Join Free! | Login    
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Arthur Jackson, iD. Wayne Dworsky, iBeth Trissel, iW. Craig Reed, iDonald Beaulieu, iCraig Hartpence, iMiranda Pope, i

  Home > Architecture > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Barie Fez-Barringten

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Success story
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· Stories
· Blog
· 81 Titles
· 7 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Mar, 2006

Barie Fez-Barringten, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
Thrillers & Chillers
by Billy Wells

No vampires! No werewolves! No boogeymen in these pages. For my readers who want stories with thrills, chills, and surprise endings, but not so horrific to keep them from..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Metaphor: cause and effect (c) copyright
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, November 23, 2012
Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
Barie Fez-Barringten

Metaphors, architecture and music
Relations between metaphors, creative thinking and 3D structures ©
The Six Principles of Art’s & Architecture’s Technical and Conceptual M
Architecture is an art because, as art, it too, makes metaphors
Linguistic, psychological, and cognitive sciences:architecture:metaphors
Metaphoric axioms for micro disciplinary architecture
Metaphor issues of architecture is art stasis
           >> View all
      View this Article

After researching the many conceptual and technical qualities of metaphor, it still remained to reason the process by which metaphors impact actual buildings, professional practice, design, perception, and actual use. Was there a cause and effect relationship between the making and the reading of metaphors, and, architectural metaphors? Because it was no accident that architecture is a metaphor, it was reasonable to seek its cause. Otherwise it would only be a correlation, [a] where architecture was a metaphor without any consequent cause and would then would be unreliable and inconsistent.
Actually, architecture is the result of both technical and conceptual metaphors. The challenge was to articulate metaphors into the design process so they achieve the goal of the product for the end user. Since cause is an inference that one factor somehow exerts influence on another; the inference not only asserts a predictable relationship between the factors but also accounts for it.
After introducing the general cause and effect of ideas and metaphors, I present specific cause and effect relationships between the technical architectural tools, such as programs, drawings, models, and contacts, as well as the conceptual metaphoric tools of analogies, ideas, and culture

Metaphor: cause and effect (c) copyright

Overview of metaphor:

              Shelter and its controlled creation contain sensual, graphic, and strategic information fulfilling shelter’s needs by real deed physical manifestation rather than ethereal words of hope and future expectations. The building and not its metaphor is direct while its metaphor is indirect being the sticks and stones of its manifestation. Yet while the metaphor may be explained with language, it would not accomplish the building’s shelter metaphor. The shelter prototype and its incarnation is itself indirect since its referent is obscured by contextual realities.

                 There is a difference [c] between the indirect uses of metaphor verses the direct use of language to explain the world. Both the literal and architectural metaphor causes an effect but in different ways. While they both must be read, the architectural metaphor must also be used while the literal metaphor is experienced when applied to life. Literal metaphors cause mental connections while architectural metaphors cause a shelter. The kind of habitat metaphor depends on the intention, artistry, and competence of the metaphor’s maker as to specifically what effect it will have. The quality, size and scope of the created metaphor are not proportionate to the effect but are factors in the material product. Also, metaphors may be large or small, loud or soft, simple or complex; intended or unintended but in any case metaphor has an affect. [c] “The distinctions and relationships between micro and macro metaphors and the way they can inform one another” is as the form of design may refer to its program, or a connector reflects the concept of articulation as a design concept. Where articulation is being joined together as a joint between two separable parts in the sense of "divide (vocal sounds) into distinct and significant parts" or where an architect parses the program and reifies words to graphic representations bringing together desperate and seeming unrelated parts to join into parts and sub parts to make a whole as when the two domains of the building and its context have analogies that relate to both as when the site and the building absorbs a high amount of pedestrian traffic.

                 Both are ambulatories and both guide and protect the pedestrian. Like a building metaphor’s common elements with an uncommon application, the common connects to the unfamiliar. The architect is able to find a way to bring them together and the user discovers their relevance. The neighborhoods walkways and the access to and through the building are analogous. Metaphors work by [d] “reference to analogies that are known to relate to the two domains”. A work of architecture has integrity if the whole and its parts share the same vocabulary of building systems, material, and design philosophy. In a building with dominant 90 degree, cube and squares we do not expect to find plastic, curved and circular elements (not that there aren’t many successful introductions of unlike geometries). On the other hand if we can reason these differences, we still would question this disparity to the expression of that incongruous relationship in the final work .For this reason we have design juries, inspections and rejects of design and during the course of construction, to stop a part or incongruity between the design and the construction and between a part and the whole. Buildings designed to be seen from the highway or visited for a fleeting moment are designed with one set of expectations while a home, terminal, office, etc may be more elaborate and scaled for scrutiny.

