Citation
Architecture Representation: Abstraction and Symbol within Design

Material Information

Title:
Architecture Representation: Abstraction and Symbol within Design
Creator:
Hiller, Anastasia
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Architectural design ( jstor )
Architectural history ( jstor )
Architectural styles ( jstor )
Artistic representation ( jstor )
Information representations ( jstor )
Perceptual experiences ( jstor )
Poetics ( jstor )
Simulations ( jstor )
Symbolism ( jstor )
Tectonics ( jstor )
Architectural design
Architecture
Genre:
Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Notes

Abstract:
Designing a studio project has brought up several issues, as working with real constraints requires a different approach to thinking, designing and building. These challenges have been questioned in architectural theories, specifically on the ideas of architectural representation. Questioning how to best represent and display designed ideas has led to a questioning of how to use representation as a constraint of design. Representation, is an additional constructed phenomenon that we as architects are responsible for creating. With architectural representation comes the idea of symbolism- how architecture can be represented. Determining the role representation must play in architectural practices allows for the analysis of its role in design. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Design; Graduated May 8, 2012 summa cum laude. Major: Architecture
General Note:
Advisor(s): Bradley Walters
General Note:
College/School: College of Design, Construction and Planning

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Anastasia Hiller. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Hiller 1 1 Eleanor Weinel, in Representation and Architecture ed. mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel (Silver Spring, MD: Information Dynamics, 1982), 273. 2 J.N. Durand, in A Documentary History of Art, Vol. 3 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986), 202. 3 Marc-Antoine Laugier, An Essay on Architecture (Santa Monica, CA: Hennessey & Ingalls ,Inc., 2009), 15.

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Hiller 2 4 mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, Representation and Architecture (Silver Spring, Md: Information Dynamics, 1982), 1-2. 5 mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, 1-25.

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Hiller 3 6 Bernard Tschumi, in Architecture Theory Since 1968, ed. Michael Hays (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 221. 7 Bernard Tschumi, 221. 8 Bernard Tschumi, 221. 9 Bernard Tschumi, 227. 10 Michael Graves, in Representation and Architecture ed. mer Akin and Eleanor F.

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Hiller 4 Weinel (Silver Spring, Md: Information Dynamics, 1982), 27-91. 11 Alberto PerezArchitecture and the Crisis of Modern Science Architecture Theory Since 1968 ed. Michael Hays (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 466. 12 Peter Eisenman, The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End in Architecture Theory Since 1968, ed. Michael Hays (C ambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 524. 13 Peter Eisenman, 524.

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Hiller 5 14 the modern movement, in attempt to focus on functionality instead of tradition. Eisenman thought the 15 Omer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, 5. 16 Bernard Tschumi, 226. 17 Ak in mer and Eleanor F. Weinel, 12. 18 Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation, trans. Sheila Glaser (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1994), 1-12.

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Hiller 6 19 Jean Baudrillard, 6. 20 Michael Graves, 27. 21 Peter Eisenman, 524. 22 Alberto Perez-Gomez, Introduction to 466. 23 Alberto Perez-Gomez and Louise Pelletier, Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997), 6.

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Hiller 7 24 Plato, in The Republic, trans. Benjamin Jowett (London: Vintage Publishing, 1991), 253-261. 25 Plato, 259.

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Hiller 8

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Hiller 9 26 Peter Eisenman, 526. 27 Bernard Tschumi, 27-50. 28 Alberto PerezIntroduction 29 Alberto Prez-Gmez, Upon Love: Architectural Longin ( Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997), 87. 30 Al berto Perez-Gomez, Built Upon Love 87.

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Hiller 10 31 Marc-Antoine Laugier, 15. 32 relationship between things. His criticism reliance on ornamentation for architectural value in his proposal for the primitive hut. 33 Gottfried Semper, Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts (Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, 2004), 665-667.

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Hiller 11

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Hiller 12 34 Eleanor Weinel, 270. 35 mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, 3.

