Essential to the design of contemporary commercial architecture is duplicative redundancy, multiple signals that signify the same referent. Thus, a staircase is a semiotic device that signifies a message about human mobility; its vectorization indicates the possibility of upward or downward movement. But the staircase may be identified in additional signs such as the word “STAIRS” and the symbols “➚” or “➘”. These duplicative signs are redundant, conveying the same message about the referent of possible upward or downward movement as the vectorization of the staircase itself, but also eliminating noise by ensuring the staircase can be located and identified under various conditions. In contrast, an elevator, having no intrinsic physical vectorization, may be located and its vectorization identified with signs such as the words “ELEVATOR” and “UP” and “DOWN” and the symbols “↑” and “↓”. Additionally the elevator’s vectorization is evident in its floor numbers “G”, “1”, “2”, “3”, and so on. All these are duplicative signs of the elevator’s referent of vectorization and the possibility of upward and downward movement. Commercial architecture exploits duplicative redundancy to direct human movement, using typographies and symbols as well as the physical structures of ascent and descent, ingress and egress, and transit and enclosure. In its designed redundancy commercial architecture transmits messages about human mobility and passage and eliminates the noise of the equivocal messages that prevent buildings from transmitting their information.
|Keywords:||Commercial Architecture, Duplicative Redundancy, Vectorization, Human Mobility, Signaling System|
Associate Professor, Department of English, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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