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Barie Fez-Barringten

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Metaphor as an inference from sign ©
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, November 19, 2012
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012

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Metaphor “sign inferences establish that there is a relationship between two factors, so that one can be predicted from knowledge of the other. This relationship is called correlation”. While metaphor states one is the other, has characteristics of the other and informs one of the other their likeness is not apparent, is seemingly unrelated and yet has an essence common to both. The parallels between effective and literary reasoning reveal the technical and conceptual metaphor’s science. Using both literary and architectural cases the metaphor explains the two realities they diversely express and therefore we learn how the metaphor works when it is a sign which correlates and not a form which causes. This monograph cites only one of the nineteen scientists from A. Ortony’s, Metaphor and thought honing in on the work of George Lakoff, an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Metaphor as an inference from sign”;© ;was published by the  University of Syracuse's Journal of Enterprise Architecture; November 2009: and Barie Fez-Barringten was nomnated architect of the year in a speical issue of  the Journal of Enterprise Architecture explaining the unique relationship between enterprise and classic building architecture. 

also appears in the book:

 Architecture:the making of metaphors”© published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Published: Feb 2012
12 Back Chapman Street
Newcastle upon Tyne 
United Kingdom

Edited by

Edward Richard Hart,

0/2 249 Bearsden Road


G13 1DH


[ ] see references below

                       [1] “Sign inferences establish that there is a relationship between two factors, so that one can be predicted from knowledge of the other. This relationship is called correlation”. While metaphor states one is the other, has characteristics of the other and informs one of the other their likeness is not apparent, is seemingly unrelated and yet has an essence common to both. In fact with a metaphor one cannot predict the other with knowledge of the first. Unlike casual inferences, sign inferences are fallible, the inference depends on probability. However in the case of the metaphor the two factors are disparate, unrelated and predictably dissimilar. Because of the two are framed as an analogy, the presumption is that they will correlate. However, in an effort to correlate we seek the essence common to both and in so seeking gain the knowledge of the second by the first and vice’ versa. Sign reasoning are used to infer the unknown from the known, to predict outcomes, to rely on the judgmental experts authorities and to make the strange familiar. However, in the metaphor this warrant brings together two apparently unrelated factors which have an essence common to both, where each segment of a metaphor is likened to the other.

                    Not only do they tell something about each other but each is a sign In a metaphor or sign inference where we infer that something can be predicted from the occurrence of something else. Wide flange steel beams sections, their flanges and webs relate as the web and flange inference to form a section. The web is a sign of the flange and the flange a sign of the web and they both are a sign of the section and the section a sign of the possible web and possible flange. End user macro metaphor perception, understanding and reading the end product.

               “Sign inferences involve correlations-patterns, occurrences, or changes that vary in relation to each other”. “The basic inference that something can be predicted from the occurrence of something else”. The building metaphor is the “occurrence of something else” leading the reader to seek the other leg and the essence of the metaphor. Compare a walk though a New York City street with a “ticky-tack” sub-urb where both metaphors lead to seek the other leg and the essence but with very different results. Each and every building in the city will have a unique and sovereign authority, author and referent while the sub-urb a single referent. In ether case the building compels readers to both compare the whole of the metaphor to its apparent parts and the whole to its latent and less apparent referent. While the technical metaphor of the whole tends to be infallible and can be asserted with certainty the conceptual metaphor of the whole metaphor is fallible and less certain. However, “the underlying warrant, therefore, is that there is a predictable relationship between variables” and these variable may be inductive or deductive, fallible or infallible and while the technical could be predictable and certain the conceptual may be inductive, fallible and uncertain. Reading the technical metaphor of a given work may be more satisfying while the conceptual more tedious.                                                                         [1] “The prototype case of a sign relationship is a surface characteristic or property that is regarded as a sign of some deeper, underlying essence”.

For example:                                                                                     

[2] “about novel images and image metaphors “by mapping the structure of one domain onto the structure of another” there is a “superimposition of the image of an hour glass onto the image of a woman’s waist by virtue of their common shape. As before the metaphor is conceptual; it is not the works themselves, but the mental images. Here, we have the mental image of an hour glass and of a woman and we map the middle of the hourglass into the waist of the woman. The words are prompts for us to map from one conventional image to another”. “All metaphors are invariant with respect to their cognitive topology, that is, each metaphorical mapping preserves image-schema structure:” Likewise when we look at the geometrical formal parts of an architectural metaphor we note those common elements where fit, coupling and joints occur. We remember that which exemplified the analogous match. This observation of the metaphor finds that the commonality, commonplace and similarity are the chief focus of the metaphor. As Frank Lloyd Wright designed his Prairie architecture with Dominant horizontal axis thrust to his structure as common to the horizontal axis of the land upon which the building sits. Thus the two horizontal axes, the land and then the building were wed by their commonality of horizontality. In a city of sky scrapers architects parallel their new shafts with those adjacent to with space between to form the architectonic of verticality, canyons and shafts where the commonalty of all the vertical shafts bind them together.

