Definitions

I was asked to provide three architectural-ish definitions for the Geddes Institute for Urban Research http://www.dundee.ac.uk/geddesinstitute/

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Place – A place is a term used to define the impression of subjective appreciation of space. It is a space that one is existentially near to. This understanding subverts the generally perceived means-end relationship between stimulus and response, place and experience: a place receives its ‘placeness’ from one’s personal experiences and not the other way around.

Architecture –The concept of architecture is a myth propagated by architects to shield themselves from the terrifying richness of reality. Adhering to this concept, whereby a form is either ‘architecture’ or ‘not-architecture’, that which is deemed unworthy can be discounted. Consequently the architects’ illusory control over the built environment is upheld.

Dwelling – Dwelling is the process by which we bring places existentially near. In this light, natural objects like trees or utilitarian objects like bicycle sheds, every bit as much as cathedrals, have the potential to provide rich places for an individual’s experience.


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