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University of Adelaide (1991)

Towards an ideology of urban form : open space in the built environment with particular reference to the arid urban environment in the Middle East

Kidess, Charles I.

Titre : Towards an ideology of urban form : open space in the built environment with particular reference to the arid urban environment in the Middle East

Auteur : Kidess, Charles I.

Université de soutenance : University of Adelaide

Grade : (M. Arch.) 1991.

Résumé
The analysis of architecture is most often being restricted to its formal or visible characteristics. Once relationships are being considered, however, aspects of meaning and praxis become indispensable to any such analysis. But even then, the view of the built environment as a combination of more or less separate entities seems to persist, while different aspects remain expressed as mere dichotomies. The question here comes : is it enough to consider architecture as the space of representation and/or of experience ? This thesis argues that this is not so, as such position would imply passivity on the part of those who experience space, or to whom the space is being represented. Rather, it will be argued that a proper understanding of the built environment is primarily attached to an understanding of ideology, as it is conceived through the architectural process. From this point of view, the hypothesis tested is that the question of the architectural creation is not in ’space’ , rnr in its corstituent elements, but in the nature of the cawal forces which put them to getlrcr ín a particular combination ín tir¡æ and place (i.e. ideology). Moreover, that the qualiry of the environment lies in the ability of íts various elements to influence one another, and interact causally. It is suggested that the misconception of this basic fact stands as a central factor behind many of the problems that the architectural environment currently faces. The aim is to offer a critical analysis or explanation for the failure of some ea¡lier architectural planning ideologies, and hence, outline some principles which would avert these failures. The arguments are focused on open space in the built housing environment, with particular reference to the arid urban environment in the Middle East. Cenral to the evidence presented is the ’concave’ and ’convex’ model. This is a method that this thesis has developed which aims at illusrating the effect of various factors (social and cultural factors) and forces which are applied (local or global) on the level of causal interaction in the local environment. This method is based upon principles which are derived from preliminary discussion of some basic concepts (space, climate and culture), and the critical examination of existing theories in social and urban patterns. It is contemplated that the ’concave’ and ’concave’ model provides an important addendum for the explanation of urban phenomena. Par:ticula¡ly, this method helps in illustrating the significance of relationships over entities, and of causal interactions over spatial patterns. It is concluded that the hypothesis tested is correct. It is thus argued that the efficiency of the built environment is related to the extent that it facilitates interaction between its various constituents (physical and/or social), as well as being itself the cumulative outcome of such interaction. Some of the implications of this in terms of architecture and the role of the architect are analyzed.

Mots clés : Space (Architecture) — Philosophy. — Architecture — Environmental aspects — Islamic countries. — Cities and towns, Islamic — Middle East. — City planning — Philosophy.

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Page publiée le 6 novembre 2013, mise à jour le 3 février 2018