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Title: An holistic approach to architectural theory and structuralism
Author: Ajam, Aladdin
Awarding Body: Heriot-Watt University
Current Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Date of Award: 2005
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The author's interest in this subject emerges from seeing the environment as a whole, consisting of entities which are systems for transformation and which are responsible for the evolution of society. The approach comes from the mutual interaction of man and the environment. This interaction is expressed in many cases by building concepts, rules and theories. Architecture is considered one of the obvious means of this type of interaction by which man, over time, tried to clarify this interaction by building his shelter to accommodate his different life activities. This led to the creation and establishment of rules, constraints, and then theories in architecture that control this interaction. Architecture cannot be seen as a synchronic phenomenon but it is diachronic and in a continous evolution and development. There is a distinction between what one can see in the environment as surface structure and the embedded meaning and symbolism of deep structure. In order to analyse this distinction, the research adopts structuralism as an holistic tool to address this relationship within the environment. For this reason, architectural theories and structuralism are the two pillars to build and test the statement of the study that leads to the provision of an holistic approach to architectural theory based on structuralism. The study takes an empirical approach to test and confirm the holistic approach, hence, it adopts a methodology to analyse and interpret the case study entities. This methodology follows two main approaches to fulfil these objectives: Deductive: A theoretical investigation of the ideas of the interaction between man and the environment which leads to emphasising environmental entities as systems for transformation. This premise leads to the adoption of structuralism as an holistic method and as a tool for the better understanding and analysis of these entities. Inductive: An empirical approach takes Salt city in Jordan as a case study area. This part represents a real field of information and application. The empirical work supports the propositions that architectural phenomena are an embodiment of cultural values and the social structure. The empirical work collected and elicited people's opinions and preferences through an open -ended questionnaire and drawings of cognitive maps. This study helps architects and designers to understand and then analyse the deep structure of the society as a base to design, after taking into consideration the mechanism that connects the surface structure to the underlying cultural values and meanings that are responding to people's needs and requirements. This may be achieved in architecture and urban planning through holistic thinking that is based on structuralism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available