History and Theory: The Salt and Pepper of Architecture

History and theory are the salt and pepper of architecture. They can go hand in hand but are two complete different components. History tells what has happened based on facts and chronological events. Theory touches base with a much greater depth of concept. It is true that theory often explains history, and that theories are often based on the events of the past, it is important to acknowledge the difference between the two.

Theory is a belief based on an interpretation of a situation, event, phenomena, or group of facts. Architectural theories justify the reasoning behind the work of an architect. It takes under consideration the rules of behavior, society, the economy, and industry, not just rules of building. Theory is rhetorical, for it is meant to persuade others into accepting the theory as a truth. Theory is based on interpretation of facts, not facts themselves. This is where it differs greatest from history.

Architectural history tells of different eras and styles of architecture. History tells of the technology of the particular time, and of the methods used in the building process. Theory on the other hand tells why things were done the way they were done throughout history. Theory tells why a certain style was believed to be the best for the situation. As theory is the “why” of architecture, history is its “how” and “what”.


Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.

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