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Metaphor axioms of art, architecture and aesthetics
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
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Last edited: Friday, November 23, 2012
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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In argumentation [A] it is noted that in an induction there is no new information added. In both methods the metaphor is at their root and as such the basis of aesthetics and as such essential to understand the stasis to what makes all arts the making of metaphors and how that Wilson’s statement is true for everything as most are metaphorical as well. The matter then is one of standards, social rightness and the ability any one or another work has an explanation of its form.
Architecture as the making of metaphors not only is the stasis to why architecture is art but also explains the formation of architectural aesthetic vocabulary.
The below is predominantly developed from a study of “Metaphors and Thought” by Andrew Ortony, [1] and, is in addition to over forty years of my work about “architecture as the making of metaphors. It is my hope that this monograph will introduce to aesthetics an architectural vocabulary to appreciate works of architecture.

Metaphor axioms of art, architecture and aesthetics

queries welcome:


                      Axioms (shown in Roman numerals) are self-evident principles that I have derived out of Ortony’s Metaphor and Thought[1.0] and accept as true without proof as the basis for future arguments; a postulates or inferences including their warrants (which I have footnoted as 1._._ throughout).These axioms are in themselves clarification, enlightenment, and illumination removing ambiguity where the derivative reference (Ortony) has many applications. Hopefully, these can be starting points from which other statements can be logically derived. Unlike theorems, axioms cannot be derived by principles of deduction as I wrote: "The metametaphor theorem" published by Architectural Scientific Journal, Vol. No. 8; 1994 Beirut Arab University. The below axioms define properties for the domain of a specific theory which evolved out of the stasis defending architecture as an art and in that sense, a” postulate" and "assumption" . Thusly, I presume to axiomatize a system of knowledge to show that these claims can be derived from a small, well-understood set of sentences (the axioms). “Universality, Global uniqueness, Sameness, Identity, and Identity abuse” are just some of the axioms of web architecture. Francis Hsu of Rutgers writes that “Software Architecture Axioms is a worthy goal. First, let's be clear that software axioms are not necessarily mathematical in nature”. Furthermore, in his book titled The Book of Architecture Axioms Gavin Terrill wrote: “Don't put your resume ahead of the requirements Simplify essential complexity; diminish accidental complexity; You're negotiating more often than you think ;It's never too early to think about performance and resiliency testing; Fight repetition; Don't Control, but Observe and Architect as Janitor”.

              In “Axiomatic design in the customizing home building industry published by Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management; 2002;vol 9; issue 4;page 318-324 Kurt Psilander wrote that “the developer would find a tool very useful that systematically and reliably analyses customer taste in terms of functional requirements (FRs). Such a tool increases the reliability of the procedure the entrepreneur applies to chisel out a concrete project description based on a vision of the tastes of a specific group of customers. It also ensures that future agents do not distort the developer's specified FRs when design parameters are selected for the realization of the project. Axiomatic design is one method to support such a procedure. This tool was developed for the manufacturing industry but is applied here in the housing sector. Some hypothetical examples are presented”. Aside from building-architect’s axioms directing that “form follows function”; follow manufacturers requirements and local codes and ordinances, AIA standards for professional practice architectural axioms are few and far between. 

I. Introduction:

                         Arnold Berlant’s website states that: “Sense perception lies at the etymological (history of words) core of aesthetics (Gr. aesthesis, perception by the senses), and is central to aesthetic theory, aesthetic experience, and their applications. Berlant finds in the aesthetic a source, a sign, and a standard of human value”. It is this human value which is one leg of the art metaphor and the very basis for my view that metaphor is the foundation for both art, architecture and aesthetics, and why I have spent the past forty years researching the stasis to architecture being an art (because it too makes metaphors) it can also be shown that this same stasis is the commonplace to the works of aesthetic thought and investigation. . This coincidence confirms the intrinsic nature of my study of epistemology of architecture is a study in aesthetics.

