Thinking the Object to Be Made: Architectural Poiesis and the Problems of Form Making

By Levent Kara.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A typical reference for the unity of thinking and making in architecture is the original notion of techne as poiesis, techne as aletheia, where a collective significance concretizes itself in the object through its making. The object made carries the conditions of such significance as its making is handed down by an effective tradition in the continuity of a life practice. In this original notion of techne as poiesis, the thinking of the object to be made is also thinking in a context of meaning which is defined within a tradition of making of certain type of objects in the unity of culture as a whole. Hence, making the object is thinking a significance and vice versa, in a broader hermeneutic universe that unifies a culture. This paper argues that the reference to poiesis in order to recognize architectural making as a way of thinking, or the unity of thinking and making in architecture, issues from a misreading of the phenomenological and hermeneutic schools in continental philosophy, and cannot fully account for the problem of form making in architecture as a constructive projection. The study visits the notions of architectural image and design process, and articulates a conceptual space for understanding architectural form as a spatial and tectonic unity that performs in the event space of life beyond the questions of representation internal to the notion of poiesis.

Keywords: Architectural Form, Image, Design Process, Poiesis, Techne, Aletheia, Phronesis

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.139-146. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 632.783KB).

Dr. Levent Kara

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Florida, Ganiesville, FL, USA

Dr. Levent Kara has been teaching design studios and theory and history courses since 2002 in the School of Architecture at the University of Florida. His scholarly interests are oriented around the epistemology of architectural design as praxis structured through various reflective venues from fundamental modalities of design thinking, the relation between thinking and making, the dilemmas surrounding ‘theory-practice’ pair, and pedagogy of design and theory, to the interfaces between other modes of cultural production and architectural design. Dr. Kara’s writings range from formal philosophical subjects in epistemology, aesthetics, and culture theory, to architectural design, theory and criticism, and architectural pedagogy.

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