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Hiller 13

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Hiller 14



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Architecture Representation: Abstraction and Symbol within Design Anastasia Hiller 0813 4101 Honors Thesis 15 April 2012 Mentor: Bradley Walters

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Hiller 1 All architecture must deal with constraints physical constraints like dimensions, cost s and building codes or ideological constraints, which can stem from sociological or political is s ues These constraints cause architecture to transcend t he realm of purely and propel architecture to propose a solution for a given set of problems. These problems ultimately provide the architect the ab ility to creatively address a solution. A rc hi tecture must be considered for both its physical value form, measure, scale, materiality and its poetic nature symbolism, sign and mea ning. Architecture can only exist with both of these components, without both one has either art : devoid of problem sol ving, or construct : devoid of meaning. The constant evolution of design through architectural representation is critical to its success. Architecture is the art of making space 1 Fundamentally controversial, s pace making can be rooted in physicality, som ething tangible like a boundary; formologically driven based on tectonics or derived from Classical architecture to name a few Durand argues that structural reasoning comes from economy and that the goal of architecture usefulness 2 Laugier in contrast suggests the order of architecture comes from the three necessary elements: column, floor and roof and functionality 3 The wide variety of spatial ideas between the fundamental reasons for building methods either social or formal show that t he rationalization of space is constrained in how it is represented To critically examine how one represents architecture the meaning and purpose of representation must be questioned. 1 Eleanor Weinel, in Representation and Architecture ed. mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel (Silver Spring, MD: Information Dynamics, 1982), 273. 2 J.N. Durand, in A Documentary Hi story of Art, Vol. 3 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986), 202. 3 Marc Antoine Laugier, An Essay on Architecture (Santa Monica, CA: Hennessey & Ingalls Inc., 2009), 15.

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Hiller 2 What is Architectural Representation? Architectural representation can be derived fr om signs, symbols, experience and even form. term, character or sym that is capable o f ing a picture to the mind 4 To be a representation there must first be something to correspond to an original In addition, for representation to be present ed to the mind, it must be capable of being perceived. 5 Clearly stated, before something can be represented it must exist and it must be real. The purpose of representation is to communicate an idea which shows the process of thought and design. It is in this that architectural repr esentation becomes multifaceted. It begins to transcend past what the representation stands for an d orients around how it is perceived and the architectural ideas associated with the experience of this perception. These ideas can be found in architectural design practice, as it becomes process based, as architecture begins to present ideas and construc t experiences. Through design work the ultimate manifestation comes through the representation of the image whether a realistic rendering, an abstract analysis or simply a sketch All realms of capturing the essence of a designed project (built or u nbuilt ) must be representations. These pieces are just fragments and layers of the original composing how the work can be perceived until it is physically constructed and experienced 4 mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, Representation and Architecture (Silve r Spring, Md: Information Dynamics, 1982), 1 2. 5 mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, 1 25.

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Hiller 3 Architectural Space and Representation as Experience itectural space making are dependent upon how one experiences the space. 6 He frames his argument by questioning the place of representation in architecture. For Ts ch umi, architectural meaning is determined through function and program with ideological and philosophical meaning, leading archit ecture to become nothing but the space of representation 7 Once i t is distinguis hed from the simple bui lding it represents something other than itself it becomes representational. Contrary to this idea, Tschumi questions nderstanding architecture as a language that ref 8 In this way architectural representation can r elate to symbols, virtual function or to its own history ac Negotiating this need for representation Tschumi clearly delineates between architecture as knowledge and architecture as experience. It is in the perception and perso nal experiential moment that gives 9 Without the meaningless. experiential qualities of architecture, Michael Graves argues that architecture participation of the culture at large 10 The perception of architecture must transcend 6 Bernard Tschumi, in Architecture Theory Since 1968, ed. Michael Hays (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 221 7 Bernard Tschumi, 221. 8 Bernard Tschumi, 221. 9 Bernard Tschumi, 227. 10 Michael Graves, in Representation and Architecture ed. mer Akin and Eleanor F.