               The metaphoric evidence I believe will prove both useful to the creation, teaching and valuation of works of art [F] as well as their architectural off-spring. In fact metaphor is the driving parte for most creative art and orchestral works. Some contemporary aesthetic theory differs with how best to define the term “art”, What should we judge when we judge art?, What should art be like?, The value of art, things of value which define humanity itself; contrasted to Raymond Williams who argues that there is no unique aesthetic object but a continuum of cultural forms from ordinary speech to experiences that are signaled as art [F] by a frame, institution or special event. Conversations about aesthetics, metaphors and architecture reassess current and traditional issues by providing a scientific method for the way metaphors work in architecture. The commonality of all arts [F] is that they express thought in terms of their peculiar craft and thus they (all arts) are technically metaphoric, metaphors because they transfer, carry-over and express one thing (some idea) in terms of another(the craft). {Parenthetically, there is no doubt that craft itself derives from ideas and concepts and within each is a sub-metaphor}.

                The sculptor who finds the figure as he malls the block is where the craft and the material inform the artist. The splashes of paint to canvas by Jackson Pollack even prevented any slow and deliberate cognition until the process was complete. Mies van der Rohe belittles his forms by simply ascribing his end result to being faithful to the materials and their properties. While all art [F] is not expressed as a linguistic metaphor all arts are metaphoric. Likewise, if architecture is the making of metaphors what are the linguistic, psychological, and cognition science’s commonalities between architecture and metaphors? This monograph is linguistic analogy transferring from linguistic, psychological and cognitive fields to art and architecture what has been scientifically studied. This is the “stasis” (the state of equilibrium {equipoise} or inactivity caused by opposing equal forces) of the controversy of architecture being an art; that if architecture behaves, acts, looks and works like art than it too must be an art. [F] Why? Because it, too, makes metaphors, and those metaphors are varied in depth, kind, scope and context. It is the stasis because it is where art and architecture meet. The metaphor is the conceptual focal point.

            While many claim that the architect is the “techne” artist being a crafts man point has been conceptual and so useful as to bridge, carry-over and provide both artist and architect a common authority over the making of the built environment. As stasis, Architecture as the making of metaphors enables the center of the dispute to be argued with common purpose. So this is a stasis in definition which concedes conjecture. While there may be other concepts justifying the relationship between art and architecture the metaphor is the stasis, common ground and commonality apparent to me. It not only is apparent but I have found has wide and broad applications to a variety of arts and architectural definitions, practices and contexts. There may have been a time when the architect was the “master builder” and the lead craftsman but that is only true by his skill in drawing, design and specifying and not his skill as master carpenter. Before solidifying our hypothesis about architecture and metaphors we both compared architecture to the art of sculpture reflecting Christina’s work as a sculptress and my work as an architect and designer. It soon became apparent that while we could easily agree that buildings were “sculptural”,” colorful”,” lyrical”, “graceful”, ”rhythmic” etc. these were illusive and neither a field, base, or a true commonality to all the arts, including sculpture and architecture; so what was it? The commonality of all arts is that they technically express something in terms of their peculiar craft and thus they are metaphoric.

               However technically metaphoric, how does architecture conceptually make metaphors and is there an influence between the technical and the conceptual architectural metaphor? “If the walls could only speak”; they do! Are you listening? When kingdoms created dynasty’s iconic buildings the architect and artisans took their ques from the reigning monarch. In our modern democratic pluralistic society the free reign of ideas and opinions as to contexts and their meanings are diverse. Not only is my childhood quest relevant but the essence of the responsibility of today’s architect who not only reasons the technical but individually reasons the conceptual. It is to the architect that society turns to be informed about the shape and form of the context in which life will be played. With this charge the need to know that we know and do by reasoning what science verifies by the scientific method to know that we know about the buildings, parks, and places we set into the environment. It is a public and private charge included in the contract for professional services but unspoken as professional life’s experience; to prove the relevant, meaningful and beneficial metaphors that edify encourage and equip society as well as provide for its’ health, safety and welfare. So it is critical to realize, control and accept as commonplace that the role of the architect is to do much more than build but build masterfully.

