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Title: Space, design and the description of the built environment : a theoretical enquiry into some structural aspects
Author: Awadalla, A. B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1979
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This thesis is concerned with theoretical aspects which underlie the establishment of a methodological framework which i) takes into account the problem characteristics of the field of built environment; ii) investigates the implications of these problem characteristics on the type of architectural knowledge which can be produced and also on the limits of the methods employed for obtaining it; iii) evaluates the operational value of this knowledge at the level of design practice. There are three major proposals made for the methodological framework. The first emphasizes its structural character. The second identifies problems of organization and production of artificial space as furnishing the specific domain of its empirical orientation. The third argues the necessity for this framework to maintain an operational link with architectural practice at the level of the architectural prototype. The particular epistemological paradigm invoked in order to evolve the framework is the structuralist approach, which consists of many strategies. The structuralist strategy, which has been systematically operationalized within the context of the thesis is (borrowing the term from linguistics) the syntagmatic one, where special emphasis is placed on the priority of the synthetic level of consideration in the investigation of architectural realities. The potential and limitations of the structural syntagmatic framework to deal comprehensively with the complexity and dynamics of architectural structures has been explored, as has the contribution it makes to the elucidation of the concept of the architectural prototype. The study of prototypes is proposed as a productive research paradigm which furnishes the key-link between, and provides for, the conceptual unity of architectural theory and architectural practice. Two interconnected areas of research on prototypes are suggested. The first relates to the investigation of the prototypic potential of the built environment, while the second relates to the development of design-specific prototypes. The thesis offers an illustrative example of the second area of research, which is evolved within the constraints of a new group of polyhedra independently identified and characterized by the author. The architectural extensions of this example and its potential for further development are explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available