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Hiller 4 what it is, and cannot be solely abo ut what it is substituting for as an act of representation. It employs participation by the observer. This task transcends the physical cons truct and must deal with what is perceived. As m uch as one does not experience an entire building while in one space it is the overall perception that one gets from one particular space that allows for the inference of the whole. If the making representation? If representation becomes about a participa tory experience, it must be considered holistically which includes how it represents what it does. One cannot look at architectural representation as a tangible finite idea, instead it sh ould be considered as a process w here w e define ourselves by how we u nderstand the world. It is with this personal experience tha 11 It is when one tries to give representation a finite meaning that leads to dishonesty in architecture since the perceptional experience is a unique phenomenon there can not be just one representation. Architectural Representation as Abstraction Eisenma n criticizes pres and negotiates it as the 12 He argues that by using representation to embody the idea of meaning to architecture one destroy s what architecture is. Eisenma n claims that during and meaning were self 13 The exterior skin of the building provided the necessary articulation to convey a certain truth P ost Weinel (Silver Spring, Md: Information Dynamics, 1982), 27 91. 11 Alberto Perez Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science Architecture Theory Since 1968 ed. Michael Hays (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 466. 12 Peter Eisenman, The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End in Architecture Theory Since 1968, ed. Michael Hays (C ambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 524. 13 Peter Eisenman, 524.

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Hiller 5 Renaissance, with the repetition of the Classics and the destruction of new designing, blatant regurgitation of the buildings of the past was used to give meaning for architecture. Not only wa s it not new but also in its claim to be truthful it wa s flawed. Representation as a process of abstraction is a more appropriate way of understand ing representation. 14 Representation must come from contain enough appropriate information for its intended purpo se. 15 By accepting that representation o f an idea is not the same thing as the idea one can differentiate between the thing and the meaning. This is m of a dog does not bark, the concept of 16 Eisenma n would argue that architectural representation is a simulation where one abstracts the representation from the form. Architectural Representation as Simulation 17 The misguidance in representation as simulation is when it is believed to be real. Simulation in architecture is a distinctly different idea than representation in architecture. Philosopher Baudrillard crit icized through the process of simulacrum replacing reality with symbols and signs. 18 Through 14 the modern movement, in attempt to fo cus on functionality instead of tradition. Eisenman thought the 15 Omer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, 5. 16 Bernard Tschumi, 226. 17 Ak in mer and Eleanor F. Weinel, 12. 18 Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation, trans. Sheila Glaser (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1994), 1 12.

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Hiller 6 completely fabrica ted. This simulation created i s n ot representing anything as it hides the 19 As Eisenman would argue, a s a retrogressive ide a, representation can be flawed if it does not come from the architectural discipline itself. 20 Understanding t he distinction between the facets of representation: reality and simulation one can better understand the role of representation. Instead of simulation being something represented, it is its own phenomenon. Since it can not claim to be the original, it mus t be understood and appreciated in its own value as something secondary. This distinction transforms how representation is further classified and distinguished. As Is Eisenma n makes the deli as is The purpose of representation hereby is questioned. Eisenman thinks there is no purpose in defining a meaning for architecture if it cannot be honest. The regurgitation of past valued ar chitecture led to the historic simulacra the representations of representations. 21 Here there i s nothing new ly created or invented. In complete contrast Perez Gomez suggests architectural representation can come from 22 With architectural representation comes the idea of s ymbolism how archite cture can be represented. Perez specific historical and cultural 23 19 Jean Baudrillard, 6. 20 Michael Graves, 27. 21 Peter Eisenman, 524. 22 Alberto Perez Gomez, Introduction to 466. 23 Alberto Perez Gomez and Louise Pelletier, Architectur al Representation and the Perspective Hinge (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997), 6.

