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Barie Fez-Barringten

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Metaphoric axioms for micro disciplinary architecture
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
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Last edited: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Posted: Friday, August 03, 2012

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Till now we did nothing to reason why art [9] is the making of metaphors nor why architecture is an art[9] . Since 1967 I proceeded to analyze the presumptions and find its many applications. This new information in Metaphor and Thought by Andrew Ortony first published in 1979, provides information to support inductive reasoning and to this end each axiom is its own warrant to the inferences of the above syllogism and the answer to questions of why metaphor is the stasis to any of the syllogism’s claims and implications

Metaphoric axioms for micro disciplinary architecture


“Metaphors and Architecture”

Published by MIT Press: ARCHNET (Oct 2009)


                        My prior works about “architecture as the making of metaphors” were themselves metaphors bridging “architecture” and “metaphor”. Since we are making metaphoric use of both linguistic and conceptual metaphors it behooves us to provide evidence, inferences and warrants supporting this claim; as a resolution this metaphor contains claims that buildings are to architecture as written and spoken vehicles (books, poems, novels, essays and letters) are to language and may be conceived of as conceptual metaphors, architecture as the making of metaphors is therefore a linguistic analogy. The evidence of language may be varied, macro or micro. We warrant that as mathematics the source can be translated from numbers and formulae so may the observations, assumptions, conditions, operations, ideal and goals be translated into targets and then designs.

                      As the words of a theatrical “play” may spoken to be “played” so a design is expressed when it is constructed. Occupation of the constructed work is tantamount to the audience appreciating a play. In sheltering, the building comforts while being read; literature also comforts, but the building actually can be inhabited and house inhabitants unique to shelters; so this is the difference which is neither analogous and the difference which makes the work of architecture unique and not a analogous to literature. Not to leave the comparison off-balance a published novel may be carried and put on a shelf while a constructed building cannot. Building is occupied in fact while the reader is occupied in mind. The commonality of all arts [9] is that they express something in terms of their peculiar craft and thus they (all arts) are metaphoric, metaphors because they transfer, carry-over and express one thing in terms of another, an idea in terms of a craft, except if there is no idea apart for the exercise of the craft. In that case art is the expression according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. While all art is not expressed as a linguistic metaphor all arts are metaphoric. Not the fine arts collectively which often excludes architecture and is meant to ascribe value to a work as the “finest” (better than all the rest), but all the arts are the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning and to say that art is the making of metaphors is to state it both expresses something in a language above common conversation and peculiar to its genre as painting, sculpture, writing, dance, music, etc.

                        The same thing may be expressed by each art in such a different form peculiar to its media that the commonality of the content is obscured; obscured or not, the essence common to both is inherent in the work. Architecture can contain the work of many different artist and art forms while it being a singular art. In any case architecture as all art is a metaphor, made metaphorically and makes metaphors. The principles of the transfer and how this applies to architecture is summarized in the below axioms. The word architecture is itself a metaphor bridging “master” and “builder”: from arkhi- "chief" + tekton "builder, carpenter". Master was a title of citizen ship, authority and high status while builder was all of the skills associated with carpentry where merchant places of business and residences were constructed by carpenters under a master carpenter. As words, grammar, phonetics, literature, dictionaries, and encyclopedias are the vocabulary and tools of writing and speaking so are mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural engineering, materials, structural elements, building systems, manufacturers catalogs, history of interiors, history of architecture (beams, cables, columns, flooring, roofing, wall materials, lights, wires, ducts, etc.) the vocabulary of designers.

