The formation of space and cultural meaning
DOI link for The formation of space and cultural meaning
The formation of space and cultural meaning book
Form and meaning In this book I raised the questions of how to explore architecture as a set of abstract relations and as a fi eld of embodied experience, looking also at the ways in which these fi elds relate to cultural meaning. Underlying these questions is a wider inquiry that has characterized architectural theory, often expressed as a split between the conceptual characteristics of buildings and their physical and cultural dimensions. This split has found multiple expressions in binary relations, like mind and body, mental and physical, form and function, form and meaning. At certain moments in theory and practice, notably in the work of Modernist architects and historians, the relationship between the two sides has been regarded as defi nitive: form is seen as an expression of essence, historical period or function (Forty 2000: 289-90). At others, as with the criticism of Modernism and structuralism offered by Postmodernism, the assertion is that there is not a close bond between the two: the abstract forms of Modernism dissociate architecture from ‘fi gures’, carrying meaning by cultural association (Colquhoun 1985: 190). Alternatively, meaning is socially constructed rather than described by forms in any determinate way (Tschumi 1999: 201).