               A built metaphor with all of its metaphorical baggage calls to mind another meaning and corresponding set of truths. The metaphor is not part of the building but is made from those meanings. The meanings of one and the meanings of another may be similar so that the other comes to mind. Cause and effect claim does not guarantee fidelity and accuracy of created intentions designed to cause specific effects. There are no guarantees that if a designer does one thing to cause one effects that very same effect will happen. However, in architectural, fashion, product and interior design, designers count on the behavioral sciences to induce specific affects with such devices as compressed spaces, color to shrink or heighten sizes, scale of furniture, length of hemlines, textures, lighting volumes, etc. While the intention and the cause are designed, there may be unintended consequences, but effects, nevertheless the work is a metaphor! In the end it stands alone, sovereign and subject to work as icon, shelter, and context. A[e] “problem of the metaphor concerns the relations between the word and sentence meaning, on the one hand, and speaker’s meaning or utterance meaning, on the other, Whenever we talk about the metaphorical meaning of a word, expression, or sentence, we are talking about what a speaker might utter it to mean, in a way it that departs from what the word, expression or sentence actually means”. To some, Johnson’s glass house engages its rural environment. To others it is cold and forbidding. To some Manhattan’s skyscrapers represent power, strength and beauty. To others they are forbidding hostile and overbearing.

                  The complaint against Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fifth Avenue Guggenheim Museum was the inferior quality of the concrete pours resulting in uneven and mottled surfaces. The design and the expression are sometime incongruous and out of the control of the architect. To know the way metaphor causes architecture, we must find [e] “the principles which relate literal sentence meaning to metaphorical utterance were meaning” is comprehensive, complete and coordinated while the other is merely an incomplete scanty indication of a nonspecific. The presumption of both the literal and architecture metaphor is [e] how does one thing remind us of another? [e] The basic principle of an expression with its literal meaning and corresponding truth-conditions can, in various ways that are specific to the metaphor, call to mind another meaning and corresponding set of truths”. Unlike a legal brief, specification and engineering document a work of architecture with all its metaphors tolerates variety of interpretations, innuendo and diverse translations. Building style and decoration are often adaptations of a former and existing building emphasizing economic and financial status, quest for status, adaptations to local common ground of knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes.

                Choice of structural, building systems, building height and color are often in the vernacular of the building use (office, residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) and the zoned and neighboring fashion. Metaphors are intentional, designed and subject to the colloquial of their context as [f] tropes (turn, twist, conceptual guises, and figurations) where “human cognition is fundamentally shaped by various processes of figuration”. One can say one’s speech is affected; affected by peer pressure and the urge to communicate and adapt. Medieval German, French and Italian cities are replete with merchant-building’s roofs configured, elongated and attenuated to be higher than others. Germany’s Trier near the Rhine is a fine example. A habitable metaphor is not meant for the user to fully, continuously and forever recall all that went into its production. The fact that the roof silhouette was to emulate a Belvedere in Florence, windows from a palace in Sienna, and stucco from Tyrol is lost over time. Even, the design principles so astutely applied by the likes of Paul Rudolf, Richard Meier, or Marcel Breuer may be unnoticed in favor of other internal focuses. These many design considerations may be the metaphor that gave the project its gestalt that enabled the preparation of the documents that in turn were faithfully interpreted by skilled contactors and craftsman.

                     Yet, at each turn, it is the affect of metaphor and not necessarily its specifics that make a good design not a great work of architecture or a working metaphor. [g] “A metaphor involves a nonliteral use of language”. A non-literal use of language means that what is said is for affect and not for specificity. At each moment in its use the metaphor may mean different things, least of which may be any intended by its authors. Modern architecture wants to express the truth about the building’s systems, materials, open life styles, use of light and air to bring nature into the building’s environment, not to mention ridding building of the irrelevant and time worn cliches of building design decoration, and traditional principles of classical architecture as professed by the Beaux-Arts [D] movement. For equipoise “unity, symmetry and balance” were replaced by “asymmetrical tensional relationships” between, “dominant, subdominant and tertiary” forms and the results of science and engineering influence on architectural design, a new design metaphor was born. The Bauhaus found the metaphor in all the arts, the commonalties in making jewelry, furniture, architecture, interior design, decoration, lighting, industrial design, etc. [h] “Analogical transfer theory states that “instructive metaphors create an analogy between a to-be-learned- system (target domain) and a familiar system (metaphoric domain). Metaphorical teaching strategies often lead to better and more memorable learning than do explicit strategies which explains why urbanites have a “street smarts” that is missing from suburbanites. They actually learn from the metaphors that make up the context. Of course this is in addition to the social aspects of urbanity which is again influenced by the opportunities of urban metaphors: parks, play grounds, main streets, broadways, avenues, streets, sidewalks, plazas, downtown, markets, street vendors, etc. When visiting new cities in another country, one is immediately confronted with metaphors which create similarities as interactive and comparative as we seek to find similarities and differences with what we already known in our home context. Metaphors make the strange familiar as we find the factor common to both. While visiting, sketching and writing about over seventy European cities, I noted the character and ambience of each and the differences between one and another.