                The writer and the designer both devise the choice of words, construct sentences and paragraphs to express, explain some ideas, create some mystery, and romance while the designer contrives his vocabulary of elements to reify the program. The completed building speaks through its every part. Its volume, spaces, shape, form, and height with proportions, shades and shadows, reflections, inner and outer spaces, sequence of spaces, planes and internal and external volumes. The building is the ensemble of the actors of the play reciting their parts, the musicians in the orchestra playing their pieces all led by a conductor who interprets the composer’s composition as the general contractor interprets the contact documents. Today we have computers which can translate words into graphic three dimensional building models and translate the model to draining and specifications. This application of this analogy was not even conceivable when we began this study in 1967. Forty years from now the possibilities seem endless but leading to expanded metaphors and use of metaphoric thinking. However, between then and now I have been asked by software giants to discuss architectural terms so they could build tools for architects to design. Computer Aided Design, Master Spec, Modeling is the results of such conversations.

                    Most cognitive linguistic research 7.0 on metaphor (such as architecture as the making of metaphors) may be characterized as theory building, in which concepts and hypotheses are developed about the nature of conceptual metaphor. To be sure, such theories have empirical underpinnings, in that their authors are careful to collect many linguistic and architectural examples that corroborate our theoretical constructs.

                    To put this slightly differently, these are theories meant to be put to the test in empirical research. In that respect, they are not like the hermeneutic theories of philosophers7.0. 8.0 What makes our present comparison about metaphor unique is the important distinction that has been drawn between conceptual metaphors or metaphorical concepts on one hand (as “architecture as the making of metaphors”), and linguistic metaphors on the other hand (Lakoff and Johnson 1980; our lecture series was in 1967). The former (concepts) refers to “love is war” and “love is Journey” while the latter is actually "linguistically" in nature as Weiss’:” Richard the Lion hearted”. Metaphorical language, consisting of specific linguistic expressions, is but a surface manifestation of realization of conceptual metaphor. Conceptual metaphors are systematic mappings across conceptual domains: one domain of experience, the target domain (architecture). In short, the locus of metaphor is not a language at all, but in the way we conceptualize one mental domain in terms of another. (Lakoff 1994:43) is precisely what we do when we bridge architecture the making of metaphors with building and leiterature8.0. 8.0 The contemporary Theory of Metaphor: a perspective from Chinese by Ning Yu says that it can be that architecture is the making of Conceptual Metaphors (not literal) - This occurs where the metaphor or extension of meaning from one object to the other is not in the words (building) themselves but is the mental image.

                       The words (or in the case of architecture the shapes, forms, materials, etc) are prompts for us to perform mapping from one conventional image to another at the conceptual level. Nevertheless, Linguistics 6.0 is the scientific study of natural language from where metaphors emanate and is also both art and science and we can say that what can be true for linguistics may also be true for non-language (conceptual) expressions including art; if art then all of its subsidiaries and what may be true of any one of them may also be true for them all. In fact there have been many important art movements such as the Beaux Artes and the Bauhaus that also believed there is correspondence of these forms with one another. We can do this because language is any set or system of such symbols as used in a more or less uniform fashion by a number of people, who are thus enabled to communicate intelligibly with one another. Linguistics it the study of any system of formalized symbols, signs, sounds, gestures, or the like used or conceived as a means of communicating thought, emotion, etc.: the language of mathematics; sign language.

                   We extend this to include non-spoken language (concepts) and that art is conceived as a means of communicating thought such as mathematics, sign language, etc. While or metaphor of architecture to metaphors is conceptual many of its applications find linguistic metaphors helpful. There are several allied fields such as semiotics, for example concerned with the general study of signs and symbols both in language and outside of it. Literary theorists also study the use of language in artistic literature. Linguistics additionally draws on work from such diverse fields as psychology, speech-language pathology, informatics, computer science, philosophy, biology, human anatomy, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, and acoustics. No scientific study of architecture as arts is known, particularly in the industrial age when business and not aesthetics dominates. In a time when aesthetics dominated the making of architecture aesthetics and the art of modeling a building into a particular form of art prevailed. Witness the debates in books like The Fountainhead and the plethora of arts with architecture that flourished under the kings of Europe.

