The Architectural Metaphor : Textual Models in Spatial Construction

University dissertation from Institutionen för arkitektur

Abstract: The dissertation concerns the concept of model withinarchitecture, and elaborates particular uses in this field,where modelling is a heuristic process aiming at invention anddiscovery. Methodologically, this is made by introducing thecomparative concepts of metaphor and narrative. Thedissertation presents a?projective theory ofmodels?, describing cases in which it is utilized both inthe production of and in applied models.A projective model has as a purpose to develop concepts andformulate structures, which otherwise would be unarticulated.Here the representative status is critical, and when treated asa material object, the reductivity of the model may bequestioned. This is explored through the correlative conceptsof metaphor and narrative. Theory of metaphor is used toexamine the nature of the transferences between the model andits reference. Narrative is used as a tool to elaborate thesetransferences, and in acquiring a certain organization of agiven space. The theoretical framework is developed bydiscussing relevant works by Nelson Goodman, regarding thetheory of representational systems and notationality, MaxBlack, regarding the relation between scientific models andmetaphor, Paul Ricoeur, regarding theory of metaphor andnarrativity, and Michel de Certeau, regarding narrativity andthe relationship between the city and textual structures.The concept of model falls into two categories,consecutively studied within the dissertation: First, models inarchitectural production. This covers all means ofrepresentation, including drawing, three dimensional models andtext, that is, everything at hand for an architect to model aconstruction during its process of becoming. Second, modelswithin built matter. This covers images and ornamentation ofsurfaces, told and written narratives about a space, andemergent social behaviour in relation to its physicalenvironment. Such use of models can be described as?spatial tropes?, defining particular functionsperformed in space. The processes of producing and using modelsin architecture show similar characteristics. Informed by boththe theoretical elaboration and the investigations of the twocategoriesin which models are at work, a number of keyconcepts operative in the modelling process arearticulated.Key WordsArchitecture, Architectural theory, Model,Metaphor, Narrative, Representation, Trope, Paul Ricoeur, MaxBlack, Nelson Goodman, Michel de Certeau.

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