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Barie Fez-Barringten

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Complex structure of argument and issues
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Posted: Saturday, August 04, 2012

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Eighty two issues and claims, where each claim has been derived from a corresponding issue, built the case for the resolution of the argument about the controversy that architecture is an art [I] resolved that architecture was the making of metaphors because it (architecture) made metaphors, personified by metaphor stasis’ two technical and conceptual dimensions. Both are valid separately and even more usual in combination. But how do these two work, and, how does this knowledge benefit design, use and evaluation of built works? The claims and issues were derived by examining Andrew Ortony’s Metaphor and Thought and works by Paul Weiss, William J. Gordon and the Yale lecture series on the same subject. While many arguments can be tailored to a specific audience others can be generic and shared. When they are shared the issues and claims supporting the resolution are usually broad in range, maximized and amplified. Amplified by number and range to hedge against the heterogeneity of the audience. However what was valid for Ortony will suffice for this effort, and a complete, comprehensive and coordinated approach will further understanding.



                          There are two parts to this proposal; one: what is the problem? And the second is what the solution? I am generally against claiming anything in terms of problems since the term problem implies choice whereas most of my own work is derivations and reasoned creations resulting, not from problem solving, but making metaphors by aggregating systems, materials and information. To reason this monograph, picture a square with the resolution in the upper right hand corner and controversy in the upper left.

                                 Now picture all the issues below the controversy and the claims under the resolution. Now picture the inferences as the connector between the issues and the claims with certain of the inferences having warrants attached. Where there is one declarative statement as the main ultimate claim called the Resolution-Answer. The ideal interrogative question is the “starting-point” expressing the controversy out of which comes an issue out of which comes claims. Issues sustain the resolution and are implied questions inherent in the controversy and vital to the resolution. The Problem: The major question at the heart of the controversy is architecture an art[I] ? And, if so, why? And the resolution stasis answer is because it is the making of metaphors. This implies that both art and architecture have a commonality in that they both make metaphors. The problem can be stated in the wider context of all man-created services and products, and includes the aesthetic, social, cultural and psychological relations we have with our man-made environment. This is complex argument, where a major question which begets, has (issues) many minor questions. As I’ve said these issues are questions inherent in a controversy and vital to the success of the resolution.

                               These issues are also implicit in the resolution and were located in different ways: • Located by examining the text of the resolution(“architecture is the making of metaphors”) • Located by examining the underlying context (“art” [I]) • Derived from a pattern of claims and responses (“architecture is an art because of its value, technique, icons, identity, and authenticity”. The resolution could have been either a stasis in conjecture is whether the act occurred or a stasis in quality concerned with whether the act concerns conjecture and definition. However architecture as the making of metaphor is stasis in definition concerned what the act should be called and implicitly concedes conjecture and is supported by the claims resulting from each of the issues. This conjecture is each and inference from the issue to the claim.

                                This is why the argument is complex and must be taken as whole as reasoned below. Since the resolution/Stasis: Architecture is art because it too makes metaphors states the answer to why is architecture an art [I]? Without the reasoned issues/claims becoming the definition of why architecture is an art educators, practitioners, clients, and users cannot with a high degree of certainty equate, judge, and negotiate works of architecture. They are concerned about the fiduciary role between owners and contactors, educators, practitioners, clients, and users who could dilute the certainty and value of the architect’s contract documents with the ambiguity and uncertainty of art. Indeed, this current line of reasoning is inductive and has a degree of uncertainty as opposed to the deductive and presumably certain, much of law, statutes, licensing, specifications, and contract documents presume certainty.

                           Actually in the administration, arbitration and trial of the construction contract they too have their share of uncertainty. This reasoning should solve the problem and on balance improve the standards of the field as promulgated by arts and architectural societies, licensing board and regulating authorities. As metaphors, topoi and conventions can affect practice at the very least by sharpening already existing practice of making metaphors where contemporary metaphors are things of value, technical, iconic, identifiable and antithetic. Manufacturers of such basics as steel, bricks and windows as well as master builders are less concerned with generic labels for themselves and their work, class or academic identifications. It is the referees of culture that face the commonalities and differences of our society to reckon our social mores and folklores. This reckoning is what produces the curriculums for schools, colleges, and universities as well as research, development and government licensing and regulating agencies. As architects are schooled, apprenticed, tested and licensed the field is faced each year with continuing education, new technologies and contemporary social ideals.