                 The buildings, interiors and decoration were all commissioned as arts and expected to be both aesthetically pleasing and powerful political symbols. . It undoubtedly is true that while the goal of ordinary language is to communicate, the primary goal of architecture is “shelter” and of art to entertain, educates, beautify and decorate). Actually the main purpose of architecture is to be an arbiter between owner and contactor as the owner’s surrogate and what the architect actually produces is not the shelter but the documents from which the shelter will be built. This distinction is relevant since the language of architecture is his documents (plans, sections, elevations, specifications, scale models, etc). The work of his design is habitable shelter so we can presume the built outcome for this metaphor whether built or not, whether on drawings or the real thing. While it is true that a bi-product of architecture’s shelter is that which expresses in a system of symbols, such as character sequences, combined in various ways and following a set of rules, communicating thoughts, feelings, or instructions, architecture’s primary goal is to shelter by accommodating programmatic specifics peculiar to its needs and necessities. It is not only to communicate (express) but to shelter. In most of today’s contemporary architectural programs there would be little on aesthetics. Thankfully there are noteworthy exceptions which fill the pages of architectural journals. It is for this reason that why till now architects have not been trained to think of their preferred choices of forms, patterns, structures, material, sizes and spaces responsible to impart any message, implication, thought or emotion. In fact, aside from mere pomp, pride, monumentalizing, trophy, corporate symbol, works of architecture stops there at “imparting”, commentating or symbolizing not trying to teach educate, specify and instruct but simply shelter.

                 However, there is no doubt that spaces, proportions, colors, textures, dimensions, sequence of spaces, planes in space, etc control , support and guide human behavior; they do so by depending on predicting human responses and behavior within a multidimensional world where they respond and act and not converse using words. My own study of behavioral psychology preceding my serious study of design gave my every later choice a possible predilection toward human behavior which other designers seemed not to be aware. Yet, they were able to successfully design but the consequences of their decisions to express anything were not considered. Architecture is the making of metaphors, but more, it is also so-called “body language”; it makes metaphors, poetry, music, dance, ballet, etc. its is widely expressive but it does not converse hearing and responding as in normal human conversation. Conceptual Metaphors (not literal) occurs where the metaphor (or extension of meaning from one object to the other) is not in the words themselves but is the mental image. The words (or in the case of architecture the shapes, forms, materials, etc) are prompts for the user to perform mapping from one conventional image to another at the conceptual level. We find works which “welcome”, “open up”, “close”, “reject”, “turn-in”, “introvert”, “explode”, “shout”, etc. As the building shelters it entertains by getting and holding inhabitants attention, it welcomes and provides the opportunity to be fed, diverted, and amused. It is the place preferred to do one or another act as opposed to being and doing similar things outside.

                   Metaphor is a figure of speech, not an architectural style, building term , kind of building- type but a condition of its creation and use, but it is not normally what architecture is. I say normally because there are exceptions as monuments, exhibits, some public buildings; building which may house one thing but try to communicate something else. The White House and Capital buildings are good examples communicating the US strength and unity over its contained operations. The White House is the home of the revered fist family whiles the Capital the place where our revered congress transacts its business. Works of architecture, as metaphors, may be more onomatopoetic; then a full sentence may be grasped intuitively as analogy than overtly, may be sensed but never understood, may be used but never seen, and may be ignored, condemned and obliterated with less concern than that of its human counterpart or preserved and worshipped as an icon as a landmark . As a landmark it communicates a history of what people have done in that place, a period of time; demarks a context and as a metaphor communicates its past in terms of itself. It marks time, space and place; and the human epoch. Conceptually, it converses about the things it marks in terms of its designed characterization, its mere age or method of construction (they don’t make them like that anymore).

