What is Architecture?

What is Architecture

Simply put, an architecture is an orderly arrangement of parts.   The parts can anything at all but the point of an architecture is to describe an orderly arrangement of parts which have some kind of relationship to one another.   For example the architecture of a building describes the orderly arrangement of all the components of the building e.g. doors, windows, stairs, walls, roof, etc.

Here are some dictionary definitions which apply to the way we use the term architecture in SSAF

 Orderly arrangement of parts; structure:  e.g. The architecture of the federal bureaucracy; the architecture of a novel.

Design, the way components fit together.

The structure of anything: e.g. the architecture of a novel

 Architecture is used to define the arrangement of parts but also as a model for clearly seeing and understanding the scope and parameters of a structure or system.

Above all, architecture is a method of communication.   An architecture describes the arrangement of parts of a structure to more than one person.  Therefore the architecture must be created and used with the ability to effectively communicate as it's primary goal.    Think of what happens when a good architectural idea is communicated poorly to the people who will build the structure.   If the builders do not clearly understand what they are building, then the result will not be what is the intended architecture. 

There are 2 kinds of architecture.   Overt or Explicit and Covert or Implicit.

Overt or Explicit architecture is an architecture that represents the way people understand the architecture and this is reflected in the manner in which people have described the architecture in documents i.e. diagrams and text.    It is a perception of the architecture and may or may not be accurate.

Covert or Implicit architecture is the real  structure as it exists.  In construction terms the Implicit architecture is called "as-built".

In the social context, propaganda is a method by which a false architecture ( an architecture which is inaccurately documented and which provides an inaccurate and unreal description of the real structure ) is described and communicated with the intent to deceive.  Usually this involves portraying social institutions as being arranged in a manner to provide benefit to the general population when in reality the covert ( or implicit ) architecture is arranged in a manner to provide maximum benefit and control to oligarchs and maximum cost and minimum control to the general population.

Click here for an example of the Overt ( Explicit ) and Covert ( Implicit ) Architecture of the Government of the United States.