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The Handbook of Architecture
Architecture (Latin „architectura“, from the Greek „arkitekton“, ὰρχιτεκτονική – arkhitektonike, from ὰρχι chief or leader and Τεκτονική builder or carpenter) is the art and science of designing buildings and other physical structures.
Architecture is both the process and the product of designing and constructing spaces that reflect and functional, aesthetic and environmental considerations. Architecture requires the use of materials, technology, textures, light, and shadow. As a process, architecture also includes the pragmatic elements of design, such as planning, cost and construction. A wider definition may comprise all design activity from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture). In fact, architecture today may refer to the activity of designing any kind of system.
Architectural works are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.