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Barie Fez-Barringten

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Barie Fez-Barringten

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Framing the art vs. architecture argument
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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What’s the argument; who’s arguing? ; and, how does resolving that architecture is the making of metaphors settle the argument? Through analogies, similes and evidence I present arguments supporting the resolutions surrounding the way architects and urban designers make metaphors. This is done by presenting the thinking on making both natural and synthetic cities as well the design of buildings and neighborhoods. Cited throughout are linguistic, cognitive, psychological and philosophical mechanisms of the metaphor and their applicability. All of this to reify the stasis of architecture as an art by the inference that, as art [A] , it too, makes metaphors.

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Framing the art vs. architecture argument                   Barie Fez-Barringten                                                                         

published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in the book  “Archtiecture:the making of metphors” by Barie Fez-Barringten:



Framing the art vs. architecture argument”; Brunel University (West London); BST: Vol. 9 no. 1:  Body, Space & Technology Journal: Perspectives Section


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What’s the argument; who’s arguing; and, how does resolving that architecture is the making of metaphors settle the argument? 


                   Through analogies, similes and evidence I present arguments supporting the resolutions surrounding the way architects and urban designers make metaphors. This is done by presenting the thinking on making both natural and synthetic cities as well the design of buildings and neighborhoods. Cited throughout are linguistic, cognitive, psychological and philosophical mechanisms of the metaphor and their applicability. All of this to reify the stasis of architecture as an art by the inference that, as art [A] , it (architecture) too, makes metaphors. This argument is relvant to communcate between unlike peoples, disciplines and roles [C] in the creative process. The relevance of this monograph provides the authoritive evidence defining the architect's, planner's, and designer's scope of services and owner's conceptual basis for considering projects. For cognitive, linguists and other scientist this monograph provides the evidence for application and of theory.

 Biographical note:  Columbia University coursework in behavioral psychology under Ralph Hefferline and voice in linguistics, Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute and Master of Architecture from Yale University where I was mentored in metaphors and metaphysics by Dr. Paul Weiss. For research I founded the New York City not-for–profit corporation called Laboratories for Metaphoric Environments. . In addition to authoring over fifteen published monographs in learned journals I have spent 20 years in Saudi Arabia and have written a book with pen and ink drawings on perceptions of 72 European cities. Recently my book:"Architecture:the making of metaphors" has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishers.  

Affiliations: Global University, Gulf Coast Writers Association, American Institute of Architects, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Florida licensed architect, Lee County Hispanic Affairs Advisory Committee and trustee of Yale University Alumni Association of Southwest Florida

What’s the argument [2] and who’s arguing?                                       Empirically, the title of the monograph posing the tensional realtionship between art and architecture depends on who and where you are and are you apathetic or a connoisseur when it comes to your surroundings. On the other hand the title may express an ideal irrespective of time and place to a transcendental definition about the inherent qualities of all creation, use and perception of the material world (and man’s longing to covet that world) . At the end of the day the title and the inner working of the creation have pragmatic results from science. Whether architecture is an art [A] or not is argued amongst practicing professionals, owners architects, engineers and artist; scholars and contactors and to a much greater degree between members of society as manifest in literature, mass media and academia. It is the general public, users, real-estate markets, real estate agents, appraisers, and possibly financiers who dicker about such an unpractical mater. After all, what you call something and how you may define it does not really limit practice, use and market. Government officials, practitioners, owners would never want their descenters to be what it is that art has come to signify: irresponsible, ambiguous, and unreliable. Rather design, engineering and science should be predictable, manageable and efficient, all virtues seemingly antithetical to art and admittedly to artist. Most artists like being artist enjoying their well known characteristics, objectivity, sanctification and perspective. On the other hand there are many architects whose practice reject the mundane, banal and mediocrity of plane-vanilla, hack and under funded projects only seeking and accepting commissions which seek an” artistic”, creative and inventive solution, creation and work. The architects will often propose their portfolio filled with colorful renderings, models and photographs emphasizing the art of architecture, exotic forms, and brilliant design.

