Title page for ETD etd-43502249751211


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Martin, J. Garrett
Author's Email Address jamartin@vt.edu
URN etd-43502249751211
Title Some Assembly Required: The Structural Condition of Collage in Architecture and Urbanism
Degree Master of Arts
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
O'Brien, Michael J.
Schnoedt, Heinrich
Weiner, Frank H.
Gartner, Scott Committee Chair
Keywords
  • dialectic
  • collage as synthesis
  • contemporary culture
  • design
  • edge-city phenomenon
Date of Defense 1997-03-28
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
It is my intention through this thesis to

investigate the structural condition of collage as

a culturally relevant approach to understanding

architectural meaning and designing

architectural form within the context of the

urban environment. Meaning in architecture, as

it emerges both implicitly and explicitly within

the framework of this condition, will be

analyzed as it relates to contemporary cultural

and historical conditions. In terms of process

and product, collage is construed with meaning

through juxtaposition and context. A collage

does not convey an essential meaning, as its

meaning arises through the deliberate techne -

the act of its making, and not through reflection

on any pre-existing qualities, as there are none.

The whole of a collage does not merely

encompass an accumulation of elements, but

embraces a greater totality through a

fragmentary synthesis. While synthesis denotes

a constructive process, it also signi-fies a

dialectic relation. The dialectic relation

embodied in collage can be understood in

terms of inclusivity and exclusivity of meaning.

This thesis investigation originates from the

premise that the architectural act can never be

fully understood in terms of its architecture

alone. To ignore the greater social, cultural,

and historical framework that sustains both the

maker and the made is to deny architecture its

full depth of meaning, whether that meaning is

ideological, transparent, or bound within a

chain of signifiers. This is not to imply that the

social deterministically constitutes architecture,

as both undoubtedly reciprocate influence

upon one another; the maker and the made

leave their indelible impression upon the sphere

of relations which surrounds them. However, it

is ultimately within this sphere - this larger

social context - that an archi-tectural form

embodies meaning.

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