              In 1967, during the series of colloquia [2] at Yale on art, Irving Kriesberg [3] had spoken about the characteristics of painting (art) as a metaphor. It seemed at once that this observation was applicable to architecture (since scholars have long proclaimed that architecture was an art) and to the 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. However, since then, in 1977, a group of leading philosophers, psychologist, linguists, and educators gathered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to participate in a multi disciplinary conference on metaphor and thought which was attended by nearly a thousand people. Our symposium at Yale was had a smaller attended and our proceedings were transcribed and later in 1971 partially published in Main Currents in Modern Thought.[4] 1979 research has been completed and documents in Andrew Ortony’s compendium book on metaphor and thought to advance this metaphoric comparison. With all the controversy around "knowing"; how do we know we know and the inaccuracy of language and dubious nature of scientific conclusions I have written over twenty monographs about architecture as the making of metaphors?

                This is the first with the sciences of linguistic, psychology and cognition definitions of the metaphor and there fore a set of facts by which to base our comparison. It is my hope that these commonalities will provide substantive reasons to allow the metaphor linking architecture to metaphors as my theorem: "architecture is the making of metaphors”. “If art is the making of metaphors and architecture is an art then it too must make metaphors. But until now aside form this logic we have not shown the informal logic, argument and evidence of this proposition. The below is an excerpt form my monograph of paradigms and axioms about architecture based on Metaphor and Thought. In each of the below cases I have fist paraphrased the scientist's conclusions and based on a notable commonality to architecture described an architectural process or product in the terms of each finding. Out these comparisons there came topoi [5] (A traditional theme or motif; a literary convention.) which we can use to describe architecture. All below sub-paragraphs (i.e., etc) reference to Metaphor and Thought by A.Ortony. [1] Roman numeral titles are the section headings for each axiom followed by 1.1.1 subparagraphs for each axioms sub-axiom [x] are the keys to the footnotes and [A} the references.

II. Generative metaphor [6] and the “parte”.

1.1 Generative metaphor:

            A perspective on problem-setting in social policy: by Donald A. Schon [6] In his paintbrush as pump discussion as a metaphor Schon claims that by attaching to the paintbrush the way of a pump the researchers were able to better improve the design of the paintbrush as an instrument which pumps paint on the surface. By describing painting in an unfamiliar way they were able to make dominant what was already somewhat known. They then saw the brush as a pump. Before then they seemed to be different things now they were the same. To arrive at this conclusion they had to observe the working of the brush and make the observation and then apply it to the mechanism. The paintbrush was now seen as a pump and the act of painting, pumping. Schon refers to this a generative metaphor. [6] The generative metaphor is the name for a process of symptoms of a particular kind of seeing-as, the “meta-pherein” or “carrying –over” of frames or perspectives from one domain of experience to another. This process he calls generative which many years earlier WJ Gordon called the Metaphoric Way of Knowing [7] and Paul Weiss [8] called associations In this sense both in interior design and architecture after assimilating the program the very first step in the design process is to develop a “parte’ (An ex parte presentation is a communication directed to the merits or outcome of a proceeding …it’s the resolution of the argument consisting of claims, inferences, evidence and warrants to the inference) .

                It is a “top-down” [6] approach later followed by designs which meet the parte. The parte may follow the design process and be presented to sell the product. Commercial retail shops maximize both visual and physical access to their merchandise by the use of glass and positioning entrances convenient to potential shoppers’ paths of travel. Attached or detached the idea of the shop as a flickering flame and welcoming transformed shops prior image as formidable container into which one ventured for surprise and possible revelation. With this is in mind designers of malls extend this accessibility to nodes on highways to be close to their prime markets. Commercial retail is now perceived as an attractive recreational experience and as such provides shoppers with a secondary perception of the metaphor; shoppers now “carry-over” from play, rest and relaxation to fulfilling their needs and necessities. “Michael Angelo” mall in Qatar( In 2008, I was design manager of a city in Doha) was designed in a Renaissance style with a huge domed entry, shop facades and themes of the period, paintings, sculptures and decoration reminding patrons that they are as royalty and in the lap of luxury.