                 Each metaphor was of the past’s impact on the future with the unique design of crafts, building materials, and skills that were peculiar to their times but were not enjoyed in the present. In this context there are the natives who experience these metaphors all their lives and the visitor who is first learning the lesson of these metaphors. Both experience these in different ways. The native knows the place and comprehends both the old and the new knowledge domains whereas to the visitor, the very same metaphor may be interactive, creating the similarity under construction. The visitor (this is my word) may “well be acquiring one of the constitutive or residual metaphors of the place (this is my word) at the same time; same metaphor, different experiences. [i] “Radically new knowledge results from a change in modes of representation of knowledge, whereas a comparative metaphor occurs within the existing representations which serve to render the comparison sensible. The comparative level of metaphor might allow for extensions of already existing knowledge but would not provide a new form of understanding. Many architects can make metaphors to overcome cognitive limitations and resort to graphics rather than language to explain the metaphor. Metaphor as a design act serves as a graphic tool for overcoming cognitive limitations. As most artists language is beyond their speech favoring the peculiar craft of their art. Their practice and exercise develops new capacity and opportunity to teach and express thought outside of the linguistics but is nevertheless perhaps as valuable and worthy. The technical metaphor can complement, overwhelm or compensate for the weakness, existence or contradiction of the conceptual metaphor. Architects both compose the program and reify its contents from words to diagrams and from diagrams to two dimensional graphics and three dimensional models to reify and bring- out to (educate) the user’s mind to fulfill unspoken and hidden needs. Needs, many of which, may or may not have been programmed and intended. The metaphor is the final resolution until it is built and used. Then it is subject to further tests of time, audience, markets, trends, fashions, social politics, demographic shifts, economics, and cultural changes. Metaphors made with buildings, called architecture are not only valuable possessions, contextual features, and icons, but also they teach us how to communicate. [h] Metaphors have a way of extending our capacities for communications. “Speech is a fleeting, temporarily linear means of communicating, coupled with the fact that that, as human beings, we are limited in how much information we can maintain and process at any one time in active memory, means that as speakers we can always benefit from tools for efficiently bringing information into active memory, encoding it for communication, and recording it, as listeners, in some memorable fashion.”

                  Metaphor is the solution insofar as it encodes and captures the information transferring chunks of experience from well –known to less wellknown contexts. [h] The vividness thesis, which maintains that metaphors permit and impress a more memorable learning due to the greater imagery or concreteness or vividness of the “full-blooded experience” conjured up by the metaphorical vehicle [h] and the inexpressibility thesis, in which it is noted that certain aspects of natural experience are never encoded in language and that metaphors carry with them the extra meanings never encoded in language. One picture is worth a thousand words demonstrating how valuable the arts are as makers of who we are as a people, society and time. [h] “The mnemonic (intended to assist the memory) function of metaphor as expressed by [f] Ortony’s vividness thesis also points to the value of metaphor as a tool for producing durable learning from unenduiring speech. Specific: Program: [k] What is built is first thought and conceived separately from building as thinking and conceiving is separate from the outward expression. As metaphor is a process so architectural metaphor is a process and what we see is what the process issues; not the manifest metaphor. [k] Metaphorical language (building) is a surface manifestation of conceptual (program, design and contact documents) metaphor. The built metaphor is the residue, excrement, product and periphery of the deep and complex reality of the building’s creative process and extant reality. As we don’t know the inner workings of our car and yet are able to drive so we can use our building. What we design and what we read not the metaphor but a surface manifestation of the concept metaphor. A concept which we can only know as well as we is able to discern metaphorical language. The construction and the metaphor beneath are mapped by the building being the manifestation of the hidden conceptual metaphor.

                     To know the conceptual metaphor we must read the building. [k] The whole of the conceptual 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. [k] 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. A structured building is a structured subject offering access to relatively abstract and unstructured subject matter. 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 conventions consisting of conventional materials, building elements (doors, windows, stairs, etc). [k] Architecture as a surrogate is accepted at face value. As a surrogate (a work of architecture) 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. As Weiss [b] proclaims that 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. 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[b] against the sky. The stair, the exit, the space calls, gives emphasis and is strongly expressive. Elegant architectural metaphors are those in which the big idea and the smallest of details echo and reinforce one another. Contemporary architects wrapping their parte in green, myths and eclectic images” are no less guilty than was their predecessors of the Bauhaus exuding asymmetry, tension and dissonance as were the classics and renaissance insisting on unity, symmetry and balance.

