Understanding spatial meaning: Reading technique in phenomenological terms

Sandra Costa Santos

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In Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty notes that phenomenology is concerned with providing a direct description of human experience, in such way that perception is the background of experience with guides each conscious action. This work reflects the idea that perception may be structured and focused by attention. Attention may not create spatial perceptions, but may be directed towards the perception of architectural embodied spaces and thus enable architectural technique (and so architecture) to convey meaning. This research engages technique in the architectural creative process and studies the relationship between building technique and the resulting architectural body, from the point of view of spatial expression and meaning. Thus, the fundamental constructive forms defined by Gottfried Semper are studied in phenomenological terms, prior to introduce the genuine tectonic changes introduced by innovative constructive elements. The work concludes explaining how these tectonic changes challenge the traditional division into nucleus and cladding. The architectural expression that G. Semper conferred on the cladding can now be achieved by other means.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2009
EventFlesh and Space (Intertwining Merleau-Ponty and Architecture) - University of Illinois, Chicago
Duration: 9 Sept 2009 → …


ConferenceFlesh and Space (Intertwining Merleau-Ponty and Architecture)
Period9/09/09 → …


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