Architecture is an art and science that marries the building and design of structures. In some ways one can say that, along with engineering, it is the sign of civilization. Once man was able to settle down and fashion his own dwelling, even by primitive means, this was the start of the first civilizations.
Originally, these structures were purely functional serving to keep people safe from bad weather and wild animals, and to give them privacy. But as modern construction procedures were developed, along with more advanced materials, architecture and engineering began to take a more artistic leaning.
The earliest treatise on the subject, De Architectura, was written by Vitruvius, dates back to the 1st Century CE. In it, the Roman architect says that a building has to have form, function, and durability. To this day, most architects still conform to those three tenets. It is probably even safe to say that some are more successful at adhering to those dogmas than others.
A few examples of these people are Frank Lloyd Wright, a major proponent of organic architecture who is often touted to be the greatest American architect of all time (famous for the house called Fallingwater and for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City); I.M. Pei, a master of modern architecture who created the pyramid at the Louvre and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong; Frank Gehry, who designed the Dancing House in Prague; and the landscape architect and artist, Isamu Noguchi, among many others.
If these names sound familiar to you, it’s probably because their works are admired the world for being beautiful while being both functional and enduring. You’re likely to see their buildings mentioned in architectural texts, art books and even featured in architecture postcard designs. These, by the way, are not only proof of how respected the geniuses mentioned above are but, also function as a way to market their work. Like a portfolio, one might say.
In fact, some people in the business might publish high quality books that double as coffee table books and company profiles. Or, perhaps, they might have architecture postcard designs and construction postcard designs printed on elegant cards to send to potential clients. Others still, might support these efforts with their own websites.