               The architect’s parte and the user’s grasp of cliché parte were expected and easy “fill-in” proving the learned mappings, learned inference trail and familiarity with bridging. Climbing the stairs of a pyramid in Mexico City or a fire stair in a high rise is essentially the same except for the impact of its context and what the stair connects (create and base) and the object on which the stair ascends and descends. Little old ladies in the tiniest Italian village can tell in the minutest detail all about every building, street and area. They have learned and passed on the “knowledge” from their ancestors and are as trained as its creators but in a totally different way. Theirs is the act of perception and reader, who must recreate and challenge their memory and recollections. They do not have to work at design but at reliving and imagining the design process to find the details and the whole of the building and its social, political and chronological context. Structural engineers design from the top down so as to accumulate the additive loads to the consecutive lower members and ultimately the foundation which bears it all. Conceptual design and first impressions both begin with the general and go to the specific. Architecture combines and confirms the secular (of this time), “how things really are” with the gestalt of personal, social, community and private importance. If art is the making of metaphors and it has no real use, then how significant is architecture with both “reality” and fantasy (imagination combined and confirmed by its very existence). [l] Consider new concepts as being characterized in terms of old ones (plus logical conjunctives)” [B] As William J.J Gordon (Metaphorical Way of Knowing, Gordon, Cambridge Press) points out we make the strange familiar by talking about one thing in terms of another. [l] "On the other hand, if it were possible to observe and to acquire new “knowledge” without the benefit of these concepts (conceptual schemata (an underlying organizational pattern or structure; conceptual framework) which are the medium of thought. “Knowledge” would not itself be conceptual or be expressed in the medium of thought, and therefore it would not be cognitively structured, integrated with other knowledge, or even comprehended. Hence, it would be intellectually inaccessible”. In other words we would not know that we know. In the Greek literature knowing was synonymous with suffering and experience. This was the Greek ideal proved in Oedipus; “through suffering man learns”. We know that we know. Therefore, when we observe that architecture makes metaphors we mean that we know that we know that works exists, and we can read authors messages.

             We learn the work. [l] Pulling from three dimensional and two dimensional means and methods, from asymmetrical and symmetrical, and from spatial and volumetric design principles, the architect assembles metaphor metaphorically by associating and carrying-over these principles applying to the program at hand to lift and stretch the ideas into space and across the range of disassociated ideas and concepts making a new and very strange metaphor unlike anything ever created yet filled with thousands of familiar signs and elements that make it work . [l] About the difference between words (which are limited and specific to concepts there is a component of reason and choice which mediates between cognitive content and outward expression. I can choose what words I use, whereas I cannot in the same sense choose in terms of which I represent the world. So architects and readers deal with materials, structures, systems and leave the concepts to a variety of possible outcomes. [l] About a “top-down strategy” called “structured programming” in computer science allows for a point of entry into a the development of a new idea where you begin with an idea and after testing and developing that idea bringing everyday knowledge to bear on the development of theoretical ideas with some confidences that they are new either incoherent nor contradictory, and furthermore with some way of exploring what they entail. [l] Explaining this approach as a “skyhook-skyscraper" construction of science from the roof down to the yet un-constructed foundations” describes going from the general to the specific in and decreasing general to an increasing amount of detail and pragmatic evidence, referents, claims and resolutions. The physical evidence of the architectural metaphor endures through time, personal and public perceptions. After it is conceived, the metaphor affects the standards of its context. The making of the metaphor embodies the peculiar characteristics common to both its makers and the end users and as such causes the end metaphor. [l] “The difference between literal and metaphorical description lies primarily in such pragmatic consideration as (1) the stability, referential specificity, and general acceptance of terms: and (2) the perception, shared by those who use the terms, that the resulting description characterizes the world as it really is, rather than being a convenient way of talking about it, or a way of capturing superficial resemblances”.

