Message - Re: Do architects understand "semiotics" as it relates to building design?

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Posted by  Donald on November 14, 2003 at 10:24:57:

In Reply to:  Do architects understand "semiotics" as it relates to building design? posted by Harry Pasternak on November 13, 2003 at 11:39:45:

Do architects understand "semiotics" as it relates to building or urban design? Although I don’t deny that there are projects that need detailed up-front planning of the architecture, I belong to those who are of the opinion that the architecture should emerge during the course of the project. Note that this doesn’t mean ignoring architecture.

Architecture advocates, however, seldom speak about the social aspects, such as how the architecture can support discussions about the building systems, as well as between members of the development team, as between the team and the stakeholders. The architecture must be habitable; it must be a meaningful model of the problem domain; it must constitute a universe where every element conveys as much information about its role in the interactions with the other elements, in as small means as possible—where there are signs charged with information. These signs by definition are comprised of material or quasi material form, with a meaning or effect in consciousness.

The problem is the virtual building and its use which isn't visible. The design emerges as complex of ideas, from your conscious (or subconscious) thought process, and is not merely a material phenomenon, although I would venture to say that its either loosely or tightly connected with our neurophysiological processes.

Curiuosly, I think about metaphorical abstraction, but I think for others, their ideas would be better expressed using the vocabulary of semiotics...A semiotic approach which focusses on signs, not minds.

Check out some thoughts on this topic in writings by MEDWAY regarding Virtual and Material Buildings, or Writing , Speaking and Drawing, or by Lawson -How Designers Think.

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