                      The red tile roofs of the Italian Riviera, California’s Mission Architecture are other such examples of commonalities, commonalities which are synonymous with their identity and expected class. We note the 90 degree angles and shape that slide into one another. We note the way like metals, clips and angles fit; the way ceiling ducts are made to fit between structures and hung ceiling, etc. While it is less possible to spontaneously imagine the way we could relate the human form to a building when we circulate through its halls, rooms and closets its accommodation to our needs and necessities; to our self preservation and the maintenance of the building become apparent. We can map the building structure to ours by finding the one commonality amongst all the others. Very often we will hear someone say this place is” me”. The common image has been located and the fit made. Describing generic specific structure is under the invariance principle which is a way to arrive at generic-level schemes for some knowledge structure by extracting its image-schematic structure. This is called the Generic Specific Structure. Which is an extremely common mechanism for comprehending the general from the specific? So what you can deduce for part you can assume is true of the whole. So if the facade of building is in one order of architecture you can presume the other part are in a like arrangement and that the whole is of the classic order including its plan, section and details. What are involved here are mapping, channeling and one idea from one level to another.                                                         [1] “Although inferences from sign assert a predictable relationship between variables, they do not account for it; they are thus less powerful than causal inferences”.                                                                            [2] “Plausible accounts rather than scientific results is why we have conventional metaphors and why conceptual systems contain one set of metaphorical mappings than another” An architectural work establishes its own vocabulary which once comprehended become the way in which we experience the work, finding its discrepancies and fits and seeking the first and all the other similar elements. We do judge the work as to have consistency, integrity and aesthetics. Buildings which do not have these characteristics do not work as metaphors. Metaphor is the main mechanism through which we comprehend abstract concepts and perform abstract reasoning”. For example, as this is so for linguistics(spoken or written), then I infer that it must be true for non linguistics ,and I give as evidence the built habitats and their architectural antecedents, being as how what is built is first thought and conceived separately from building as thinking and conceiving is separate from the outward expression . Whether it is one or thousands public cultures are influenced, bound and authenticated by its’ metaphors. Not withstanding “idolatry”, the metaphors are the contexts of life’s dramas and as our physical bodies are read by our neighbors finding evidence for inferences about social, political and philosophical claims about our culture and its place in the universe. One of many warrants is recognizing, and operating the front door of a castle as we would the front door of our apartment; another warrant is the adaptive uses of obsolete buildings to new uses as a factory to multi- family residential uses, etc. We see the common space and structure and reason the building codes written to protect the health , safety and welfare of the general; public can be applied and the found to be re-zoned to fit the new uses in the fabric of the mixed-use zoned area; “comprehend abstract concepts (building codes, design layouts, and building codes) and perform abstract reasoning”. The most mundane to the most abstruse scientific theories can only be comprehended via metaphor.                                                                                                                               Even an anonymous Florentine back ally’s brick wall, carved door, wall fountain, shuttered windows, building height, coloration of the fresco. Metaphor is fundamentally conceptual, not linguistic, in nature. After many years living in Saudi Arabia and Europe and away from Brooklyn I visited Park Slope. I saw the stoops ascending to their second floors, the carved wood and glass doors, the iron grilles, the four story walls, the cementous surrounded and conventionally pained widows but what I saw was only what I described. I did not recognize what it was; it was all unfamiliar like a cardboard stage setting. I did not have a link to their context nor the scenarios of usage and the complex culture they represented. I neither owned nor personalized what I was seeing. All of this came to me without language but a feeling of anomie for what I was seeing and me in their presence, years later I enthusiastically escorted my Saudi colleagues thorough Washington, DC’s Georgetown showing them the immaculately maintained townhouses. I was full of joy, perceptually excited but my colleagues laughed and were totally disinterested. These were not their metaphors and they could hardly wait to leave the area to find a good Persian restaurant to have dinner. They, like my self years before did not see what I saw and more relevantly did not “get-the-concept”. Both of the above anti-metaphor cases were conceptualized without words as would be positive cases of metaphor.                                                                               [2] Metaphorical language is a surface manifestation of conceptual metaphor. As language is to speech so are buildings to architecture where each has a content and inner meaning of the whole as well as each of its parts. As each word, each attachment, plan, material, and structure had first been conceived to achieve some purpose and fill some need. Hidden from the reader is the inner psychology, social background, etc of the man/woman  when speaking and the programming design and contacting process from the reader of a building metaphor. As in completing an argument the reader perceives the inferences with its warrants and connects the evidence of the seen to the claims to make the resolution of the whole, all of which are surmised from the surface.