           This was also adopted by the Loews theatre chain when all of their theatres were decorated with red velvet wallpaper, huge mahogany Tudor chairs; chandeliers, plush Aubusson rugs, beatiful crystal and porcelain lamps and accessories. During the depression and recovery patrons would come and spend the day in the theater (“Palace” was not just the name of one of the down town theaters but its description) to not only see the movie, but buy refreshments and lounge in the many beatiful parlors and lounges. In the middle of the twentieth century William Levitt revolutionized and created the home building business as an industry applying mass production of the home ideal containing what the Park Ave penthouses had; built in closets, complete kitchens with dishwashers, and an even better, an attached garage. Not only that but every single house was identical so that all were part of a harmonious single minded community. It was called Levittown, the miracle suburb on Long Island that opened the way for the middle class to move out of New York City.

             They came to escape crowds and own their own home, cook with their own appliances and mow their own lawns. They had GI loans in hand, babies on the way, and a ‘50s brand of pioneering spirit. Similar stories can be told of the way the modern office building was catapulted by the invention of the fly–wheel elevator by Otis and the conversion form iron to steel for building structures to increase real estate profits in as many as there are layers by building office space in layers up to the sky as zoning, elevator and engineering would allow. In Europe the Grand Central Railroad Terminal were built and then a clone brought to New York City as part of the Park Ave Manhattan Development project including ten underground floors bringing freight, shopping, auto parking, etc underground and into the center of the city providing a hub extending from the thirties up to the nineties under Park Ave. This grand scheme was only partially carried out but forever transformed Park Ave from a boulevard of swanky three story mansions to a sophisticated high rent district of high-rise residences. The first Grand Central Terminal was built in 1871 by shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. A "secret" sub-basement known as M42 lies under the Terminal, containing the AC to DC converters used to supply DC traction current to the Terminal designed to replicate the galleried hall of a 13th-century Florentine palace.

               In each of the above instances a metaphor was created by attaching another concept to the primary function. Once the projects were thought of in that added way the metaphor was born and under it the many metaphorical spin-offs and sub metaphors. Not to mention the metaphor of the Empire State and the overall iconic image of Manhattan and it’s New York State. Even today when we say New York we mean downtown Manhattan. The city is” being pumped” by its metaphors. In all of these instances the aesthetics of the times were both challenged and revolutionaries by the metaphor of the commonplace of progress, modernity, urbanization, cosmopolitanism, the greater good, and prosperity. All of these structures were faced in the aesthetics of European classic architecture especially the roof-tops and the building’s bases and lobbies. Just look at the rooftops of Manhattan and Chicago and you will find Belvederes of Florence, roof top of Fontainebleau, and English castles.

III. A dead metaphor

            [9] 1.2 The conduit metaphor: A case of frame conflict in our language about language: by Michael J. Reddy. [9] 1.2.1 A dead metaphor is one which really does not contain any fresh metaphor insofar as it does not really “get thoughts across”; “language seems rather to help one person to construct out of his own stock of mental stuff something like a replica, or copy, of someone’s else’s thoughts”. The landscape is replete with an infinite number of inane replicas which render readers dull, passive and disinterested (How many times will you read the same book?) Mass housing, commercial office buildings and highways are the main offenders leaving the owner designed and built residence, office, factory, fire station, pump house, as unique and delightful relief’s in an otherwise homogenized context. The reader stops reading because it is the same as before. Not reading the copy yet seeing the copy and the collective of copies focuses rather on the collective as the metaphor as the overall project which also may be “dead”. In its time, Levittown’s uniqueness and the sub-structures sameness were its’ metaphor. It was alive and today still lives as new residents remodel upgrade and exhume their “dead” to become a “living” metaphor. Disregarding this, the architects of public housing created dead metaphors and blamed the lack of pride of ownership for their failure. In revitalization teams of revivalist have discovered there is more than turf and proprietorship.

