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This is too encyclopedic for a dictionary definition. — Hippietrail 23:40, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Agreed - I've trimmed the definition. The material removed is given here, in case there is anything of value that can be added to the Wikipedia entry:
"Typically associated with architects, professional designers, architects are the design professionals used in almost every aspect of building design. Combining art with structural mechanics, the architect's skills include drawing out plans and ideas and rendering them to be built.
"The practice of architecture can be traced to its origins to every human civilization, architecture is the art of building. ancient architects were responsible for the earliest forms of housing and shrines. Throughout various stages in development of civilizations, architects played a key role in the building of politcal and religious buildings and bearing the responsility of overseeing the various stages of completion. The profession evolved into an art form that proliferated as a culture prospered.
"The current practice of Architecture can be broken down into Three general forms of expression: Classical architecture is based on Greek and Roman design methods that can be traced even further to Egyptian and Byzantine models. The use of columns consisting of the Classical Orders, highly detailed sculpture as an element of the building, and symmetrical floor plans are the major elements of Classical Architecture. Classical architecture is seen in most government buildings, schools, and libraries. Neo-Classicism, Mannerism, and High Classicism are variations on the Classical approach to design. Modern architecture is the other major design approach. Modern design encompasses the entire spectrum of available building techniques and styles and is generally the tool of contemporary and modernist architects. Classical elements such as architraves and columns can also be associated with Modernism, but are not wholly appropriated from the standards set by Classicists."
Paul G 17:30, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Aren't we now missing the sense which is used in the (SoP) phrase "modern architecture"? \Mike 10:47, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Broader definition[edit]

The definition of architecture currently given here is not broad enough. I propose 'Architecture: a representation of perceived things and their perceived relationships'. With this proposed definition, a tale/story told in a family or village has an architecture, as does any world-view, as does an understanding of how something works, as do buildings and other structures made by man. The key is in the 'perceived' term. Nature has an infinitely large and complex structure, but it does not have 'architecture'. Only sentient beings seeking to replicate, describe, or shape/control nature, or something in nature, or new to nature, produce architecture. The current definition then would describe variants of the proposed broader architecture term.

Roebuckr 20:13, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

It sounds like you are defining "model". Rod (A. Smith) 20:28, 12 May 2006 (UTC)


I would agree that a model, as a "representation of reality" might initially seem close to this definition of architecture. However, a model would not have the details of an architecture. For example, you can build a model from an architecture, and you can build a factory from an architecture, but you probably cannot build a factory from a model - because the detail is lacking in the model. If you consider all of the "blueprints" and "bills of materials" that would have to be created to guide the development of a factory, the architecture would be the aggregate of those blueprints and such, to include less detailed models uses to represent some aspect of the factory. Shifting to something less tangible than a factory - consider an old man (maybe a teacher) giving advice to children - in the giving of advice he is communicating a world-view (yes, an ontology), which he has personally built up over time or inherited through culture and education. The world-view is the "architecture" he operates from, but it is far more than some "model" of the world-view.

Roebuckr 20:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Although I disagree, this is not the place for lengthy discussions about the differences between models and architectures. Instead, I suggest strengthening your suggested definition by removing "perceived" because I think you really mean "conceived", which doesn't help the definition because to represent something one must first conceive of it anyway:
a representation of perceived things and their perceived relationships
Then I'd strengthen the context by changing "things" to "components of a given system" to show that each architecture has a specific scope:
a representation of things components of a given system and their relationships
How does that sound to you? Rod (A. Smith) 21:19, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Computer meaning not correct[edit]

In computing, architecture is not a specific model but a class of models with similar features, typically compatible instruction set. I'd propose the following def, which I think includes the computer meaning;

1. The art and science of designing buildings and other structures.
Architecuture is a demanding profession, requiring artistic and engineering skills.
2. The design approach taken for a specific building or structure.
The architecture of the Flat Iron Building revolutionized urban construction.
The Intel CPU architechture has more software written for it than esists for the PowerPC architecture.
--ArnoldReinhold 23:31, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that conveys the distinction very well. The computing use of the term is somewhat different than a simple 'design approach' in that it dictates precisely how so many secondary things function and interact. That is, the Flat Iron building is still a building. But the Intel architecture is not compatible (nor comparable, really) to the Power PC architecture. --Connel MacKenzie 18:10, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

The computer meaning is correct but too narrow. Architecture is historically used to describe building, but has been usurpted to describe the product and system design. To that end, I added a definition which is general enough to support the description per standards defined in ISO, CMMI, TOGAF, FEA, and general IT usage. I would recommend that computer architecture be bundled into this definition, but I did not do it. Perhaps it would be wise to expand this system architecture definition as well to illustrate the sub-definitions of architecture: Computer, SYstem, Information, Data, Software, Solution, Enterprise, Hardware, Automobile, chip, etc. (see the wikipedia disambiguation for a good list). --[User: Ken Larson]] 22:37, 16 October 2007 (UTC)