                 [l] Pylyshyn asserts that: “metaphor induces a (partial) equivalence between two known phenomenons; a literal account describes the phenomenon in authentic terms in which it is seen. The architect's building will contain a plethora of resolutions between strange, unrelated and disparate clients whose perceived existence affects the reader and the end product. These metaphors will both cause the reader’s metaphor and the building’s design. Drawings: The metaphor is engrafted with knowledge about the state of contemporary technology, scientific advancement, social taste and community importance, including selecting materials, systems, etc. [k] Whether the drawings are made by hand or machine these lines, dimensions and letters are two dimensional graphic incarnations which limit and bound spaces (b) with the details of how the boundaries will be built and attached. The drawings are a two-dimensional rendition of what will be built in a multidimensional world. By metaphor, designers liken each wall, connecting to something in another domain, anticipating that readers will reconstruct the metaphor in shop drawings and ultimately on site. Models: The metaphor of a reduced scale version can be the result of construction the idea from drawings or the very medium for design formation. While it aptly shows the design, it is not in the scale of the human; and therefore the reader compares miniature figures to his or her own experience in like circumstances to experience the metaphor.

              Computer Aided Design (CAD) three-dimensional and animated renderings reenacting the experience still requires the reader to link his eyes to the views of the three dimensional views. Miniaturization tends to diminish the effects of scale and drama of forms, spatial sequencing and relationships of one to another space, color and context. Yet the model metaphor is itself a metaphor bridging the drawings to the final building and the user to the designer. It makes the strange familiar by shooing the literary and graphic ideas in multi directional forms. Users/perception of metaphor: [m] People ascertain the deep metaphor that underlies one or more surface metaphors by filling in terms of an implicit analogy. A unique building metaphor may be reckoned by its apparent similarity to another from a previous experience. As a grain silo is to a methane gas plant and to oil tank storage, what may be implicit are the shapes, appurtenances, and locations. [m] We see the architectural metaphor, we read its extent, we synapse, analogize and metaphorize absorbing its information, contextualizing and as much as possible resurrecting its reasons for creation. The architectural metaphor only speaks through its apparent shape, form, volume, space, material, etc that the concepts which underlie each are known to the user as they would to a painting, poem, or concerto. [m] Architecture is often more suggestive and trusting rather than being pedantic. It leads and directs circulation, user recognition while abstracting shapes and forms heretofore unknown but ergonometric. Furthermore as observation, analysis and use fill in the gaps users inference the locations of concealed rooms, passages and supports. The user infers from a typology of the type a warehouse of expectations and similes to this metaphor from others. In this way they are the perceived and the representations they perceive which represents when explored and inert what we call beautiful , pleasurable and wonderful.

                 Upon entering a traditional church in any culture we anticipate finding a common vocabulary of vestibule, baptistery, pews, chancel, and choir area including transepts, chapels, statuary, altar, apse, sacristy, ambulatory and side altars. [m] So while architecture is the making of metaphors and architects are making metaphors, their works, though metaphoric, are not themselves the metaphors but the shadow of the metaphor which exists elsewhere in the minds of both the creator and the user, and, it is there that the creator and the user may have a commonality (not commonplace) . Ideally, if I design my own house, decorate my own room there will likely be that commonality. If an architect is selected from a particular neighborhood his metaphor will likely be sympathetic (common) to the culture of the area, or, the outcome of a concerted effort on the part of the design team to assemble the relevant and commonplace information. [m] Architects make a spatial representation in which local subspaces can be mapped into points of higher-order hyper-spaces and vice versa is possible because they have a common set of dimensions. Architects organize broad categories of operations and their subsets seeing that they are different from each others so as to warrant a separate group and that their subsets fit because they have common operational, functional conditions, operations, models and object is. Hotel front and back-of-the-house operations and a hospital’s surgical from outpatient, and both from administration and offices are obvious sets and subsets.


Observations and assumptions (pre-programming) A single work of architecture may have a single or multiple metaphors which may be the result of a single or multiple cause metaphor. Some of the metaphor’s attributes described below may be used by architects and readers. Metaphor makers may employ parte, and yet the reader may not read that parte in the end product. Mapping, employing the commonplace, should result in the user reading the commonplace, but metaphor in the creative process does not always translate to be read in the end product as these are metaphors of process. But there is a difference between a product whose makers employed dubbing and copying depending on the way systems and materials are integrated rather than outward forms and styles. Metaphors incorporating abstract shapes and forms rather than eclectic classic should result in metaphors containing those attributes. [k] Though much of our conceptual system is metaphorical; a significant part of it is non-metaphorical. Metaphorical understanding is grounded in non-metaphorical understanding. 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 . Parte: [n]Generative metaphor is “seeing” -as, the “meta-pherein” or “carrying –over” of frames or perspectives from one domain of experience to another. You build one thing in terms of another where the other is the model, and, what you build is the application. It is the “ideal” of the proposed design.