The best of our culture produces authentic and original prototypes, leaving cloning and emulation to others. It is why art [I] is a significant contributor to society. Because art and architecture is such a huge subject encompassing many different facets of our culture, science and technologies it is worthwhile to have an objective resolution and supporting issues to value works. Richard Meier says that architecture is the greatest of all the arts. A wider definition often includes the design of the total built environment, from the macro level of how a building integrates with its surrounding context like town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture to the micro level of architectural or construction details and, sometimes, furniture and hardware. Wider still, architecture is the activity of designing any kind of system. Even though our culture considers architecture to be a visual experience, the other senses play a role in how we experience both natural and built environments. 

                     Attitudes towards the senses depend on culture. The design process and the sensory experience of a space are distinctly separate views, each with its own language and assumptions. Architectural works are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and, sometimes, as Work of art. Historical civilizations are often known primarily through their architectural achievements. There is no lack of questions, investigations and reasoning about architecture likening it to building supervision to the master minding of the great pyramids and contemporary iconic supersaturates. Likening architecture to one of the other sciences, arts, philosophies, etc is trying to see it through one or the other prisms, perspectives to reconcile it into our cultural vocabulary. Depending on the architecture being viewed architecture many sometimes seem very scientific as science fiction, or artistic when viewing the architecture of Rome or the renaissance. The proposition that architecture is the making of metaphors is quest for a generic one size-fits-all theorem to stasis the question with the topoi of architecture for all times, building types and systems. It should even work when the term is not applied to making buildings or landscape but also computers, programs, communications systems and military strategy.

                   The Answer: Architecture is an art [I], because like art [I], it too, makes metaphors which are a stasis because “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 apparent commonality. It not only is apparent but with 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 for most that is only true by his skill in drawing, design and specifying and not his skill as a master carpenter. The metaphor stasis is metaphor’s two technical and conceptual dimensions. Both are valid separately and even more acceptable in combination. But how do they two operate and how does knowing this benefit design, use and evaluation of built works? The technical is that all art, including architecture, expresses one thing in terms of another by its inherent and distinct craft. On the one hand there is the architect who acts as the master builder (head carpenter); and on the other the fountain of conceptual metaphors which expresses ideas as built conceptual metaphors other wise known as works of architecture. Techne is actually a system of practical knowledge as a craft or art informed by knowledge of forms.

                             For example, the craft of managing a firm of architects where even virtue is a kind of technê of management and design practice, one that is based on an understanding of the profession, business and market. In this case the technai are such activities as drafting, specifying, managing, negotiating, programming, planning, supervising, and inspection. By association with these technai, we can include house-building, mathematics, plumbing, making money, writing, and painting. So much so that the study and practice of design is devoid from the humanities and downplays theories of architecture; developing rather the crafts, skill and understandings needed to engineer, plan, sketch, draw, delineate, specify, write, and design.

                        Contemporary architecture is replete with axioms, principles and theorems guiding the geometry, applications of science, use of engineering, and formal logic to produce technical metaphors and justly excluding a whole conversation about the conceptual part of the built metaphor. Therefore out of both the resolution and the controversy consider the below issues: We derive issues for the controversy between art and architecture and the resolution that they both make metaphors which is both their commonality, stasis, topoi and resolution to all claims. Depending on the medium, application and utility art manifests itself through the metaphor in varying degrees and levels. The referents, commonality not connectivity may not always be apparent as in so-called “abstract art” and ‘brutalism architecture”. These issues are the questions inherent in the controversy and vital to the resolution that architecture is the making of metaphors. Inherent because the declarative nether defines how art makes neither metaphors nor the apparently unrelated manifestations of architecture. On face value art and its casual referents do not compare to architecture and architecture does not always link to art.

                          So the declaration is inherently controversial thus yielding the overflow of its internal commonalities and differences. These issues are vital to the inductive reasoning of the resolution. Most of these issues are parallel but there are some that are convergent. The issues are coupled with their corresponding parallel claim supporting the resolution, parallel because they are neither a series nor convergent claims as they are each independent and not progressive nor interrelated to each other. Presumably, most of these issues grew out of controversy but not all issues were contested, therefore some are uncontested leaving a few controversial issues, they will be apparent in the below process. Axiom’s contextual forms Three levels of axioms matching three levels of disciplines:

1. Multidiscipline: Macro most general where the metaphors and axioms and metaphors used by the widest and diverse disciplines, users and societies. All of society, crossing culture, disciplines, professions, industrialist arts and fields as mathematics and interdisciplinary vocabulary.

