The application of perception theory in architecture and urban design : with particular reference to Liberation Square in Cairo
Perception in Architecture and the Environment, which is the main concern of this thesis, can be counted as one part of the whole subject of perception. However, currently there is a great lack of application and utilisation of knowledge of that field. One can say that dissatisfaction with undesirable results in the design of our environment and with its design courses, were the main motive behind the researcher's venture into the field of perception and its application to both architecture and urban design. Within the general structure of the research are four case studies chosen as practical applications in these two subject areas, from the point of view of the field of perception. These cases respectively are: The Seventh Heaven Competition, Seventh Heaven 2, The Parliament Square Competition, and finally, the redesign of the Liberation Square in Cairo (Egypt). The redesign of Liberation Square (Maydan Al-Tahrir), in particular is treated as the principal case study through which the researcher attempts both to evaluate the role of the square as a symbolic urban space in Cairo and to redesign it within the methodology derived from his researches. It is worthy of note that the researcher uses the 'questionnaire' as a means of eliciting subjective responses, side by side with a theoretical analysis which mainly has a bias towards psychological and perceptual interpretation. The third part has only one chapter comprising two case studies of a project in Regent's Park in London, 1983. The fourth part has two chapters; these comprise a discussion of the theoretical background to that entity, the square in the city. It comprises a third case study for a project based on a competition for redesigning Parliament Square in London, 1984. The sixth part describes the methodology used in analysing the final case study, that of 'Liberation Square in Cairo'. The seventh part comprises the analysis of 'Liberation Square' in Cairo on two levels: (i) the square as an individual locus, the styles of its buildings, its function, symbolism and validity as a public urban space; and (ii) the square in terms of its relationship to the city as a component of its organism.