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Title: Vision and language : the modern Greek world embodied in architectural form
Author: Philippou, Styliane
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis is concerned with architecture as a creative process which is distinct with respect to the physical appearance of its end products and the manual operation exclusively proper to the architect, yet it can be contextualised within the wider circle of human making with respect to the mental image to which all artists work - when their interest focuses on an inner world of reality - and to the noetic and imaginative operations proper to all makers. First, it embarks on a theoretical inquiry into the nature of architecture as a creative activity or process whereby man is brought into dwelling commensurate with human nature. The purpose of this inquiry is to illuminate the meaning of architecture and the formal principle that finds expression in its products, the kinship between architecture and poetry, and the pivotal role and function of language in the significant act of architectural creation. This theoretical inquiry establishes the perspective within which the architectural making process is examined in the modern Greek socio-cultural context, the distinct historical milieu of Greece after Independence. Viewing architecture as a human poetic projection, as a realisation of the unity of being with word, vision with language, this examination aims at delineating this long poetic journey that through stages of loss and recollection brought about the embodiment of the inner reality of the Greek world in architectural form, made by the hand of Dimitris Pikionis. The stages of this process are traced and paralleled to those of modern Greek poetry, a contemporaneous art process directed towards making intelligible the same reality, and one with a privileged position in the cultural life of modern Greece. Subsequently, the thesis focuses on the making process as a personal creative experience. An account of Pikionis' personal poetic journey is followed by a close reading of his most accomplished work on the Attic hills. This work is viewed as the built product of his self-knowing and world-knowing process, the embodiment of his vision of "the mythical reality of the world", the same vision of the eternal and sacred aspect of visible things that The Axion Esti of Pikionis' contemporary poet, Odysseus Elytis, seeks to evoke. A comparison is ventured between Pikionis' architectural work and The Axion Esti of Elytis, two art-acts which are not simply contemporaneous but also in the same spirit of loyalty - loyalty without servility - to the values and principles of the cultural order in which the two individual creators found themselves embedded and which, for them, conforms to the order of the natural world which they inhabit. Finally, the suggestion is put forward that the architectural act, and the art-act in general, the begetting of a significant form which 'speaks' about and of the created world-order, is essentially a 'world-redeeming' act, an act directed towards a recreation of the world as it was in the beginning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available