                        While both the linguistic, conceptual and architectural metaphor makes the strange familiar, it is the architectural and artistic that identifies our position in society and is the emblem of who we are. We are not the metaphor but our experience of it is as real as anything else we know. As we perceive it, the metaphor is our virtual reality. It contains our identity, signs and signals. Its' vocabulary, symbols and characters are symbiotic. The metaphor itself is symbiotic and our relationship to the metaphor is symbiosis. The metaphor is a change vehicle. It transforms and it is a transformer. It works internally between its' elements and upon us as we complete metaphor. It is completion that users and audience participate in the ultimate creation of any metaphor. A work of literature, book, and play, novel may have similar affects but they are more then communicating but communication in a certain way. By the way the Latin for "transfer" is "metaphor". It is no wonder that my own study linking metaphors to architecture in the realms of cognitions should be parallel with important developments in cognitive linguistics. This includes conceptual metaphors based on the idea that form-function correspondences are based on representations derived from embodied experience and constitute the basic units of language. (We are the sum total of all that has gone before us). So basic in fact that they may easily be the same basis as they are for architecture.

                   This is at the heart of our presumption, that we can make metaphoric use of the term metaphor as for linguistics as for architecture. For any one work there are two metaphors: the concept and the manifestation of the concept. Richard the Lionhearted is the manifestation while the concept of the commonplace linking Richard to the Lion is understood without being visible. When we hear the voices of singers, the sounds of musician, the tones of speakers and the quality of a manifest metaphor we encounter the presence of other human beings. The essence of this presence authenticates our identity and we transfer their realty to our own. The future: Places like Masdar City (Arabic: Masdar, literally “the source” ) is a planned city in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. It is being built by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi. Designed by the British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology. Space cities, cities in the desert, etc.

                   Places free form the influences of competing analogies, similes and contextual metaphors. Masdar City is a carbon-neutral community aiming to develop a unique clean tech cluster where companies and researchers from around the world could develop solutions to address climate change and global energy issues. The city itself will be developed in a way to reduce carbon emissions from its development, making it carbon-neutral. The whole city will be provided with renewable power which is not based on fossil fuels and also developing a transportation system that is free from fossil fuel. In addition to that, all the materials used in the city will be accounted for and offset through the landscape and energy savings. The city itself is a test bed for technologies from around the world and at the same time it will be the source of solutions for sustainability and advancing energy. Like my State University of New York in Albany by Edward Durrell Stone, giant umbrellas, with a design based on the principles of sunflowers, will provide moveable shade in the day, store heat, then close and release the heat at night in the plaza of a new eco-city in the United Arab Emirates. We called ours “mushrooms” and they were the typical structural design for most of the academic buildings and their connectors. Campus planning and design, Malls, New Towns, Planned Unite Developments, gated communities, city centers are all opportunities to dub, add and enhance a minimal building program with metaphors that reach beyond the financial, economic and market demographics to social, political, communal and cultural targets and sources of the metaphor, places which are not Disney-like but are market driven and free of extent contextual metaphorical influences.


1.0 Metaphor and Thought: Second Edition Edited by Andrew Ortony: School of Education and social Sciences and Institute for the learning Sciences: North Western University Published by Cambridge University Press First pub: 1979 Second pub: 1993

1.1 Generative metaphor: A perspective on problem-setting in social policy: by Donald A. Schon

1.2 The conduit metaphor: A case of frame conflict in our language about language: by Michael J. Reddy.

1.3 In Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture about Glasarchitektur Ulrich Conrad'

1.4 The contemporary theory of metaphor by George Lakoff

1.4.11 "Surrogates," published by Indiana University Press. By Paul Weiss

1.5.0 Metaphor, induction, and social policy: The convergence of macroscopic and microscopic views by Robert J. Sternberg, Roger Tourangeau, and Georgia Nigro

1.6.0 Figurative speech and linguistics by Jerrold M. Sadock

1.7.0 Some problems with the emotion of literal meanings by David E. Rumelhart

1.8.0 Metaphor by John R. Searle Section on “Metaphor and Representation”:

1.9.0 Process and products in making sense of tropes by Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr.

1.10.0 Interpretation of novel metaphors by Bruce Fraser

1.11.0 Images and models, similes and metaphors by George A. Miller

1.12.0 How metaphors work by Sam Glucksberg and Boaz Keysar

1.13.0 In the Metaphor and Science section of the book: The shift from metaphor to analogy in Western science by Dedre Gentner and Michael Jeziorski

