Semiotics and the discourse of architecture

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dc.contributor.author Walker, Paul Joseph en
dc.date.accessioned 2006-11-30T01:20:21Z en
dc.date.available 2006-11-30T01:20:21Z en
dc.date.issued 1987 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Architecture)--University of Auckland, 1986. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/102 en
dc.description Subscription resource available via Digital Dissertations only. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis addresses a problematic of meaning and of semiotics in architecture by considering a number of questions. Why have meaning and semiotics been of concern in architectural discourse? How did semiotics enter that discourse? How does it operate there? The first chapter explores the notion of meaning in art, assuming this to have bearing on meaning in architecture. Functionalism is investigated as an implicitly semantic view of architecture: it is proposed that it is the failure of functionalism in practice which underlies the recent concern with meaning. Chapter 2 introduces the work of eight semioticians: Saussure, Peirce, Morris, Mukarovsky, Jakobson, Levi-Strauss, Barthes, and Eco. Chapter 3 poses the question of why semiotics has been attractive to architects. Attention is given to Tafuri's notion that semiotics serves both to bolster the current status of architecture (by blockading investigation of its discursive characteristics) and as radial criticism. Work by Norberg-Schulz and by Jencks is shown to be blockade; that by Agrest and Gandelsonas more nearly critical. It is proposed that semiotics and the discourse of modern architecture are epistemologically analogous, which circumstance has facilitated and been conditional to the entry of semiotics into architecture. The fourth chapter examines Eco's and Preziosi's rigorous semiotic theories of the built. Both have been posited, however, as theories of architecture; as such they impede rather than foster theorizing with respect to architectural discourse. Chapter 5 assumes a (semiotic) model of architecture as a hierarchy of codes (building, language, drawing, photography). The role of language in architecture is shown to be more important than is generally conceded. Architectural discourse is also shown to be dependent on photography, and, by implication, on other graphic modes. While bearing in mind the links between the postmodern and radical strains of semiotics, the final chapter surveys architecture in culture's present postmodern moment. If the problematic of meaning in architecture has been motivated by the 'emptiness' of the built world constructed under the aegis of functional architecture, this problematic cannot be taken as a recuperation. Rather, the advent of semiotics in the discourse of architecture may signify its transposition to an unknown discursive configuration. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA803039 en
dc.rights Subscription resource available via Digital Dissertations only. Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.source.uri http://wwwlib.umi.com/dissertations/fullcit/8812775 en
dc.subject.other ARCHITECTURE (0729) en
dc.title Semiotics and the discourse of architecture en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Architecture en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.local.anzsrc 1201 - Architecture en
pubs.org-id Faculty Creative Arts & Indust en


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