                 Peculiarization, personalization and authentication are required for a metaphor to live. In this is the art of making metaphors for the architect of public works. His metaphor must “read” the cultural, social and rightness of the metaphor’s proposed context. In modern architecture no one was better able than Phillip Johnson in his Seagram Building and Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Johnson's early influence as a practicing architect was his use of glass; his masterpiece was the Glass House (1949) he designed as his own residence in New Canaan, Connecticut, a profoundly influential work. The concept of a Glass House set in a landscape with views as its real “walls” had been developed by many authors in the German Glasarchitektur drawings of the 1920s, and already sketched in initial form by Johnson's mentor Mies. The building is an essay in minimal structure, geometry, proportion, and the effects of transparency and reflection. Johnson was the head of my Yale thesis jury and my primary design associate on a project in Puerto Rico and when I returned to Manhattan he invited me to work with him on the design of Roosevelt Island. Defining the operation of metaphor Reddy says that 1.2.2 “a conduit is a minor framework which overlooks words as containers and allows ideas and feelings to flow, unfettered and completely disembodied, into a kind of ambient space between human heads.

            There are also individual pipes which allow mental content to escape into, or enter from, this ambient space. Thoughts and feelings are reified into an external 1.2.3 “idea space” and where thoughts and feelings are reified in this external space, so that they exist independent of any need for living human beings to think or feel them”. This most closely resembles works of architecture and what goes inside and outside works. “Somewhere we are peripherally aware that words do no really have insides (“it is quit foreign to common sense to think of words as having “insides” ……………major version of the metaphoric which thoughts and emotions are always contained in something”) In his examples one can see a variety of putting ideas onto paper meaning that the ideas are out of the head of the creator and onto paper to be read and then transferred. Architecturally this is best reflected in the example pointed out by Vincent Scully describing the geometry of urban blocks and the location of building masses that reflect one anther is geometry to sharply define the volume and mass of the block and experience of city streets. The streets are defined by the 90 degree corners, planes and tightness of the cubes and rectangles to the city plan. In this way the metaphor of the overall and each building design no mater where it’s location on the block; no matter when or in what sequence the metaphoric constraint appropriateness, zoning formulas, all lead the ideas to flow form one to another architect.

           Furthermore, the reader is able to “appreciate” the street, its geometry, limits and linearity as an idea on the conduit from the architect, through the metaphor and to the reader. Likewise a visit to the Tyrol will immediately locate the conduit of design style as practically all chalets, houses and villas have identical roofs, walls, balconies, windows, flower boxes and doors. The conduit dominates and connectors builders, designers, contractors, suppliers and buyers. That conduit is the dominant theme that unites all the villages. Interior decoration in the Bronx and Brooklyn in the middle of the twentieth century was dominated by wall to wall drapes, cornices, valences, upholstered furniture covered with slip covers, ketch and bric-a-brac figures and “charkas” known affectionately as “Bronx Renaissance”. The conduit that connected these outcomes were are system of city-wide gift stores, national gift market, central fabric suppliers and workshops and the heroic drapery hangers (of which I was one) completed their work. Conduit is the parte and design system from which choices in structure, finishes, colors, textures, etc. follow. A really good design and good designer can produce a set of documents and its detail follows easily as a development of the logic found in the whole. IV Aesthetic affects of architecture [10] 1.3 Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture about Glasarchitektur Ulrich Conrad' [10] writes: “It's a strange thought, that culture is a product of man-made, unnatural things, that instead of culture shaping the architecture, it is the architecture (the environment) that shapes the culture. I would guess it makes sense after some x amount of years....maybe its in cycles: At first, culture creates the architecture, x years pass by, and then the architecture-environment modifies the culture.

