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Title: Psychological aspects of contextual compatibility in architecture : a study of environmental meaning
Author: Groat, Linda N.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3521 033X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1985
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The intent of this study is to investigate contextual compatibility in architecture from a psychological perspective. More specifically, the study examines contextual compatibility as an aspect of environmental meaning. Within the framework of this research, the term contextual compatibility is defined as the degree of fit between a new infill building and the immediately adjacent buildings within an urban or campus setting. As such, contextual compatibility is clearly a very specific and narrowly defined phenomenon: yet it nevertheless represents one of the most publicly debated and architecturaly significant manifestations of environmental meaning. For example, the emergence of increasing numbers of design review commissions, the often vociferous public debates on the appropriateness of particular design proposals, and the increasing willingness of architects to employ non-Modernist vocabularies all suggest the importance of contextual compatibility in people's experience of architecture. Because this study represents one of the first empirical investigations of contextual compatibility at the architectural scale, the research is focused on three of the most fundamental aspects of the topics: 1) what meaning does contextual compatibility have for people? 2) what kind of contextual design strategies are most consistently preferred? and 3) what types of physical features are most commonly seen as contributing to or detracting from contextual compatibility? In addition, a further goal of the research is to offer an account of the psychological processes that are implicit in these questions. These questions are considered in the light of three major sets of literatures 1) general discussions of environmental cognition and meaning in the psychological literature, 2) specific substantive research studies on contextual compatibility, primarily drawn from the environmental psychology literature, and 3) critical and theoretical analyses of design strategies for contextual fit, drawn from the architectural literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Architecture