Architecture as cultural and political discourse: case studies of conceptual norms and aesthetic practices

Daniel Grinceri

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This dissertation is concerned with cultural and political discourses that affect the production of architecture. Moreover, it examines how these discursive mechanisms and technologies combined to normalise and aestheticise everyday practices. The notion of culture plays a role in constructing meanings and identities. Understanding this is important to architecture because buildings are often thought to bring about this and other ideals. Yet, this thesis queries the role of architecture in the production of 'culture'. It asks whether buildings are capable of informing the attitudes and values of both individuals and populations, as it is popularly believed they do. It asks whether architecture possesses an inherent ability to achieve this end. Some buildings are thought to promote the values and meanings of a particular community as a representation of 'high' culture and art whereby the lives of people are thought to be improved, or alternatively disadvantaged, because of certain types of architecture in their midst. But can buildings alone, their material substance, aesthetics and symbolism provide for such edification? Impinging on this discussion, politics involves the appropriation of certain representational tools, like architecture, to portray and preserve an imagined ideal of the self and 'culture', and by extension, the nation-state.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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