Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων arkhitekton "architect", from ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "creator") is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.
Architecture is created only to fulfill the specifications of an individual or group. Economic law prevents architects from emulating their fellow artists in producing works for which the demand is nonexistent or only potential. So the types of architecture depend upon social formations and may be classified according to the role of the patron in the community. The types that will be discussed here—domestic, religious, governmental, recreational, welfare and educational, and commercial and industrial—represent the simplest classification; a scientific typology of architecture would require a more detailed analysis.