                    [2] Through much of our conceptual system is metaphorical; a significant part of it is non-metaphorical. Metaphorical understanding is grounded in non-metaphorical understanding. The science of the strength of materials, mathematics, structures, indeterminate beams, truss design, mechanical systems, electricity, lighting, etc. are each understood metaphorically and there precepts applied metaphorically but often random selections, trails and feasibility are random and rather in search of the metaphor with out knowing it is or not a metro and fit to be part of the metaphor at hand. On the other hand we may select on or another based on non-metaphorical, empirical test and descriptions of r properties. We then try to understand the metaphor in the selection, its commonality, how it contributes to the new application, how its has properties within itself which are alone strange and unrelated yet when couple with the whole or part of the created metaphor contribute to metaphor. For example in the last 20 years store front's tempered glass has been enhanced, thickened, strengthen and is now used in large quantities as frameless curtain walls on private and massive public properties. A non-metaphorical building product with one used in one context has been taken out of a non-metaphorical understanding of properties and use to apply to another. Our primary experiences grounded in the laws of physics of gravity , plasticity, liquids, winds, sunlight, etc all contribute to our metaphorical understanding often the conceptual commonality accepting the strange . In Belize, faced with a an unskilled workforce and the government wanting fancy houses for its government staff I choose a plethora of pre-engineered building components form non architectural catalogs as gigantic drainage pipes , sawn in half and used for roofs and in Tennessee relocated the country look of indignities building with US Plywood's "texture 1-11".  

                  [2] Metaphor allows us to understand a relatively abstract or inherently unstructured subject matter in terms of a more concrete or at least more highly structured subject matter. Owner occupied specialized works of architectural metaphors may begin with long periods of research, observations, and analysis ; conclusions and redesign and re-thinking of existing or utility of new systems; setting our system feasibility, pricing and meeting budgets, palling and programming, diagramming and design of sub systems and systems but when complete the metaphor is accessible, usable and compatible. The whole of the metaphor is designed in such a way as to clarify, orient and provide “concrete” reification of all the design parameters into a “highly structured’ work, a work which homogenizes all these diverse and disjointed systems and operations into a well working machine. Building types such as pharmaceutical, petrochemical laboratories, data research centers, hospitals, space science centers, prisons, etc are such relatively abstract unstructured uses which only careful assembly can order. Faced with both housing and creating identify the Greeks and the Romans derived an Order of Architecture which we now call the Classical order of Architecture.

                  A classical order (originally derived from Egypt) is one of the ancient styles of building design in the classical tradition, distinguished by their proportions and their characteristic profiles and details, but most quickly recognizable by the type of column and capital employed. Each style also has its proper entablature, consisting of architrave, frieze and cornice. From the sixteenth century onwards, theorists recognized five orders. From its inception design professionals will look outside of their field and the field of the proposed project to find organism, technologies provides a conceptual handle as the inner working of microchips, mainframes, submarines, rockets and jet propulsion, circus, markets, battleships and air-craft carriers, etc.

                    Long before the use of computers after being faced with a complex way that  teams of service clerks communicated on the phone, accessing and sharing files and instantly recording all transactions I invented a huge a round table where all clerks would be facing the center where would be sitting a kind of “Lazy Susan” . I choose the Lazy Suzan because of my experience in Chinese restaurants and selling Lazy Suzan’s as a young sales assistant in a gift store in the Bronx. As a result of the overall design of which this was one part the company’s business increased and prospered. One of the executive vice presidents befriended me and late went on to head the New York Stock Exchange. The installation was a success and was used until the company closed its doors many years later. I simply pictured the clerks as diners all trying tohave access and sharing  some of the  same food. 

