Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Art, Design and Architecture: A Triadic Combination of Failures in Building Design in Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Art, Design and Architecture: A Triadic Combination of Failures in Building Design in Nigeria

Article excerpt


Art, Design and Architecture share most elements and principles in common. It is virtually impossible to separate the aesthetic concepts from functional concepts. The relatedness not withstanding, they are considered in this paper as a triadic combination of failures in environmental beautification and urban safety for many reasons. This paper looks into the concept of integrity vis-à-vis building design failures in the Nigerian environment. Apart from the global historical antecedent, building designs have failed in Nigeria on many occasions; the worry has been that it continues to be unabated despite the far cry of the masses. The causes are discussed along side preventive suggestions.

Keywords: catastrophic occurrence, design failures, triadic relationship, integrity, building collapse


Fundamentally there is no clear dichotomy between art, design and architecture. All emphasize the concept of creativity in terms of concept imagination and delivery, appeal in terms of form ordering in magnetic charm and 'manipulation' of methods and materials parameters to meet some particular needs at user's end. By manipulation Ocvirk et al (1998) means a direct way of creating forms or designing with the use of hand, materials and special tools to arrive at a finished product. Art and design are so engrafted in concepts and like siamen twins which have tightly knit relationship, were supposed to give architecture a greater artistic flexibility and impetus this contemporary milieu. The word relationship here means that art, design and architecture are so connected in real way such that a good-looking art or design requires time, creative spark and sensible method of rendition as architecture. This position is evident in Ocvirk et al (op cit) which submit that 'in many ways architects today are "building sculptors" and their designs require a thorough grounding in artistic principles as well as an understanding of engineering concepts'. Constant cross-fertilization of ideals therefore occurs between art and design in terms of elements and principles and architecture itself is not immune to such influences. But when one of the trios fails, all others have failed. In approaching building as a design it is expedient to consider the entire process of form building and aesthetics alongside its functional imperatives. Since this study is revealing the various failures in building design from the panning, quality and quantity perspectives, the practical concern will be discuss with pictorial evidences (as shown in plates 2 - 10) how and why things went wrong.


It was in the Neolithic period (between the 9th and 4th millennia BC) that design of architecture really began (The Book of Inventions and Discoveries, 1992). Curiously, this art sprang to life in a part of the world lacking those classic building materials, wood and stone. But modern architecture which classifies from 1918 to present day is characterized by designs stemming from needs, site, economics and new technology (Reader's Digest Book of Facts, 1985). Generally, the common knowledge that architecture is a building process in which man puts the available materials at his command to work for him (Emeji, 2002) not withstanding, the skill and materials rendition at the disposal of Nigerian designers seem to be working against the ordinary positive expectation. The frequency of collapse buildings is disturbing and one wonders if it is a deliberate design to reduce the population of our dear country. Failure of structure is not a strange thing in the construction industry all over the world with particular reference to the developing countries though; never designed to be the ideal. Incidents of collapsed buildings, collapsed bridges or other structures of various types are not peculiar to Nigeria. The horrifying scenes of building collapse calls for urgent preventive measures to be taken by government of all nations, the professional bodies and the general public, considering the lives and properties that would be lost whenever a building collapses. …

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