Expert Reveals How Architecture Affects Human Behaviour
“There is no doubt whatever about the influence of Architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.”
The above statement by Sir Winston Churchill, a two-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, while addressing the English Architectural Association in 1924, aptly summarises the title, “The Role of Architecture in Shaping Human Behaviour,” delivered by Architect David Majekodunmi on Thursday, February, 28, 2017, at the Town and Gown seminar of the Department of Architecture, Covenant University, Ota.
Arc. Majekodunmi, who is the Chairman of the Students Affairs Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and Guest Speaker at the event, noted that each building type has different functions, and for each, there is an imperative to use the building to help create an optimal mood, desire or sense of coherence, security or meaning.
He said, “Architecture does influence human behavior in many ways. This is true whether the environment is natural or man-made. Understanding the way in which environments affect people could enable the design and construction work, recreation and living space that have the ability to influence people’s behavior.”
He explained further that if an Architect designed a shanty or heaven, the two structures would have different effects on the behavior of the occupants. He sighted the difference between Covenant University environment and its host community, Ota and their effects on the behavior of the residents.
Arc. Majekodunmi also enumerated what he called factors that affect human behavior which include attitude, perception, genetics, culture, social norms and ethics of a society, religious inclination, coercion, as well as influence by authority. Adding that as Architects, the participants have influence on people through their design. “Your attitude speaks on your architecture,” he noted.
Also, speaking in his capacity as the Chairman, Students Affairs Committee of NIA, Arc. Majekodunmi charged the students to take advantage of the privilege they have to register as student members. He added that they owe their parent and lecturers the duty to be successful in order to have influence on human behavior.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, represented by Professor Albert Adeboye of the Department of Architecture, said that the Town and Gown was instituted by the University management to help transit the student to the workforce realm, attract collaboration between the academia and the industry and to work towards achieving Vision 10: 2022. He congratulated the department on the event and declared it open.
The Head, Department of Architecture, Dr. Oluwole Alagbe had earlier noted that the event doubles as the annual ARCHIFUSE, where the students’ Association showcased their creativity. He urged the students to take advantage of the topic and the presence of the NIA officials to register with the Association, noting that their journey into professionalism starts from studentship.
Other guests at the event included the General Secretary of the NIA, Arc. Bimbo Ajayi; immediate past HOD of Architecture, Dr. O. Ibem; Chairman, NIA Lagos Chapter, Arc. Chris Gerald; the PRO, Lagos Chapter of NIA, Arc. Bolu; faculty, staff and students of the department.