Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Adams, Nicole URN etd-123322282975860 Title An Ongoing Dialogue Degree Master of Arts Department Architecture Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Pittman, V. Hunter Weiner, Frank H. Brown, William Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 1997-02-03 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis thesis is an attempt to reconcile the form of an idea with the form of a
thing in this world to be experienced. An exploration of the meaning behind
the words idea, form, making and experience begins to unite the intellect of
an architect with the design of an architect. The terms are defined in the
thesis and explained through the project. The thesis through the project
sets out to take these terms beyond mere words and give them an
opportunity to inform eachother. It is this dialectic between idea, form,
making and experience that I believe to be the heart of architecture.
Idea and form are inextricably tied to one another. "Which is the origin of
the other?" is not as pertinent a question as "how do the two inform each
other?." Ideas change from project to project as do the forms inherent in
those ideas. Preceeding both idea and material form is another type of
form that is immaterial and often remains unseen. It is the character which
is essential to a thing. Whether it be a place or an object, it is the quality in
the thing itself. This character is the instigator of idea and form. It is the
architect's goal to make this inherent form perceivable.
An architect makes idea and form manifest through a concept of making.
In Notes for a Theory of Making in a Time of Necessity, Giuseppe
Zambonini emphasizes that "We must look not only at the quality of the
material used and at the craft employed, but also at the quality of the
thought process selecting and shaping the material. . .quality cannot be an
intrinsic condition that belongs to the object . . . but rather it must express
the intent by which it is created and therein the clarity and strength of the
meaning being produced by its form" (Zambonini, 21). This quality of
design can best be achieved the earlier making and materiality are involved
in the design process. The questions of "what is the form of this idea?" and
"how is this form to be made?" begin the relationship between idea, form
and making. The immediate responses may be intuitive, but the final one is
the result of numerous makings. This is why architecture is practiced.
When the question arises: "how can this form not only embody an idea but
be the idea?", the dialogue takes on a greater import. The way in which a
thing will be experienced starts to inform its making. "It is the process that
will engage both user and observer in an active, participating relationship
with the work and thereby give the work its meaning" (Zambonini, 21). It is
at this point that the dialectic is fully engaged.
These four aspects simultaneously inform each other and nurture the
project throughout its life, from drawing board, to construction to the
various experiences that it will impart. It is not just one aspect, but these
four in communion that are the architecture.
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