                       The architect’s metaphor is often instinctive, impulsive and intuitive [2] like the onomatopeics metaphor’s mappings of conceptions override the overt spoken and descriptive and rely much more on mnemonics (something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula). [2] The assistance comes from something much more primordial (constituting a beginning; giving origin to something derived or developed; original; elementary: primordial forms of life) to the person’s or societies experiences. These become the matrix (encyclopedic) of schemas (in argument; the warrants {where a warrant is a license to make an inference and as such must have reader's agreement} supporting the inferences (mappings) where in the metaphor becomes real). In this way the reader maps, learns and personalizes the strange into the realm of the familiar. The reader does so by the myriad of synaptic connections he is able to apply to that source. Hence architects translate their architectural conception from philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc into two dimensional scaled drawings and then to real life full scale multi dimensions convention consisting of conventional materials, building elements (doors, windows, stairs, etc). [2] As maps are the result of cartographers rendering existing into a graphics for reading so is mapping to the reading of metaphors where the reader renders understanding from one source to another. Doing so mentally and producing a rendition of understanding (as a pen and ink of a figure) not as a graphic but a conceptual understanding. Reader sees in a critical way the existing culling through and encyclopedia of referents to make the true relationship; the mapping which best renders the reality; the relationship which informs and clarifies as the map the location, configuration and characteristic of the reality. As the cartographer seeks lines, symbols and shadings to articulate the reality so the reader choices of heretofore unrelated and seemingly unrelated are found to have and essence common to both the reality and the rendition so that the metaphor can be repeated becoming the readers new vocabulary .                                                                           In fact architects do the opposite as graphic renditions are made of synapses between amorphic and seemingly desperate information. Yet the process of mapping is no less intense as architect review the matrix of conditions, operation , ideal and goals of the thesis to find similarities and differences , commonalities, and potential for one to resonate with another to make a “resolution” on the experience of a cognitive mapping which becomes the metaphor, parte and overwhelming new reality. The new reality is the target of the source and finally can be read. In the case of the birth of an infant metaphor readers may find a wide variety of source information which is germane to their own experience. Before the public ever sees the constructed metaphor Building Officials, manufactures, city planners, owners, estimators, general contactors, specialty contractors, environmentalist, neighbors and community organization frost read the drawings and map their observations to their issues to form a slanted version of the reality. Their mappings are based on the warrants which are their licensed to perform. Each warrant will support a different mapping (inference) and result in its own metaphor. In effect each will see a kind of reality of the proposed in the perspective of their peculiar warrant, where license is permission from authority to do something. It is assumed if one gets permission it has met the conditions, operations, ideal and goals of the proposed metaphor. Mapping is critical at this read to assure that the architect’s rendering of the program is faithful to the cognitive, lawful, physical and legal realities. It s like a map which gets tested by scientist, navigators , pilots and engineers before they build a craft to use the map, or set out on a journey using the map. Before the contracts start committing men and material the metaphor must map and be the metaphor meeting all expectations.                                                                                                         Before building, the suppliers, contractors and specialist make “shop drawings” to map the metaphor and present the graphic evidence that they can fill their claim to build for compensation. The architect’s team now gathers reviews and coordinates al of these warrants to assure their mappings do not interfere, nullify but additively contribute to the reifying of the source to the target and build the final product, on time, on budget and within the allowed schedule. After opening the public users have the opportunity to map any and all the information that is superficially available form the shell, to its nuts and bolts. Many enjoy reading the project while it is being constructed to read the work and conceptualize the final form the bits and pieces they observe, mapping a single task to its final outcome and so forth. So the mapping of construction by onlookers, contactors is all part of the mapping process. Like a landscape artist [a] who gathers for the chaos of the nature into select5ed items to organize into the canvas so that the viewers will find what he saw and reconstruct so the architect and the user map their reality into a metaphor. In this way the conception of the map is the metaphor and what is made by the cartographer is a "graphic" to simplify the chaos to find the commonality. Sifting through the program the architect seeks the “commonality” between the reality and experience to make the metaphor. Mapping is only possible when we know the “commonplace”, the commonality, the characteristic common to both, the terms that both the source and the target have in common that the mapping takes place. As the architect structures his program, design and specifications he simultaneously structures the metaphor of his work of architecture. Architecture consists of program specifics where the conditions, operations, goals and ideals are from heretofore unrelated and distant contexts but are themselves metaphors “mapped across conceptual domains”. As the architectural program the mappings are asymmetric and partial. The only regular pattern is their irregularity, and, like a person can be read and understood, once one is familiar with the personality and character, vocabulary and references, and of course the context and situation of the work the work can also be read and understood.                                                                                                                         [2] In cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphor, or cognitive metaphor, refers to the understanding of one idea, or conceptual domain, in terms of another, for example, understanding quantity in terms of directionality (e.g. "prices are rising"). A conceptual domain can be any coherent organization of human experience. The regularity with which different languages employ the same metaphors, which often appear to be perceptually based, has led to the hypothesis that the mapping between conceptual domains corresponds to neural mappings in the brain.                                                                                                                     [2] Each mapping (where mapping is the systematic set of correspondences that exist between constituent elements of the source and the target domain. Many elements of target concepts come from source domains and are not preexisting. To know a conceptual metaphor is to know the set of mappings that applies to a given source-target pairing. Schemas are the realms in which the mappings takes place much the same as the inferences in arguments have warrants and link evidence to claims so do these schemas, architects carry-over their experiences with materials, physics, art, culture, building codes, structures, plasticity, etc. to form metaphor. Identifying conditions, operations, ideals and goals are combined to form plans, sections and elevations which are then translated in to contract documents. Later the contractors map this metaphor based on their schemes of cost, schedule and quality control into schedules and control documents. It is not until equipment, laborers and materials are brought to the side that the metaphor starts to form. Once formed the only evidence for the user (reader) are the thousands of cues from every angle, outside and inside to enable use and understanding. The latter half of each of these phrases invokes certain assumptions about concrete experience and requires the reader or listener to apply them to the preceding abstract concepts of love or organizing in order to understand the sentence in which the conceptual metaphor is used. Operationally, the work’s entrance is the first clue about the sequence of experiences of the metaphor taking us to the anticipated lobby, then reception followed by sequences of increasingly private (non-communal) and remote areas until reaching the terminal destination. The very size, context and location is couple with theme of parks, gated communities, skyscraper’s roof tops and cladding becoming a metaphor.

                          The very outer edges of a metaphor portend of its most hidden content. Once we understand the metaphor and the mapping from the context to the form the mapping continues from entrance to the foyer and mapping from the context and cladding to every detail. We carry-over and map the metaphor as we delve deeper into its content and inner context always mapping the first to the current metaphor. In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the school of linguistics that understands language creation, learning, and usage as best explained by reference to human cognition in general. It is characterized by adherence to three central positions. First, it denies that there is an autonomous linguistic faculty in the mind; second, it understands grammar in terms of conceptualization; and third, it claims that knowledge of language arises out of language use. Therefore the metaphor of architecture is inherent not in the media of the building’s presence, parts or bits and pieces but in the mind of the reader and that the articulation of the metaphor as thinking and third that our use of the metaphor increases our know ledge of the metaphor and reading metaphors comes out of practice. The more we view paintings, ballets, symphonies, poetry, and architecture the better we become at their understanding and its metaphor further dwells in the reader while the building and its parts exist with out being understood. Extrapolating: the writer of the speech is as the architect and the speaker is as the reader of the metaphor where the metaphor can only be experienced to be understood. Walk though an unlit city at night and feel the quite of the building’s voices because the readers have no visual information and with access to the closed buildings the metaphor is a potential with being a reality. Yet the potential for cognition does exist and is real but is not understood apart from its experience [2] Humans interact with their environments based on their physical dimensions, capabilities and limits.                                                              

