The Absent Meaning of Concrete Form in Theory of Architecture

Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is to discuss architecture as forming practical conditions for our way-of-being, and to clarify that which prevents traditional theory of architecture from dealing with these practical conditions as such. The dissertation investigates a theoretical problem concerning the nature of the relation between human being and the built environment. The main question is: In what way can we treat architecture as concrete material form, involved in such a way in our practical being, that it contributes to the maintenance and development of our way-of-being? A related question is: Why is this practical meaning usually so hard to treat in theory? By comparing and discussing a selection of theoretical works marked by their turning away, in different ways, from the actual concrete material form (towards something else), the traditional embrace of a Cartesian concept of human being is found to be what prevents theory of architecture from treating a practical meaning of architecture. The persistence of this concept is also found to be strengthened by the influences of closely related practices in which the use of architectural images, as a means to certain knowledges, play a vital role.

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