2. Interdisciplinary: Between art fields Where as metaphors in general inhabit all these axioms drive a wide variety and aid in associations, interdisciplinary contributions and conversations about board fields not necessary involved with a particular project but if about a project about all context including city plan, land use, institutions, culture and site selection, site planning and potent ional neighborhood and institutional involvement.

3. Micro Discipline: Between architects all involved in making the built environment particularly on single projects in voting relevant arts, crafts, manufactures, engineers, sub-con tractors and contactors. As well as owners, users, neighbors, governments agencies, planning boards and town councils. Issues: There are 82 issues which have been combined together with their resulting claims and are each numbered consecutively with [numbered] or small italicized font references to footnotes and [lettered] references below. In my other works I have called these axioms and sub-axioms as they were reasoned differently. I also use italicized script where I quote the author. The Issues are subdivided into five sections numbered with roman numerals distinguishing the dominant disciplines of each as:

. Philosophy, Linguistics, Psychology, and English.

II. Urban Studies and Planning, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Experimental Psychology, Psychology and Opinion Research.

III. Psychology, Special Education, Social Policy, Learning Sciences, and Education

IV. Psychology, Philosophy, Linguistics, and Cognitive Science.

V. Psychology, Education, and Applied Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences. All the below issues argue the case that architecture is art because it too makes metaphors. These issues are the relevant and strong reasons of why architecture is making of metaphors. There is only one reason why architecture is an art and that is because it makes metaphors. (Technical and conceptual).

                          But, what are the underlying (common) metaphorical facts common to art and architecture why architecture could be in the same family as art. Each of the below either argue or presume that: • Since art [I] and architecture share in the way they make metaphors then one must like the other; and • There can be fields and sub-fields where the subfields share dominant characteristics. • That certain of metaphor’s characteristics exercised in art are also exercised in all other arts. • That in the making of any art, including architecture, the making of metaphors sanctifies products and processes; and, • That the metaphoric process exercised in the making of a work of architecture transforms the process and the work from non-art to art, and the maker from manufacturer to artist.

Sections, issues and claims                                                                                              I. Metaphor and Meaning (view metaphor as a form of language)

1. Art [I] and architecture both begin with a “top-down” approach later followed by products which meet the parte. Alternatively, the parte may follow the design/creative process and be presented to defend the design. All arts including architecture have a parte which is a model and concept that may be developed after assimilating the program in the process of making a conceptual metaphor, the very first step in the creative process is to develop a “parte’. Parte and top-down are both relevant because they are authentic and easily understood values. `

2. Both art [I] and architecture share [1.1] generative metaphor which “carries –over” perspectives from one domain of experience to another where artist builds one thing in terms of another where the other is the model, and, what is built is the application, the model being 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.

3. [1.2.1] Both art and architecture Peculiarize, personalize and authenticate for their metaphor to live. This the way the user metaphorize the using process, the user and the work empathize. 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.

4. When is a work not a work of art and a building not a work of architecture? When it is a dead metaphor which really does not contain any fresh metaphor insofar as it does not really “get thoughts across”; designs without concerns for scale, hierarchies, scenarios, surprise, delight, vistas, etc will be “dead”. They are “techne” driven, engineering a building without metaphoric concerns. Such a work is a techne driven design with craft-like knowledge. Art without a fresh metaphor can be decorative, colorful and interesting but will not be considered a work of art.

5. Both art [I] and architecture involve techne (a system of practical knowledge). As a craft or art informed by knowledge of forms such as the craft of managing a firm of architects where even virtue is a kind of technê of management and design practice, one that is based on an understanding of the profession, business and market and technai are such activities as drafting, specifying, managing, negotiating, programming, planning, supervising, and inspection; by association with these technai, we can include house-building, mathematics, plumbing, making money, writing, and painting. So much so that the study and practice of design is devoid from the humanities and downplays theories of architecture developing rather the crafts, skill and understandings needed to engineer, plan, sketch, draw, delineate, specify, write, and design.