                    The field of anthropometrics (human measurement) has unanswered questions, but it's still true that human physical characteristics are fairly predictable and objectively measurable. Buildings scaled to human physical capabilities have steps, doorways, railings, work surfaces, seating, shelves, fixtures, walking distances, and other features that fit well to the average person. [2] Humans also interact with their environments based on their sensory capabilities. The fields of human perception systems, like perceptual psychology and cognitive psychology, are not exact sciences, because human information processing is not a purely physical act, and because perception is affected by cultural factors, personal preferences, experiences, and expectations, so human scale in architecture can also describe buildings with sightlines, acoustic properties, task lighting, ambient lighting, and spatial grammar that fit well with human senses. However, one important caveat is that human perceptions are always going to be less predictable and less measurable than physical dimensions. [2] Basically the scale of habitable metaphors is the intrinsic relation between the human figure and his surroundings as measured, proportioned and sensed. It is dramatically represented by Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, representation of the human figure encircled by both a circumference encapsulating its feet to its outstretched fingertips where the whole is then encased in a circle and a square. This scale is read in elevations, sections, plans, and whole and based realized in the limited and bound architectural space. These spaces and their variations of scale are where the reader perceives the architectural metaphors of compression, smallness, grandeur, pomposity, equipoise, balance, rest, dynamics, direction, static ness, etc. In his Glass House,

                    Phillip Johnson extended that space to the surrounding nature, making the walls the grass and surrounding trees, St. Peter’s interiors is a Piranesi space. (The Prisons (Carceri d'invenzione or 'Imaginary Prisons'), is a series of 16 prints produced in first and second states that show enormous subterranean vaults with stairs and mighty machines. [2] Piranesi vision takes on a Kafkaesque, Escher-like distortion, seemingly erecting fantastic labyrinthian structures, epic in volume, but empty of purpose. They are cappricci -whimsical aggregates of monumental architecture and ruin). Many of my pen and ink drawings were inspired by the Piranesi metaphor. In St. Peters the spaces are so real that they imply the potential for all mankind to occupy. The scale of the patterns on the floor are proportional to the height and widths enclosing the space they overwhelm the human figure as does the Baldachino whose height soars but is well below the dome covering the building.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The metaphor is instinctively perceived, mapped and sorted by mnemonic schemas as is New York’s Radio city Music Hall designed by my former employer Edward Durrell Stone and the entrance to the Louver by IM Pei. The surrounds of offices and shops by Michael Angelo feature window and door propositionally designed to man’s scale and perfectly mitigate the universal scale of the 1.4.11 Piazza did San Marco (St. Marks Plaza). Recalling the plazas of Italy Stone designed and I developed the State University of New York in Albany which featured metered arches, columns and pilasters on buildings to mitigate the various scales of both the large and small plazas. I remember my interview for the job where Bob Smith, his office manager proudly entertained Mr. Stone and his board with an array of my portfolio, covering all four walls of his executive conference room. The project gave me the opportunity to plan, design and details many plazas, monumental and convenience stairs as well as the way they would be enclosed and encased to demark the plazas, plinths, terraces and porticos of the galleries and circulation areas. Like Radio City this project was a grand public works metaphor recalling the Parthenon, Rome, Venice and the many tiny urban villages I had visited including Lucca, Sienna, Florence, etc.