              While architects may initially state an ideal, it most likely evolves and even radically changes by the time the design process yields an architectural configuration (building manifestation). Once achieved the “parte” (concept/gestalt) manifests and can be articulated. Personalization: [o] Peculiarization, personalization and authentication are required for a metaphor to live. This too is the way the user reads the metaphor as part of the using process. The user and the work empathize. In this is the art [D] of making metaphors for the architect of public works. His metaphor must “read” the cultural, social and rightness of the metaphor’s proposed context. Knowing the desired effect, by incorporating the metaphor of the cultural, the designer causes the work to be the metaphor of the users. He makes the strange work familiar by designing the work in terms of the users. The process and the product are a metaphoric designed metaphorically. Mapping: Metaphor maps the structure of one domain onto the structure of another. [k] Sifting through the program, the architect seeks the “commonality” between the reality and experience to make the metaphor. Mapping is only possible when he knows the “commonplace”, the commonality, the characteristic common to both, the terms that both the source and the target have in common in which the mapping takes place. The architect’s design agenda and the user’s requirements find both their commonalities and differences. 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 [k] “mapped across conceptual domains”. Architects translate their architectural conception from philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc. into two dimensional scaled drawings and then to real life full scale, multi dimensions conventions consisting of conventional materials, building elements (doors, windows, stairs, etc). [k] 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. As the cartographer seeks lines, symbols and shadings to articulate the world reality, so the reader’s choices of heretofore unrelated and seemingly unrelated are found to have an essence common to both the reality and the rendition so that the metaphor can be repeated becoming the readers new vocabulary. As the reader can describe the route, he can identify the building. [k]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. The same idea of mapping between source and target is used to describe analogical reasoning and inferences. For example, reception area to receive people, doors and door frames, columns as vertical supports, parking spaces for cars, Iron and stained glass design patterns, and typical design details appropriated for a given building system. [k] Aside from articulating a program architects carry-over their experiences with materials, physics, art, culture, building codes, structures, plasticity, etc. to form a 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. An informed user can read the building’s history from its inception to opening day. [k] 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. [k]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 society’s 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. Copying: Matching, copying and emulating the design of other buildings or adapting the design of one to the current project is adapting to the more familiar. In fact, this is a matter of replicating metaphors. In the Tyrol, offices are often housed in larger chalets with all the roof, hardware, doors and flower boxes of the more typical residence. The new building is made to appear like the others. Often the signature of the original dominates the new.

               There is no attempt to hide the emulation. Users will easily transfer their experience from the familiar old to the emulated new. Appreciation is when a metaphor as an abbreviated simile (a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”) designed to appreciate similarities and analogies. [p] In psychology “appreciation” (Herbert (1898)) was a general term for those mental process whereby an attached experience is brought into relation with an already acquired and familiar conceptual system (Encoding, mapping, categorizing, inference, assimilation and accommodation, attribution, etc). [p] Miller sites Webster’s International Dictionary (2nd edition): “a metaphor may be regard as a compressed simile, the comparison implied in the former being explicit in the latter. In the making the comparison explicit is the work of the designer and reader”. [p] “In principle, three steps, recognition, reconstruction, and interpretation, must be taken in understating metaphors, although the simplest instance the processing may occur so rapidly that all three blend into a single mental act.” When we face a new metaphor (building) a new context with its own vocabulary is presented, one which the creator must find and connect and the other which the reader must read and transfer from previous experience. Buildings in one group often have more known versions than others. In one city exposed wide flanged steel structures may be preferred to the reinforced concrete in another. In Dubai and Qatar high rise and multi story and iconic are synonymous and know to represent commerce buildings. Iconic is the trigger for all the rest. High and rise used together recalls how the elevator and quest for grated real estate earnings encouraged the higher number of floors per single zoned building lot. [q] Prototype theory is a mode of graded categorization in cognitive science, where some members of a category are more central than others. For example, when asked to give an example of the concept furniture, chair is more frequently cited than, say, stool.” I asked a New Yorker to give an example of an office building and they answered the Empire State Building it would be because of its height, and reputation, In fact the office building and not the “church “building shape has come to be a metaphor of the city. New York is an office building city.

              I can see only a flash glimpse and I will know it is Manhattan. Visiting Savannah I immidiately recognised Forsyth Park as the work of Frederich Law Olmsted. [q] Their metaphor “cigarettes are time bombs” cigarettes are assigned to a category of time bombs, what the time bomb being a prototypical example of the set of things which can abruptly cause serious damage at some point in the future.” [q] “Metaphors are generally used to describe something new by reference to something familiar (Black, 1962b), not just in conversation, but in such diverse areas as science and psychotherapy. Metaphors are not just nice, they are necessary. They are necessary for casting abstract concepts in terms of the apprehendable, as we do, for example, when we metaphorically extend spatial concepts and spatial terms to the realms of temporal concepts and temporal terms”.

