when edifices are being erected within different locations enabling it to hold a function to play with the cultural experiences of the people. Though that phenomenon of Modern Architecture shows the promotion of we the people, it at the same clip constitutes a kind of insinuated devastation of our cultural traditions and values. It might non be an irreparable wrong because it sometimes aids in the promotion of ethical and fabulous footing of worlds. In order to acquire on that route towards modernization it is ever necessary to take on the old cultural yesteryear of the state to accomplish a successful undertaking. We have to hammer a national spirit and cultural revindication and take back what he have lost during the colonial epoch because after all it is our civilizations we are speaking about here, we have to do certain these cultural facets of our state have to be channelled into designs which would be refering to the state. It is a fact that non all civilizations can prolong and absorb the sudden alteration of modern developments ; we nevertheless sometimes have to resuscitate those old and hibernating cultural patterns in order to drive some of these modern developments frontward.

We have to at least make that leap of understanding civilization as non something given and comparatively mutable but instead it is something which has at least today be self-consciously cultivated. One manner of accomplishing that end are the designer and his interior decorators sanely looking at the singularity of the site and location, when deducing the formal facets of any given undertaking.

Previously this interplay between modernism and civilization within the architecture field could still be afforded with that possibility of keeping some general control over the form and significance of the edifice cloth, but fortuitously for us the maps of the edifice has enabled us to accomplish that end of what the edifice was designed to stand for. I truly do detest to see that go oning since it is like people are ignoring our cultural patterns and activities, thereby planing a edifice which they feel is right for the people without even seeking to happen out how the citizens would respond to it, since every individual in the universe or every state have their ain civilizations that have governed their lives and are still regulating them to enable them to accomplish some ends for their demands.

It is really hard to state a edifice truly shows off our civilization, in a formal manner it is seeking to expose itself as a formal look. The thought of merely doing forms to suit into the context of the city of the metropolis to hold an artistic value to it, entirely depending on its ocular facets and its medium. Buildings in a formal manner are seeking to stress compositional elements such as coloring materials, line, form and texture, though we try to win in adding elements to maintain a states cultural subject traveling, it does non truly travel into deepness by conveying the messages of pragmatism context and content. The context of the work including the ground for its subdivision and the historical background are frequently deemed to be of a secondary importance. But people do reason that the representational elements such as our cultural patterns which are included within the design thereby doing it a successful, must slightly be apprehensible but still seek and convey the message of making a edifice which communicates the thought of its purpose behind the design. We can ever make a construction which we could name a Ghanese Vernacular edifice but if a individual sees it and does n’t truly hold on the construct of what the edifice is seeking to accomplish burying its map, what have we truly achieved? It is really difficult to utilize entirely the construction of the edifice to accomplish some ends non that I am denying the fact that it can be done, to a common individual it would still look to them as merely another signifier of a edifice non until they have approached the edifice, gone into the infinite to witness its maps to see what the edifice is seeking to accomplish.

It is really clear that the presence of architecture in the day-to-day lives of citizens makes that grounds of its eliminable cultural presence, when we approach architecture as a whole industry while doing it good suited for the intent in good certain cases, fails to let for the function of it organizing portion of a community ‘s civilization.

Reading through an essay written by Adolf Loos entitled “ Ornament and Crime ” he makes a claim that Decorations are no longer organically related to civilization and hence no longer the look of our civilization, this to me points out two chief things which are coming together. One being a statement of purpose stating us that modern architecture clearly defines itself in relation to civilization and besides inquiring how today the relation between architecture and civilization be understood? He tries to do architecture look as more than merely a edifice and therefore thought in footings of a distinction of the economic system from the cultural elements, besides proposing that the possibility of architecture ‘s relation to civilization is a inquiry whose vision can non be readily escaped.

While the cognition of the scientific discipline involved within architecture and besides engineering provides us with the proficient know-how on how to choose stuffs and taking the right building techniques, civilization ever decidedly provides us the counsel on what we should accomplish in the edifice ‘s we plan to plan, Informing us where to make a design and when to make it. Culture on a big graduated table incorporates the importance of all facets of human enterprises, in this manner it is what helps to determine architecture.

The end of architecture has ever been to understand what the people want and presenting that concluding terminal merchandise to the users. But we do non needfully hold to purely conform to the peoples cultural belief, we besides have to endeavor to upgrade the people ‘s ain apprehension of their civilization ‘s within the communities, hence ever conveying something enriching to the tabular array since that ‘s what we architects ever seek to accomplish. Visiting assorted different countries you would decidedly see how people differ in footings of their cultural ways so we the designers have to ever pay peculiar attending on as to how the citizens of the communities or state are traveling to respond to the edifice which is traveling to be designed for them. It is ever nevertheless of import to observe that the civilization that is registered is neither incorporate nor self-limiting.

It is a just adequate point that architecture can non truly stand for a civilization from the manner the edifice is built or how the design looks like. It is how you make the citizens buy into the edifice by its usage to assist demo off the individuality of the people ; demoing them in their mundane state of affairss. This is the lone manner we can separate ourselves from other groups.

During the different periods of architecture evolving, it has recorded the impact and influence that civilization has played of its clip and topographic point, hence leting architecture to be a great beginning of mention of different societies and states. Though most people would reason with the fact that there is this strong relationship between architecture and civilization, there are some who would believe otherwise. Making a strong claim that architecture has nil to make with civilization, thereby doing them develop their ain thoughts and claims that they are interrupting free from the bonds of civilization of the past epoch. It is delusional for an designer to be believing this manner since we all contribute in advancing a different sort of civilization in these present times. Since civilization is ever germinating it is ever traveling to act upon architecture in one manner or another and it is everlastingly traveling to supply an inspiration for more originative thoughts.

Decidedly the cultural input would differ from state to county so people are ever traveling to respond otherwise to plan which are intended for them non holding a relation with the people. So a end should ever be set out to happen a manner of understanding what the people want and to carry through it through the concluding merchandise. The consciousness of wisdom and cognition in all assorted Fieldss such as economic sciences, jurisprudence political relations etc. including architecture are synthesised in a manner of life that is being reflected in civilization.

Equally long as architecture remains an activity of us worlds it can ne’er be influenced by the civilization of human societies it is ever germinating so in the procedure it provides inspiration to architecture thereby leting it to make higher creativeness. I for one bash believe that architecture is certainly a merchandise of civilization and without civilization some designs would ne’er hold conformed to their several locations. It has decidedly set a gage for us on how to travel about our designs and it would decidedly go on to make that for old ages to come.


Chris Jenks ( 1993 ) Culture, Routledge, London.

Hal Foster ( 1983 ) Postmodern Cultures, The Cromwell Press, Trowbridge

Joan Ockman ( 1993 ) Architecture Culture 1843-1968, Rizzoli, New York

Mike Featherstone ( 1990 ) Global Culture: Patriotism, Globalization and Modernity, Sage Publications, London.

Peter Adler and Nicholas Barnard ( 1992 ) Asafo, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London

Architecture and Culture

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Critical Regionalism

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Akan State Swords

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The National Theatre of Ghana

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Ghanese Drums

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Joseph S. Kaminski

Ghana: Asante Elephant undertaking blowing

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Negotiations about architecture being a merchandise of civilization would forever raise statements. But we as people have to see That civilization is a really wide topic, which would ever play of import functions in our life. Most statements being raised about this subject should non be looked at with a depthless head but instead have to delve deep to see how civilization is ever determining the face of Architecture. It decidedly provides a gage for what we should accomplish and take at when planing a edifice.

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