                       These portfolios raise the level of excellence, accomplishments and creativity to new heights hoping to compete against other like-minded architects. In these cases they freely bandy the “art”[A] word balancing it with other more responsible adherence to budgets, functions, and corporate identity. Underlying the social argument is a matter of rightness, social identity and the iconic value of resources, especially material matter, including precious stones, metals, antiques, cloths, etc. Social values and the ability man-made goods identify a culture, society, families, groups, companies and individuals is the heart of the argument. No one will argue about art of architecture in general but they will about the art of specific buildings. Who was the architect and was he considered and artist? Have other people valued the building and has it been traded and valued over time. Does it have unique patterns, forms, shapes, colors and what is its relative cost? Is it more expensive or in a class of expensive buildings. The issues and questions are endless but the underlying motive is the same: values are at stake.

                             These arguments care little about the science, axioms, and reasoning of metaphors but are about metaphor’s essence, that it is a man-made artifact of value, made by an artist, craftsman, and manufacturer resulting in a valued property. Whether real or liquid property the product is a referent which refers, connects, transfers and likens one thing to another. In the case of buildings the argument of the art of the building may involve its' price, quality, origins, uses, location and history of ownership. In any case the opponents would not delve to find the metaphors, concepts, ideas but appraise the value based on the market and comparables for similar buildings. Metaphors would only be considered when the seller or the buyer, maker or user, owner or the public had to originate their valuation. As soon as that happens the parties to the work need a vocabulary aside from public opinion to create, evaluate, and judge the work. While architects make a combination of conceptual and technical metaphors they do so metaphorically and by attending to scientific, material and factual matters. Yet in so doing , no mater to what degree of technical or conceptual the very process of any work translating requirements from wishes to design to construction to occupation involves metaphors, symbols and representations which carry-over and describe on thing in terms of another.By the way, bank loans may hinge upon the reputaion of the architect, project team and their hisrtory with creating such buiulding-type metaphors. 

                             How does claiming that architecture is the making of metaphors settle the argument?                                                             Architecture is the making of metaphors [B] establishing the stasis between art and architecture focus attention on the commonplace between all arts and also architecture and with supporting topoi, evidence, axioms, and issues warrant the ways and means that the architect, while attending to the practical, scientific, banal and mundane, makes metaphors. Irregardless of which one of the arguments we choose so long as the stasis has no value amongst society, scholars and the profession there cannot be a real-world dispute. As any argument, it needs two parties who agree to disagree, where success ultimately depends on the assent of an audience and who both agree on the focal point (stasis) of the argument. Architecture as the making of metaphors cannot be used to teach or affect the practice of architecture unless educators and practioners agree to the vocabulary, the premises and practicality. So long as society does not acknowledge the degree of art in science, art in architecture and art in engineering metaphors and art in the argument where absolutes, liability and certainty are normative. So while architecture is the making of metaphor’s the truth which would easily settle disputes it is marginalized by both sides of the argument that are looking to metaphors of social, cultural and context.

                         They expand their diffeneces beyond agreeable intersections to such a large degree that they can only unreassonably agree or disagree. However, it is in this way that the metaphors are very effective as a base of both inductive and deductive reasoning as the metaphor clarifies the relationships and makes them part of the argument. In their unreasonable non-arguments they toss around superfical but socailly accepted metaphors. In our argument we have claimed that art is the making of metaphors; not that architecture is art but that architecture is an art [A], meaning that architecture is one of the arts and has its’ (arts) characteristics. It is different than saying that it is art [A]. This means that all of the characteristics that distinguish any of the arts or any other field still are their unique distinctives but that some of the non arts do have artistic characteristics and in particular one which is the dominant, most prevalent and common. Common because it is in all concepts of art’s [A] technical and conceptual dimensions. 








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Books by
Barie Fez-Barringten

Second Coming


Twenty Years in Saudi Arabia (Introduction)

Holy Spirit and I by Christina Fez-Barringten

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Where Christ is forbidden

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Architecture:the making of metaphors

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Precinct Police Station in Bedford Styvestant Brooklyn by Barie Fez-Barringten

Precinct Police Station in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn By Barie Fez-Barringten:AIA/NCARB/Yale M.Arch68’ The below are most of my original drawings as presented to the Yale..  
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Architecture:the making of metaphors by Barie Fez-Barringten

Architecture: The Making of Metaphors Author: Barie Fez-Barringten Date Of Publication: Feb 2012 Isbn13: 978-1-4438-3517-6 Isbn: 1-4438-3517-X ..  
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