               Most designers of shelters are predisposed to the geometry of the rectangle and its variations (with exceptions of amorphic and ergonometric) and present the completed design as its offspring and/or compounded variations. The built variation certainly refers to its base and vice versa. It is not just nice but necessary; otherwise it could not be built. Most building types and classical orders from Egypt, Greece and Rome to the skewed iconic towers of the emirates hearken back to their essence as a kind of rectangle. Without have an apriori parte a design may evolve until a final design is achieved which is no more representative as whole from any other building of its type. Escarlata Partablela of Toledo brought me, a picnic lunch and her guitar to a small mountain across from her city. She urged me to sketch while she serenaded. After a while I noticed her wry smile as she scanned my sketches, and when I noticed how familiar they looked, she confessed that she had sat me down on the very spot El Greco sat to sketch “View Of Toledo”. Arab “tentness” and “home-sweet-home” map basics from the “home-sweet-home” to the Arabness to make all the bits and pieces be understood. Architects choose building elements from catalogs and in the most metaphoric circumstances design elements from scratch. Metaphor buildings may or may not be composed of element metaphors and buildings, which are analogies, may of or may not have elements designed metaphorically. However, it is less likely that an analogues design will contain metaphorical elements. Architects and clients begin their conversation by finding both the abstract and commonplace to condition, model, and purpose and describe the operations. Selecting existing commonplace and choosing special design is determined by which can be analogous and which do not exist. [r] Much of architectural making of metaphors is a matter of mapping, diagramming and combining to conclude the validity of combining and matching unlike materials, shapes, & systems. In this way any one of the metaphors and the whole system of bridging and carrying over is metaphoric. [r] Metaphor is reasoning using abstract characters whereas reason by analogy is a straight forward extension of its use in commonplace reasoning.

                [s] “In processing analogy, people implicitly focus on certain kinds of commonalities and ignore others”. [r] An analogy is a kind of highly selective similarity where we focus on certain commonalities and ignore others. The commonality is no that they are both built out of bricks but that they both take in resources to operate and to generate their products. On the creative architect’s side: “The central idea is that an analogy is a mapping of knowledge from one domain (the base) into another (the target) such that a system of relations that holds among the base objects also holds among the target objects”. On the user’s side in interpreting an analogy, people seek to put objects of the base in one-to-one correspondence with the objects of the targets as to obtain the maximum structural match [r] “The corresponding objects in the base and target need not resemble each other; rather object correspondences are determined by the like roles in the matching relational structures.” [r] “Thus, an analogy is a way of aligning and focusing on rational commonalities independently of the objects in which those relationships are embedded.” [r] “Central to the mapping process is the principle of “systematicity: people prefer to map systems of predicates favored by higher-order relations with inferential import (the Arab tent), rather that to map isolated predicates. The systematicity principle reflects a tacit preference for coherence and inferential power in interpreting analogy”. [r] “No extraneous associations: only commonalities strengthen an analogy. Further relations and associations between the base and target- for example, thematic consecutions- do not contribute to the analogy.” More often than not designers are influenced by the existence of similar types than to re-invent themselves from scratch. Architects design by translating concepts into two dimensional graphics that which ultimately imply a multidimensional future reality. She tests the horizontal and vertical space finding accommodation and commonality of adjacency, connectivity and inclusiveness. It is the commonplace and not the abstract necessity that communicates more readily. The architect is challenged to imbue in the design the more subtle analogy than the obvious.

                  [s] Interaction view” of metaphor where metaphors work by applying to the principle (literal) subject of the metaphor a system of “associated implications” characteristic of the metaphorical secondary subject. These implications are typically provided by the received “commonplaces” (ordinary; undistinguished or uninteresting; without individuality: a commonplace person.); about the secondary subject: ‘The success of the metaphor rests on its success in conveying to the listener (Reader) some quieter defined respects of similarity or analogy between the principle and secondary subject.” [s] Metaphors simply impart their commonplace not necessity to their similarity or analogous. Dubbing [t] “Dubbing” is to invest with any name, character, dignity, title; or style; and “epistemic access” is relating to, or involving knowledge as cognitive.” When dubbing is abandoned the link between language and the world disappears”. Adding a sound track to a film is the best use of the word where the picture remains, but the experience of the whole is changed. Now we have both picture and sound. Today’s works of architecture are minimal and only by dubbing the program can functionally superficial non-minimal features be added. However, the architect’s artistry [D] (way of design, proportioning, arranging spaces, selections of materials, buildings systems, etc) can be dubbed to enhance an otherwise “plain vanilla” solution. Whether the dubbing is done in the programming stage or after the fact results in some designs being either inherently or superficially metaphoric, superficially, when the metaphors are achieved through decoration and application rather than the very structure of the building. Conclusion: So while we can say with certainty that architecture is a metaphor and that therefore architects are the makers of metaphors. We can also say that while metaphors in the making of architecture certainly causes metaphors in the work of architecture, we cannot with certainty map which metaphor will result in which final metaphoric outcome. Nonetheless we are certain there will be a metaphoric outcome as a result but without a certain outcome. However, there are exceptions as with copies and dubs and so many of the details of structure, form and concepts. Metaphors will manifest in the built metaphor which the reader may or may not perceive or choose any one or another dominant or subdominant metaphors of any particular work.