                       [2] Mappings are not arbitrary, but grounded in the body and in every day experience and knowledge. Mapping and making metaphors are synonymous. The person and not the work make the metaphor. Without the body and the experience of either the author or the reader nothing is being made. The thing does not have but the persons have the experiences. As language, craft, and skills are learned by exercise, repetition and every day application so are mappings. Mappings are not subject to individual judgment or preference: but as a result of making seeking and finding the commonality by practice. Architects learn to associate, create and produce by years of education and practice while users have a longer history approaching and mapping for use and recognition. Yet new metaphors are difficult to assimilate without daily use and familiarity. Often the owners of new building will provide its regular occupants with orientation, preliminary field trips and guided tours. Many buildings restrict users’ access by receptionist, locked doors and restricted areas. It is not hard to experience a built metaphor as it is an ordinary fixture on the landscape of our visual vocabulary. It has predictable, albeit peculiar and indigenous characteristics the generic nature of the cues are anticipated. [2] A conceptual system contains thousands of conventional metaphorical mappings which form a highly structured subsystem of the conceptual system. Over the year’s society, cultures, families and individuals experience and store a plethora of mapping routines which are part of our mapping vocabulary. As a potential user when encountering a new building type such as a hi-tech manufacturing center we call upon our highly structured subsystem to find conceptual systems which will work to navigate this particular event. Another example is as a westerner encountering a Saudi Arab home which divides the family from the public areas of the house as private. In the high tech building doors will not open and corridors divert visitors away form sensitive and secret areas. In the Arab home the visitor is kept in area meant only for non-family members and where the females may not be seen. There is a common conventional metaphorical mapping which uses a highly structured subsystem of the conceptual system. There is a similarity and an ability to accept and the constraints. The metaphor or the work of architecture includes each and every nut and bolt, plane and volumes, space and fascia, vent and blower, beam and slab, each with there mappings parallel to operational sequences, flows representations, openings and enclosures so that they operate in tandem and compliment one another. The conventions come from the experiences of doors that open, elevators that work, stairs that are strong, floors that bear our weight, buildings that don’t topple, and basic experiences that prove verticality, horizontality, diagonals, weights of gravity, etc. [2] There are two types of mappings: conceptual mappings and image mappings; both obey the Invariance Principle. “A. Image metaphors are not exact “look-alikes”; many sensory mechanisms are at work, which can be characterized by Langacker’s focal adjustment (selection, perspective, and abstraction); B. images and Image-schemas are continuous; an image can be abstracted/schematized to various degrees; and C. image metaphors and conceptual metaphors are continuous; conceptual metaphorical mapping preserves image-schematic structure (Lakoff 1990) and image metaphors often involve conceptual aspects of the source image. (“All metaphors are invariant with respect to their cognitive topology, that is, each metaphorical mapping preserves image-schema structure:” Likewise when we look at the geometrical formal parts of an architectural metaphor we note those common elements where fitting, coupling and joints occur), again this simultaneity of ideas and image operating in tandem where we see and know an idea simultaneously; where the convention of the architectural space and the metaphor of the conception converge. Image mappings in architecture finds schemes from a repertoire of superficial conventions except in a Japanese or Arab house where we are asked to sit on the floor or eat without knives and forks or find no room with identifiable modality of uses, or a palace with only show rooms where living is behind concealed walls.

                   A hotel’s grand ballroom is both a room in a palace, a place for royalty, we must be one of them, yet a congregation of guests in black ties and gowns are contemporary and family celebrating a wedding. Incongruities merge in continuous and seamless recollections. [2] The invariance principle offers the hypothesis that metaphor only maps components of meaning from the source language that remain coherent in the target context. The components of meaning that remain coherent in the target context retain their "basic structure" in some sense, so this is a form of invariance. Architecturally, users encounter a habitable metaphor with their experience engrafted in a particular mapping inherent in their catalog of mappings. This mapping has its own language , vocabulary say of the way doors, windows floors, stairs and rooms names work and the user brings this vocabulary into, the target metaphor, say a new office building. Of course there will be all sorts of incongruities, similarities and differences. However this principle points out that the office building vocabulary will retain its basic structure. This means that while the vocabulary the user brings to the target from the source will be unchanged still keeping the images of doors, windows, etc as they were in the residential the office will be unchanged and unaffected. For example when an architect designs a bank from his source in the size, décor and detail of medieval great hall the target of banking with all its vocabulary of teller windows, manager’s carols, customer’s areas, vaults, etc will not change into medieval ways of serving, storing and managing the business. When I designed a precinct police station for Bedford Stuyvesant I brought the community, park and community services onto the street and public pedestrian sidewalks while housing the police offices, muster and patrol functions to the back and under the building. While the building metaphor is now a community service police station mapping components of meaning from the source language of user and community friendly, human scale, public access and service which remained in the target police station. The vocabulary of all the police functions remained coherent, perceived and understood and did not vary. The problem is particularly interesting when the metaphor of a shopping mall with commercial retail shops brings its language to a target context of a hotel with service support. The front and back of the hotel, the rooms and maintenance and the transience of guest will remain coherent, overlaid with malls covered, circulation and service area. The separated spaces will face the ambulatory and be separately accessible to visitors. Such a combination you can see art work in airport terminals being open shops and passenger circulation to a common metaphor. The airport is still an airport but an airport with a mall. The Munich subway and underground shopping center are another such examples. Underground subway language, structures, ventilation, circulation is sustained while being influenced but not overriding the source.

                  [1] “The prototype case of a sign relationship is a surface characteristic or property that is regarded as a sign of some deeper, underlying essence. [2] Our system of conventional metaphor is “alive” in the same sense that our system of grammatical and phonological (distribution and patterning of speech sounds in a language and of the tacit rules governing pronunciation.) rules is alive; namely it is constantly in use, automatically, and below the level of consciousness and Our metaphor system is central to our understanding of experience and to the way we act on that understanding. [2] It seems that onomatopeics are metaphors and can be onomatopoeic (grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing, suggesting its source object, such as "click", "bunk", "clang", "buzz", "bang", or animal noises such as "oink", "moo", or "meow") ? In this case an assemblage instead of a sound. As a non-linguistic it has impact beyond words and is still a metaphor. Then a metaphor is much more than the sum of its parts and is beyond any of its constituent constructions, parts and systems, its very existence a metaphor. [3] Consider the way people related to each other through symbols, language, intonation, art and music. How do ordinary experience stands in some dynamic relationship with a second dimension, which provides focus, interruption, significance, or grounds for the first. [4] “A surrogate is "a replacement that is used as a means for transmitting benefits from a context in which its’ user may not be a part”. Architecture’s metaphors bridge from the program, designs and contactors a shelter and trusted habitat. The user enters and occupies the habitat with him having formulated but not articulated any its characteristics. Yet it works. “It makes sense, therefore, to speak of two sides to a surrogate, the user side and the context side (from which the user is absent or unable to function). “

