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Technology and Environment Case Study

Architects and designers have always known that responses to space can affect a person's mood and emotions. Many such buildings have been designed with this in mind. As a person enters a cathedral kinaesthetic responses and the engaging of the body's muscles especially in the back promote a response as we gaze up to the vaulted roof. Such responses help a person read a building and assess its purpose and function directly affecting our behaviour within that structure. Likewise our sense of hearing helps us evaluate spaces. Opera houses and concert halls have been designed to produce the best acoustics. The repeat lines and spacing of floorboards and windows in architecture lends it a certain rhythm.

Sites where development takes place often turn into speeding racetracks or grid locked systems as the very popularity of the area, which brought development there, in the first place chokes through over development. Papanek (1995) illustrates site investigation usually relying on four determinants: (1) distance from markets, (2) raw materials source (3) transportation network and available labour. The aesthetics of a site usually affect whether individuals will choose to live in that particular area, with for example many living away and preferring to commute for instance to their place of work. Paradoxically, Wines' (2000) research has shown that in many slum areas in some of the world's most populated cities there is a much higher degree of social happiness than in other more affluent areas of town where residents experience a higher degree of material wealth.

Other canopies are secured to the ground with guide ropes, rather like a tent, which often require additional reinforced concrete foundations to resist the tensile loads. The shape of the membrane is determined by the ratio of pre stress in the two principle directions of curvature, established in the computer form generated process. Pre stress is calculated to be sufficient to keep all parts tense under any load.

In conclusion architects have designed historically to make a statement onto the environment and emphasised the differences between the structure and the natural surroundings. Designs have previously not taken into account impact on the environment and those utilising the design for a functional purpose. Legislation and awareness of resources and increasing use of natural resources such as solar heat have brought innovative technological changes into architectural design to reduce the use of finite resources whilst psychological impacts on the public have begun to find stronger ground. There is though still the premise that many of these innovations whilst remaining technologically exciting remain outside of current mainstream architectural use.

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