             Then new modified culture creates new architecture, etc. (2): But then if we only build steel, glass structures, wouldn't we suffer from the glass metropolis in the future, when another form or material is introduced to replace steel, concrete and glass?” [10] The affect of the metaphor on other metaphors with all its links and consequences is manifest in the conduit which leads to one after the other and a continuation of the first. V. Novel images and image metaphors [11] 1.4 The contemporary theory of metaphor by George Lakoff [11] About novel images and image metaphors he quotes 1.4.1 Andre Breton’s “My wife……whose waist is an hourglass” he says …..”By mapping the structure of one domain onto the structure of another”, “This 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 metal 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”. Lakoff concludes that “ 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 he notes that they are under the Invariance Principle and concludes that the way to arrive at generic-level schemes for some knowledge structure is to extract its image its image-schematic structure. This is called the Generic is Specific Structure. He adds that it 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, vernacular, and building system you can presume the other parts 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. VI. Plausible accounts rather than scientific results [11] 1.4.2 According to Lakoff 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. The relevance of studying architecture as the making of metaphors is to provide practitioners, owners, and mainly those that shape the built environment that they have a somber and serious responsibility to fill our world with meaning and significance, That what they do matters as in this first of Layoff’s results (Please note the application of Layoff’s vocabulary, definitions and descriptions related to linguistics metaphorically applied to architecture): Summary of results: VII. Abstract concepts and perform abstract reasoning. [11] 1.4.3 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 is 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”. (Design and planning).

VIII. Subject matter, from the most mundane to the most abstruse scientific theories, can only be comprehended via metaphor. [11] 1.4.4 Much subject matter, from 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. IX. Metaphor is fundamentally conceptual, not linguistic [11] 1.4.5 Metaphor is fundamentally conceptual, not linguistic, in nature [11]. 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. Aesthetics must be familiar to be perceived; metaphors make the strange familiar. [7] X. Metaphorical language is a surface manifestation of conceptual metaphor. [11] 1.4.6 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, plain, material, 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 when speaking and the programming deign 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.

XI Through much of our conceptual system is metaphorical; a significant part of it is non-metaphorical. Metaphorical understanding is grounded in non-metaphorical understanding. [11] 1.4.7 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. From example in the last 20 years store front's tempered glass has been enhanced, thickened, strengthen and is now used in large quantizes 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". XII. 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. [11] 1.4.8 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 (of which Egypt was the first) 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 faced with a complex way of teams of service clerks communicating 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. Layoff’s observations emphasize the instinctive, impulsive and intuitive nature of the architect’s metaphor that takes place in its creation and use.

XIII Onomatopeics metaphors

                 1.4.9 Like the onomatopeics metaphors Lakoff’s mappings of conceptions [11] override the overt spoken and descriptive and rely much more on Mnemonics (something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula) .However, for Lakoff 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). 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 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. About Lakoff, 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. This idea, and a detailed examination of the underlying processes, was first extensively explored by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in their work 1.4.9 Metaphors We Live By. Other cognitive scientists study subjects similar to conceptual metaphor under the labels "analogy" and "conceptual blending."  

XIV Mapping is the systematic set of correspondences that exist between constituent elements of the source and the target domain. [11] 1.4.10 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) is a fixed set of ontological (relating to essence or the nature of being) correspondences between entities in source domain and entities in target domain. Examples: Love Is a Journey Life Is a Journey Social Organizations Are Plants Love Is War

XV Schema [11] There is a list of over 100 schemas in many categories about basic human behavior, reactions and actions. 1.4.11 These 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) [11] 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. Indeed, primary aesthetics information is received through the senses. (Arnold Berlant.)

XVI Humans interact with their environments based on their physical dimensions, capabilities and limits. [11] 1.4.11 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.

XVII Humans also interact with their environments based on their sensory capabilities. [11] Reiterated in the work of Arnold Berlant, 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.

XVIII. Basically the scale of habitable metaphors is the intrinsic relation between the human figure and his surroundings as measured, proportioned and sensed. [11] 1.4.11 It is dramatically represented by Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (see below illustration) 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 part is then encased in a square.  


Web Site: Metaphor axioms of art, architecture and aesthetics

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