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Hiller 7 heighten our understanding of a space, as th is process develops beyond the vision of the creator and becomes a condition. Without representation, Perez Gomez criticizes architecture typologies that are rooted in geometry and functionalism. Emphasis on these values strips the experience of architecture, from the perceptual holistic to an ordered standardization and mimetic nature of the Classical. The goal of architectural representation is in constructing a phenomenon that transcends the literal giving architecture value Representation is a differen t scenario tha A representation is not what something is, but an interpretation of its origin. Seen in P shadows described emphasize this deception, as tr uth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images 24 Through the truer than the object making the form becoming a duplication or a copy. 25 In contrast, r can exist as its own fundamental thought its own unique component to architectural meaning. The fruitful nature of representation comes when it is i ncorporated in the all encompas s ing value of architecture and where it has its place. Below, (see fig. 1) is compared to repre s entation (see fig. 2) Through the use of image ry a more literal way of representing something is considered as a finite moment with little room for interpretation. When creating representation through image there is a specific idea being addressed (see fig. 24 Plato, in The Republic, trans. Benjamin Jowett (London: Vintage Publishing, 1991), 253 261. 25 Plato, 259.

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Hiller 8 1) Contrast to this o f what is being represented (see fig. 2) The literal alley way is juxtaposed with the composition on the right; a representation of one s perceived sense of place in the world. Instead of f ocusing on an objectified image representation through message al lows for a continued process of perceiving architecture and a richer understanding. Figure 1. Anastasia Hiller Urban Figure 2 Urban Mapping Representing Architecture: The Duck, the Folly and the Primitive Hut Through defining representation and differentiating between ways it can be used, it is important to see a literal comparison of these ideas. Duck versus Fol and Perez f the are three examples of fundamental ideological arguments that acknowledge the ideas of representation. These three concepts are very different from each other and each frames the idea of representation in a certain way. ent contrasts the formological building types: the duck and the decorated shed. A duck is a building that looks like its function or that allows its internal

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Hiller 9 order to be displayed on its exterior. A decorated shed is a building that functions like a billbo ard, where any kind of imagery (except i ts internal function) coveys a message accessible to all. 26 These ideas show the futility of representation in the arbitrari al sense of signage. Having such a graphic distracter on a building i s not architectural. Instead Venturi proposes the duck the truthfulness in representing what it is. It transcends representation, as it is what it is is its message Tschumi uses the disassociation of symbol in a more drastic way than Venturi. His repulsi on to the idea of representation leads to architectural foli es that are devoid of hierarchy, form and structure. His blatant dismissal of these fundamental architectural ideas allows him the freedom to design without the const raints of what has already been which he criticizes. 27 By creating the follies, which are fully depend ent upon the personal, physical interaction and perception of the space, the architecture becomes meaningful. In contrast, Perez Gomez criticizes represen tation of superficial symbolism, u order 28 Perez Laugier criticizes the structure (the order of columns) as ornamentation, where architecture becomes decoration. 29 This use of ornamentation derails architectural meaning, as the (see fig. 3) 30 This original architecture c omes from the order and poetics of what Perez Gomez c onsiders as good architecture. W hat 26 Peter Eisenman, 526. 27 Bernard Tschumi, 27 50. 28 Alberto Perez Introduction 29 Alberto Prez Gmez Upon Love: Architectural Longin ( Cam bridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997), 87. 30 Al berto Perez Gomez Built Upon Love 87.

