Through the ages, architecture and design have been symbols of evolution and change within societies. From the grandeur of the ancient world, to the Baroque and Romanesque masterpieces of the late Renaissance, and to the towering fancies of the modern and postmodern ages, building design reflects trends in civilization, both technological and sociological.
A Few Definitions
While intricately connected, architecture and design are not the same thing. As defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, architecture is defined as, “the art or science of building; specifically, the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.” Michele Boddewyn, President of Boddewyn Gaynor Architects, a national architectural and design firm based in New York City, explains that architecture or architectural design concerns itself with both the exterior and interior components of the project.
Meanwhile, design – or more specifically, interior design – is defined as ‘the design and coordination of the decorative elements of the interior of a house, apartment office, or other structural space, including color schemes, fittings, furnishings, and sometimes architectural features.’ “It’s more concerned with interior space,” says Boddewyn.
Finally, interior decorating is focused on furniture and finishes. “The main difference is that designers may move walls, or change space,” says Boddewyn. “Decorators don’t.”
Trends in Residential Architecture
What drives trends in residential architecture today? Are these trends more concerned with exterior or interior design? According to Jorge Arias, Principal of Arias Architecture, a New York City-based architectural firm, “Making design statements in building exteriors is still a valid strategy today. Much depends on the development’s financial strategy. Improved amenities such as media rooms, gym, accessible terraces, and so forth have become ‘must-haves.’ Many developers, however, still choose to have the building exterior designed as a statement. That choice will of course increase costs, but will generate more attention, stronger first impressions, publication in magazines, and so forth. Those factors may translate into faster sales.”