How are architecture and nation-building closely related?

How are architecture and nation-building closely related?

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Architecture has reflected the character of nations since the dawn of time. Buland Darwaza captures the spectacle of Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat, while a contemporary glass and aluminium monster captures his 21st-century spirit. Architecture today still serves as the backdrop for political, social, and technological revolutions.  Nation-building is defined as the process of developing and strengthening a national identity through the use of state power. It includes using key infrastructure developments to promote social harmony and economic growth.

Eight things an architect does during nation-building

The complexity of a country’s regional and national ambitions is reflected in its planning and design. The architecture of a region represents the character of that region. However, most countries around the world have different cultural and historical backgrounds. Although this makes it increasingly difficult to assign an identity to a unique architectural emblem, it can be argued that throughout the West, the Taj Mahal was the de facto symbol of the entire Indian subcontinent.

  1. Progress must be made at every stage of the design process in order to solidify a single, cohesive national identity. The materials used to build a structure can make a big difference in how it looks and what it is.
  2. The use of local materials emphasises locality. Combining locally sourced materials with the latest smart building techniques, you can achieve more economical, energy efficient, and beautiful designs.
  3. Moreover, given familiarity with the subject matter and its culture, it is appropriate to hire local artisans to work with local materials, thus stimulating job creation.
  4. They say a nation is only as strong as its weakest citizens. Providing affordable housing for all citizens is essential. To ensure that your results meet your needs, you need to understand your user base more broadly.
  5. The feeling that unites the citizens of a country should not be esoteric; it should be conscious. The potential for nation-building can only be realised if it spreads to mass movements.
  6. Participatory planning is a right, not a luxury. Another slang says that architects often design only from the 99% economically oriented standpoint. This must be refuted, and the intentions of 21st-century architects must be aligned with social needs. The need for national identity must take precedence over the need for personal identity.
  7. The most common obstacle to establishing a national identity is commissioning works of national importance to foreign architects. A regular pattern of sanctions against projects that are part of the National Construction Initiative is against either foreign architects or local architects who have already implemented an artistic style that is dominant abroad.
  8. It is proof that although the world is independent, it is not free from Western conquest. Especially for eastern settlements, there are still questions about the competence of their own architects.
The dichotomy between globalisation and nationalism in architecture

No country was designed to exist in isolation. Designers need to focus on balancing regional architectural developments and establishing a global presence while ensuring a match between the structural advancements produced domestically and the technological advancements made in other parts of the world. As architects, our sense of patriotism is reflected in the skill with which we represent the identity of our country on a global scale.


Architects have a significant role in the development of a country, focusing primarily on the planning, design, and construction of the interior and exterior spaces of structures. On the other hand, there are fewer architects in the nation than there are engineers, which is another major factor in the shortage. In order to enable students to enroll in India’s best architectural colleges, the educational system should ignite their interest and support them.

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