6. As art [I], architecture is a conduit of 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. Irregardless of the details the overall concept is “transferred “from one to the other, irrespective of sub-dominant and tertiary design elements.

7. In works of architecture there can be a [1.2.2/1.2.3] Conduit City-wide metaphor where the Geometry of urban blocks and the location of building masses reflect one anther into a scheme to sharply define the volume and mass of the city block and experience of city streets (Vincent Scully). In New York City the grid and this insistence on buildings reflecting the geometry of the grid is a metaphor of city-wide proportions. 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 of appropriateness or zoning formulas, all lead the ideas to flow from one to another architect. Furthermore, the reader is able to “appreciate” (to attach importance to a thing because of its worth) the street, its geometry, limits and linearity as an idea on the [1.2.2/1.2.3] conduit from the architect, through the metaphor and to the reader.

8. As art[I] , architecture shapes the culture. As art building shapes and forms tend to reflect common geometry; building types tend to share common facilities; building code use designations influence the selection of applicable code requirements, architecture, forming clusters and community spaces create opportunities for neighborhood identity and nurturing cultural identity. 1.3“It's a strange thought, that culture is a product of man-made, unnatural things, that instead of culture shaping the architecture, architecture shapes the culture. Applied and fine art both affect the utility, consumption and business of normal life.

9. The metaphor between art[I] and architecture is a mental image [1.4] where metaphor maps the structure of one domain onto the structure of another”. [1.4.1] for example, the “superimposition of the image of an hour glass onto the image of a woman’s waist by virtue of their common shape”. As before the metaphor is conceptual; it is not the works themselves, but the mental images. In this case metaphor is a mental image. “Each metaphorical mapping preserves image-schema structure:” In acting it is called a” handle” where your whole character’s peculiarity is remember by one acting device (accent, slang, twang, wiggle, walk, snort, etc) ;in architecture the building’s roof top, cladding, silhouette, interior finishes, lighting, gargoyles, entrance, rounded corners, etc. If the facade of a building is designed in one order of architecture you can presume the other parts are in like arrangements where the whole may be of that same order including its’ plan, section and details because of mapping and channeling one idea from one level to another. 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 sat. In geometrical formal parts of an architectural metaphor we note those common elements where fit, coupling and joints occur.

10. Since metaphor is the main mechanism through which we comprehend abstract concepts and perform abstract reasoning: 1.4.3 what is built is first thought and conceived separately from building, as thinking and conceiving is separate from the outward expression, so metaphor is a process and architectural metaphor is a process and what we see is what the process issues; not the manifest metaphor. When we hear a symphony, poem; watch a dance or see a painting what we perceive is the residue of the artist composing and dealing with the similarities and apparent differences of medium, context, aesthetics and story.

11. For both art and architecture metaphor-building clarifies our place, status and value. As Metaphor is the main mechanism through which we comprehend abstract concepts and perform abstract reasoning so works of architecture inform our social, psychological and political condition.

12. 1.4.4 Much subject matter, from the most mundane to the most abstruse scientific theories, can only be comprehended via metaphor. The metaphor is engrafted with knowledge about the state of contemporary technology, scientific advancement, social taste and community importance, even an anonymous Florentine back ally’s brick wall, carved door, wall fountain, shuttered windows, building height, coloration of the fresco.

13. 1.4.5 Metaphor is fundamentally conceptual, not linguistic in nature. It is the difference between the thing and what we perceive. Our perception of the building is the metaphor while the building is the evidence of the design process and the keys to unlock our mind.

14. 1.4.6 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.

15. 1.4.7 Through 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.

16. 1.4.8 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. 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. 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).

17. Commonalities are the keys to mapping across conceptual domains. As the artist either at random or intentionally experiences or perceives the times, place s and events of the times so the architect sifts through the program to discover “commonality” between the reality and experience to make the metaphor. Mapping is only possible when artist 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 “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). 1.4.9 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.

18. [18. 1.4. 10] Each mapping (where mapping is the systematic set of correspondences that exist between constituent elements of the source and the target domain) where 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. Audiences, for example perceiving Mozart, contemporary music, and abstract art seek the systems of mappings which lead to finding their source and targets. In this way both art and architecture share a common experience in both creating and use, the system of relationships is the precedent which enables understanding of the specific.  

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