Title page for ETD etd-123322282975860

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Adams, Nicole
URN etd-123322282975860
Title An Ongoing Dialogue
Degree Master of Arts
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pittman, V. Hunter
Weiner, Frank H.
Brown, William Committee Member
  • none
Date of Defense 1997-02-03
Availability unrestricted
This thesis is an attempt to reconcile the form of an idea with the form of a

thing in this world to be experienced. An exploration of the meaning behind

the words idea, form, making and experience begins to unite the intellect of

an architect with the design of an architect. The terms are defined in the

thesis and explained through the project. The thesis through the project

sets out to take these terms beyond mere words and give them an

opportunity to inform eachother. It is this dialectic between idea, form,

making and experience that I believe to be the heart of architecture.

Idea and form are inextricably tied to one another. "Which is the origin of

the other?" is not as pertinent a question as "how do the two inform each

other?." Ideas change from project to project as do the forms inherent in

those ideas. Preceeding both idea and material form is another type of

form that is immaterial and often remains unseen. It is the character which

is essential to a thing. Whether it be a place or an object, it is the quality in

the thing itself. This character is the instigator of idea and form. It is the

architect's goal to make this inherent form perceivable.

An architect makes idea and form manifest through a concept of making.

In Notes for a Theory of Making in a Time of Necessity, Giuseppe

Zambonini emphasizes that "We must look not only at the quality of the

material used and at the craft employed, but also at the quality of the

thought process selecting and shaping the material. . .quality cannot be an

intrinsic condition that belongs to the object . . . but rather it must express

the intent by which it is created and therein the clarity and strength of the

meaning being produced by its form" (Zambonini, 21). This quality of

design can best be achieved the earlier making and materiality are involved

in the design process. The questions of "what is the form of this idea?" and

"how is this form to be made?" begin the relationship between idea, form

and making. The immediate responses may be intuitive, but the final one is

the result of numerous makings. This is why architecture is practiced.

When the question arises: "how can this form not only embody an idea but

be the idea?", the dialogue takes on a greater import. The way in which a

thing will be experienced starts to inform its making. "It is the process that

will engage both user and observer in an active, participating relationship

with the work and thereby give the work its meaning" (Zambonini, 21). It is

at this point that the dialectic is fully engaged.

These four aspects simultaneously inform each other and nurture the

project throughout its life, from drawing board, to construction to the

various experiences that it will impart. It is not just one aspect, but these

four in communion that are the architecture.

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