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 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.
The practice, which began in the prehistoric era, has been used as a way of expressing culture for civilizations on all seven continents. For this reason, many people consider architecture to be a form of art. Over the years, the field of architectural construction has branched out to include everything from ship design to interior decorating.