1.14.0 Metaphor and theory change: What is” metaphor” a metaphor for? By Richard Boyd

1.15.0 Metaphor in science by Thomas S. Kuhn

1.16.0 Metaphorical imprecision and the “top down” research strategy by Zeon W. Pylyshyn Zenon W. Pylyshyn is Board of Governors Professor of Cognitive Science at Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. He is the author of Seeing and Visualizing: It's Not what You Think (2003) and Computation and Cognition: toward a Foundation for Cognitive Science (1984), both published by The MIT Press, as well as over a hundred scientific papers on perception, attention, and the computational theory of mind. Metaphor and Education is the final section: Readers may wish to review my monograms on Schools and Metaphors (Main Currents in Modern Thought/Center for Integrative Education Sep.-Oct. 1971, Vol. 28 No.1, New Rochelle, New York and The Metametaphor of architectural education", (North Cypress, Turkish University. December, 1997)

1.17.0 The instructive metaphor: Metaphoric aids to students’ understanding of science by Richard E. Mayer

1.18.0 Metaphor and learning by Hugh G Petrie and Rebecca S. Oshlag

1.19.0 Educational uses of metaphor by Thomas G. Sticht

2.0 N/A

3.0 “Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Edition; by Professor Dr. David Zarefsky of Northwestern University and published by The Teaching Company, 2005 of Chantilly, Virginia # =Wikopedia on the www. 4.0 WWW 5.0 “Difference and Identity”:

4.0 Gilles Deleuze (French pronunciation: [ʒil dəløz]), (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. Deleuze's main philosophical project in his early works (i.e., those prior to his collaborations with Guattari) can be baldly summarized as a systematic inversion of the traditional metaphysical relationship between identity and difference. Traditionally, difference is seen as derivative from identity: e.g., to say that "X is different from Y" assumes some X and Y with at least relatively stable identities. To the contrary, Deleuze claims that all identities are effects of difference. Identities are neither logically nor metaphysically prior to difference, does Deleuze argue, "given that there are differences of nature between things of the same genus." That is, not only are no two things ever the same, the categories we use to identify individuals in the first place derive from differences. Apparent identities such as "X" are composed of endless series of differences, where "X" = "the difference between x and x'", and "x" = "the difference between...” and so forth. Difference goes all the way down. To confront reality honestly, Deleuze claims, we must grasp beings exactly as they are, and concepts of identity (forms, categories, resemblances, unities of apperception, predicates, etc.) fail to attain difference in itself. "If philosophy has a positive and direct relation to things, it is only insofar as philosophy claims to grasp the thing itself, according to what it is, in its difference from everything it is not, in other words, in its internal difference." In analyzing a metaphor we ask: “What are its commonalities and significant differences and what are the characteristics common to both”.

6.0 Webster’s standard dictionary

7.0 Identifying Metaphor in Language: a cognitive approach Style, fall, 2002 by Gerard J. Steen

8.0 The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor: a perspective from Chinese by Ning Yu Post script: This above is an excerpt from a complete monograph as below; and I’d welcome publishing another monograph on the axioms and the scientific information as shown below.

Axioms about metaphors influencing Architecture” Monograph by Barie Fez-Barringten


Architecture’s New Paradigm

We are witnessing a shift in architectural paradigms from one set of architectural forms to another. It was material shelter and now its electronic affluence. As cars are being bought not just for their ride but for access to communications, internet and web technology; shelters are something other that a habitat. As the life style of the world changed so has the accommodation for that world. The borders and contexts specific places are global where building systems and materials are transferred from one to another context while we are in transit from one to anther. Life is likewise metaphoric; analogies won’t do. Architect now form a macro metaphor sourcing the new paradigm to the target program. No one can afford to be parochial disregarding all pervasive contextual conceptual metaphors.  





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