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Hiller 10 Laugier depicts is similar to the Vitruvian idea of th e primitive hut one based on the relationship between form and necessity. 31 This contrasts the empirical ideas of Gomez would consider as an example of the superficial symbolism, based on empirical values or the Classics (see fig. 4) 32 something li teral, with no interpretation. 33 With this reliance on ornamentation the representational architectural value is lost. For Perez Gomez, r eliance on poetic architecture helps develop value through what it represents. Figure 3. Charles Eis en, Bibliothque Nationale de France. Figure 4. Gottfried Semper The Caraib Hut Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts (Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, 2004), 666. 31 Marc Antoine Laugier, 15. 32 relationship between things. His criticism reliance on ornamentation for architectural value in his proposal for the primitive hut. 33 Gottfried Semper, Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts (Lo s Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, 2004), 665 667.

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Hiller 11 Conclusion Through Perez classification of representation, the comparison between the natural and the empirical is critical in understanding the architectural value of representation. It is important to question representation in architecture, beca use based on pure geometry and formula we lack the deeper meaning of architecture and why we build (the construct without the meaning). It is with the mindset that as architects we transform the physical world which then enables us to use our personal expe riences and feeling to create a symbolic connection necessary to give architecture meaning whether purposeful or done inherently. The ideas of architectural representation certainly translate to the design practice. Studio design becomes a process of desi gning architecture that presents the ideas of a project, before it can become representational by the literal things we make. These tangible constructs can take a variety of form, (drawings, models, images etc.). Similarly architectural meaning can come f rom a variety of techniques and methodologies, seen through how the work is presented (see fig. 5 and 6). Figure 5. Anastasia Hiller, Transparent Skin Study 2011. Figure 6. Anastasia Hiller, Theory Construct Examining Perceptual Representation, 2011.

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Hiller 12 Arguably the experiential qualities of a space provide the observer with the way of interpreting and deriving meaning. As seen in the images above, representation of architecture creates a dynamic interplay between the construct and the condition. I t is fundamental for this derived meaning to come from the architecture the space making. As this is such a personal experience, this can take form from many means. Ultimately it is nave to look at architecture inconclusively. Only with the careful blend ing of both form and reason can architecture exist. Representation must be considered as its own part of architectur e an integral and defining component. Considering representation as part of the pr ocess of design a nd how architecture is perceived is fundamentally important. 34 In ignoring the practical sides of architecture and only fixating on poetic meaning trivializes the thought and precision arc hitecture must also incorporate, but b uilding for th e sake of building ignores meaning In defining archite cture as a process of d esigning a cognitive activity t he capabilities of representation beco me critical w s thought and design to take place 35 34 Eleanor Weinel, 270. 35 mer Akin and Eleanor F. Weinel, 3.

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Hiller 13 Bibliography Akin, mer, and Eleanor F. Weinel. Representation a nd Architecture Silver Spring, Md: Information Dynamic s, 1982 Baudrillard, Jean Simulacra and Simulatio n. Translate d by Sheila Glaser. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1994 Certeau, Michel de, Luce Giard, and Pierre Mayol. T he Practice of Everyday Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998. Durand, J .N. Su in A Documentary Hi story of Art, Vol. 3. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986 Eisenman Pete r The End of the Classical: The End of t he Beginning, the End of the En d. I n Architecture Theory Since 1968 Edited by Michael Hays C ambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 199 8 Representation Silver Spring, Md: Information Dynamic s, 1982 Hays, K. Michael. Architecture Theory Since 1968 Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998. Laugier, Marc Antoine An Essay on Architectur e. Santa Monica, CA: Hennessey & Ingalls Inc. 2009 Prez Gmez Alberto Built Upon Love: Architectural Longin g After Ethics and Aesthetics Cam bridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997 Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1983. Prez Gmez, Alberto, and Louise Pelletier. Archi tectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997. Plato. ve I n The Republic Translated b y Benjamin Jowett London: Vintage Publishing, 1991 Semper, Gottfried Style in t he Technical and Tectonic Arts Lo s Angeles, CA: Getty

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Hiller 14 Research Institute, 200 4 Tschumi, Bernard. The Architectural P aradox and Disjunction Camb ridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1996 Representation and Archi tectur in Representation and Architecture Silver Spring, Md: Information Dynamics, 1982