                 Each of us uses others to achieve a benefit for ourselves. “We have that ability”. “None of us is just a person, a lived body, or just an organism. We are all three and more. We are singulars who own and express ourselves in and through them. In my early twenties I diagramed a being as “”appetite”, “desire” and “mind”. I defined each and described there interrelationships and support of one another. Metaphor is one and all of these and our first experiences of sharing life with in to what are outside of us. [4] As with our mother, language and other primary things we too ascribe like relations with objects and even buildings assigning them the value from which we may benefit and which may support. [4] We cannot separate these three from each other so that it follows that we may find it impossible to separate us from the external metaphors. Inferences that are not yet warranted can be real even before we have the evidence. “Metaphors are accepted at face value and architecture is accepted at face value”. It is surely desirable to make a good use of linguistic surrogates” “ A common language contains many usable surrogates with different ranges, all kept within the limited confines that an established convention prescribes” It is amazing how that different people can understand one another and how we can read meaning and conduct transaction with non-human extents, hence architecture. Architecture is such a “third party” to our experience yet understandable and in any context. Accustomed to surrogates architecture is made by assuming these connections are real and have benefit. Until they are built and used we trust that they will benefit the end user. Assembling the ambulatory we assume the occupancy, frequency and destinations. We each are surrogates to one another yet fitted into one message. When this passage had been used as read as had been other passages, corridors and links. Like a linguistic the building stands, like a great, stone dagger, emphatic against the sky. The stair, the exit, the space calls, gives emphasis and is strongly expressive. Despite their styles, periods, specific operations, conditions, operations and goals; despite their building types, country, national language, weather , climate, culture, etc. doors, openings, windows, stairs, elevators, floors, walls, roofs, ramps, landscaping, cladding, decoration, furniture, curtains, etc are all immediately understood and mapped from past to present , from other to present context and form individual to community of uses. A door in a private house is a door in a public concert hall. In fact its differences are naturally assimilated and unconsciously enjoyed.

                 [1] Sign architectural metaphors infer the unknown from the known where constructs are unknowable abstractions such as intelligence, economic health and happiness. The public presumes buildings are the incarnation of the maker’s wealth, intelligence and power. Height, finishes, volume and spaces portray signs of these abstractions. The building is a kind of multidimensional graphical story. Readers can infer the nature of their own personality as well as the author’s personality as well the nature of a regime, company or family; as well as their norms and policies. Building with flat roof in a neighborhood with all pitched, adding steeples and retrofits to rooftops, and ornate cladding are some examples. [1] Like Renaissance religious artwork metaphoric buildings reify authority and expertise presuming a sign of accuracy, trustworthiness regarding the particular matters about which the expertise testifies as banking, manufacturing, environment, medical, etc. While it is unlikely that the building signs get tested, bankruptcy, criminal actions, scandalous behavior can change users and readers perceptions and consequently buildings can loose their metaphoric value and be removed and replaced by new and fresh metaphors


1. 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 *

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

2 *The contemporary theory of metaphor by George Lakoff

3. Emphatics by Paul Weiss

4. Surrogates by Paul Weiss; published by Indiana University Press Footnotes: a. Art is the intentional and skillful act and/or product applying a technique and differs from natural but pleasing behaviors and useful or decorative products in their intent and application of a developed technique and skill with that technique. Art is not limited to fields, persons or institutions as science, government, security, architecture, engineering, administration, construction, design, decorating, sports, etc. On the other hand in each there are both natural and artistic where metaphors (conceptual and/technical) make the difference, art is something perfected and well done in that field. For example, the difference between an artistic copy and the original is the art of originality and authorship in that it documents a creative process lacking in the copy.


b. TOC: Metaphor 2009 Monographs


Deriving the Multidiscipline axioms from Metaphor and Thought Metaphor and Cognition

The science supporting the stasis to architecture being an art :

Language of metaphors applied to multidiscipline architecture

Metaphor’s interdisciplinary Axioms

Metaphoric Axioms for Micro disciplinary Architecture

Complex Structure: art and architecture stasis

Metaphor axioms of art, architecture and aesthetics

Aesthetic principles of metaphor, art and architecture

The Six Principles of Art & Architecture’s Technical and Conceptual Metaphors

Framing the art verses architecture argument

Metaphoric Evidence

Managing the benefits and risks of architectural artificial intelligence

The Link Between AI and Architecture

15 Negotiate with Metaphoric Communication Tools

16. Project management’s Metaphoric Axioms

17. The six principles of interior designs technical and conceptual metaphors

18. The six principles of designs technical and conceptual metaphors

19.”Metaphors and Architecture." Published by MIT Oct, 2009.