Citations listed alphabetically:

Boyd, Richard;

[s] Fraser, Bruce;

[g] Gentner, Dedre

[s] Gibbs, Jr., Raymond W.

[j] Glucksberg, Sam;

[r] Jeziorski, Michael

[r] Kuhn, Thomas S.

[t] Keysar, Boaz;

[q] Lakoff, George;

[k] Miller, George A.;

[p] Nigro, Georgia;

[m] Ortony, Andrew

[f] Oshlag, Rebecca S.

[i] Petrie, Hugh G;

[i] Pylyshyn, Zeon W.;

[l] Reddy, Michael

[o] Rumelhart, David E.;

[d] Sadock, Jerrold M.;

[c] Schon, Donald A.;

[n] Searle, John R.;

[e] Sternberg, Robert J.;

[m] Thomas G. Sticht;

[h] Tourangeau, Roger;

[m] Weiss, Paul;

[b] Zarefsky, David [a]

Footnotes listed chronologically:

[a] “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

[b] “Surrogates," published by Indiana University Press. By Paul Weiss

[c] Figurative speech and linguistics by Jerrold M. Sadock

[d] Some problems with the emotion of literal meanings by David E. Rumelhart

[e] Metaphor by John R. Searle

f] Metaphor and Thought by Andrew Ortony

[g] Interpretation of novel metaphors by Bruce Fraser

[h] Educational uses of metaphor by Thomas G. Sticht

[i] Metaphor and learning by Hugh G Petrie and Rebecca S. Oshlag

[j] Process and products in making sense of tropes by Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr.

[k] The contemporary theory of metaphor by George Lakoff

[l] Metaphorical imprecision and the “top down” research strategy by Zeon W.

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

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

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

[p] Images and models, similes and metaphors by George A. Miller

[q] How metaphors work by Sam Glucksberg and Boaz Keysar

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

[s] Metaphor and theory change: What is” metaphor” a metaphor for? By Richard Boyd

[t] Metaphor in science by Thomas S. Kuhn 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)


A. Metaphor and Thought: Second Edition Edited by Andrew Ortony[f]: 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

B Background: The first lectures "Architecture as the Making of Metaphors" [3] were 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 [b], William J.J. Gordon, Christopher Tunnard, Vincent Scully, Turan Onat, Kent Bloomer, Peter Millard, Robert Venturi, Charles Moore, Forrest Wilson, and John Cage. Three major questions confront both the student and the practitioner of architecture: First, what is architecture? Second, why is architecture an art? Third, what are the architecture's organizing principles? Many answers to these questions have been provided by scholars and professionals, but seldom with enough rigors to satisfy close scrutiny. Nor have the questions been attached to proven and workable forms, so that the art could be developed beyond the limits of personal feelings. During the series of colloquia at Yale on art, Irving Kriesberg

[C] 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. Out of this concern grew the proposal for a lecture series wherein professional and scholars would bring forward the uses of metaphor C. Irving Kriesberg; the American painter was born in 1919. He studied painting in America at The Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago from 1938-1941 and later in Mexico from 1942-1946. Kriesberg began his interest in art as a cartoonist in high school in Chicago. In the 1930's he spent many days sketching the work of the great masters Titian & Rembrandt when visiting The Art Institute of Chicago. In the late 1930's he came under the influence of modern art via School of Paris exhibit.

D. 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.

F. 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; Contract to publish: 2011 Cambridge Scholars Publishing 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: ="




Web Site: Metaphor: cause and effect

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Popular Architecture Articles
  1. Can you see without a metaphor?
  2. Hexagon Cities

The Road Goes Ever On - A Christian Journey through The Lord of the Ri by Ann Frailey

What makes Tolkien's heroes so great and his villains so terrible? How do we rise to hero status or fall into corruption?..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

No Child of Mine by Gwen Madoc

When a child in desperate need is denied by her father who can she turn to for help in surviving?..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.