Title page for ETD etd-12052004-172409

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sullivan, John Austin
URN etd-12052004-172409
Title A Search for Truth: Investigating the Connection Between Man, Architecture and the Universe
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Piedmont-Palladino, Susan C. Committee Chair
Frascari, Marco Committee Member
Wheeler, Joseph Committee Member
  • dialogue
  • light
  • progression
  • transition
  • elements
  • place
  • boundary
  • city
  • architecture
  • abstraction
  • truth
  • enclosure
  • body
  • connection
  • patina
  • memory
  • orientation
  • plan
Date of Defense 1999-11-16
Availability unrestricted
The study of architecture is a search for the truth, conceived from a desire to understand the nature of life. Through the process of investigation, discoveries bring us closer to this understanding. Universal truths discovered within the discipline of architecture teach of the universal truths of life itself.

Architecture is eternally bound to the universe. It exists as a physical reality, ultimately defined by a specific moment and position within the infinite continuum of time and space. Yet, what creates this inseparable connection between architecture and the universe?


Architecture exists as an offering to man. It serves as a stage on which the life of man unfolds; it is the backdrop of the human drama. It is the interaction between man and the physical environment that defines this connection between architecture and the universe. The instant that the hand of man touches the surface of a brick wall, a moment is created, eternally linking the wall to the universe. Thus, a constant dialogue exists between man and architecture. The nature of this dialogue must be explored, as it offers man the opportunity to understand his relationship with architecture on all scales (individual, community, universe).

In order for this dialogue to be understood, the relationships which exist within architecture itself must be examined. These relationships exist on many scales, ranging from the connection between the column and the beam, to the relationship between a building and its city. These relationships dictate architecture's meaning. By being sensitive and perceptive of the nature of these relationships, we become closer to understanding the nature of life.

Explorations of architecture allow us to question the nature of life. The search for the connection between architecture and the human condition allows us to understand the eternal connection between architecture and the universe. The search allows us to find the truth.

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