20. Metaphor cause and effect c.




The first lectures "Architecture as the Making of Metaphors" was organized and conducted near the Art and Architecture building at the Museum of Fine Arts Yale University 11/02/67 until 12/04/67. The guest speakers were: Paul Weiss, William J. Gordon, Christopher Tunnard, Vincent Scully, Turan Onat, Kent Bloomer, Peter Millard, Robert Venturi, Charles Moore, Forrest Wilson, and John Cage.

During the series of colloquia at Yale on art, Irving Kriesberg had spoken about the characteristics of painting as a metaphor. It seemed at once that this observation was applicable to architecture, to design of occupiable forms. An appeal to Paul Weiss drew from him the suggestion that we turn to English language and literature in order to develop a comprehensive, specific, and therefore usable definition of metaphor. But it soon became evident that the term was being defined through examples without explaining the phenomenon of the metaphor; for our purposes it would be essential to have evidence of the practical utility of the idea embodies in the metaphor as well as obvious physical examples.

Researched Publications: Refereed and Peer-reviewed Journals: "monographs":                                          

Barie Fez-Barringten; Associate professor Global University                       1. "Architecture the making of metaphors" © Main Currents in Modern Thought/Center for Integrative Education; Sep.-Oct. 1971, Vol. 28 No.1, New Rochelle, New York.                                                                                       2."Schools and metaphors" Main Currents in Modern Thought/Center for Integrative Education Sep.-Oct. 1971, Vol. 28 No.1, New Rochelle, New York.                                                                                                       3."User's metametaphoric phenomena of architecture and Music": “METU” (Middle East Technical University: Ankara, Turkey): May 1995" Journal of the Faculty of Architecture                                                                     4."Metametaphors and Mondrian: Neo-plasticism and its' influences in architecture" 1993 Available on since 2008                           5. "The Metametaphor© of architectural education", North Cypress, Turkish University. December, 1997

6."Mosques and metaphors" Unpublished,1993

7."The basis of the metaphor of Arabia" Unpublished, 1994

8."The conditions of Arabia in metaphor" Unpublished, 1994

9. "The metametaphor theorem" Architectural Scientific Journal, Vol. No. 8; 1994 Beirut Arab University.

10. "Arabia’s metaphoric images" Unpublished, 1995

11."The context of Arabia in metaphor" Unpublished, 1995

12. "A partial metaphoric vocabulary of Arabia" “Architecture: University of Technology in Datutop; February 1995 Finland

13."The Aesthetics of the Arab architectural metaphor" “International Journal for Housing Science and its applications” Coral Gables, Florida.1993

14."Multi-dimensional metaphoric thinking" Open House, September 1997: Vol. 22; No. 3, United Kingdom: Newcastle uponTyne

15."Teaching the techniques of making architectural metaphors in the twenty-first century.” Journal of King Abdul Aziz University Engg...Sciences; Jeddah: Code: BAR/223/0615:OCT.2.1421 H. 12TH EDITION; VOL. I and “Transactions” of Cardiff University, UK. April 2010

16. “Word Gram #9” Permafrost: Vol.31 Summer 2009 University of Alaska Fairbanks; ISSN: 0740-7890; page 197

17. "Metaphors and Architecture."© October, MIT

18. “Metaphor as an inference from sign”;© University of Syracuse Journal of Enterprise Architecture; November 2009: and nomnated architect of the year in speical issue of Journal of Enterprise Architecture.Explainging the unique relationship between enterprise and classic building architecture.

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

20. “Urban Passion”: October 2010; Reconstruction & “Creation”; June 2010; by C. Fez-Barringten;;

21. “An architectural history of metaphors”: ©AI & Society: (Journal of human-centered and machine intelligence) Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Communication: Pub: Springer; London; AI & Society located in University of Brighton, UK; AI & Society. ISSN (Print) 1435-5655 - ISSN (Online) 0951-5666 : Published by Springer-Verlag;; 6 May 2010 Paper copy: AIS Vol. 26.1. Feb. 2011; Online ISSN 1435-5655; Print ISSN 0951-5666; DOI 10.1007/s00146-010-0280-8; : Volume 26, Issue 1 (2011), Page 103.

22. “Does Architecture Create Metaphors?; G.Malek; Cambridge; August 8,2009 Pgs 3-12 (4/24/2010)

23. “Imagery or Imagination”:the role of metaphor in architecture:Ami Ran (based on Architecture:the making of metaphors); :and Illustration:”A Metaphor of Passion”:Architecture oif Israel 82.AI;August2010pgs.83-87.

24. “The soverign built metaphor” © monograph converted to Power Point for presentation to Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 2011 25.“Architecture:the making of metaphors”©The Book; Cambridge Scholars Publishing Published: Feb 2012 12 Back Chapman Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 2XX United Kingdom Edited by Edward Richard Hart, 0/2 249 Bearsden Road Glasgow G13 1DH UK Lecture:













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