Beauty of Wear | On Architectural Photography



Architectural Photography, as we all know by now, seeks to portray architecture as something beautiful. In order to achieve the ethereal conditions of a pristine, perfect architecture, images are usually modified, manipulated, transformed and staged, often removing from the sight those traces of decay, wear and human touch.

However, Eduard Führ1 states that “Using a thing familiarizes us with the thing and is thus of experiential value. Use can make a thing a means, but it can also generate a purpose-free and aesthetic experience.” Of course, Architecture as an act of creation and object has a purpose: the one to be a platform for human experience and development. It is unimaginable to think of architecture without the human presence.

How can we then forget so often that only with human interaction is when architecture fulfills its real purpose? Can we, through architectural photography depict the beauty of wear and its value as the synthesis and achievement of the “purpose of architecture”?

Can we take advantage of digital photography in this regard, to use its capabilities of mapping and stitching together whole surfaces to create single, powerful, and most important, real-scale images that remind us of the real value of using this thing called architecture?


  1. Führ, E. “Function, Purpose, Use in Architecture and Urbanism” International Journal of Architectural Theory: Issue 32. Editorial. Available here





Inspired by Oliver Beer’s Oma’s Kitchen Floor, 2008