THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION OF ARCHITECTURE


ARCHITECTURE BREAKS UP THE NARROW HORIZONS OF THE HISTORY OF ART AND ITS PLATONICALLY DEDUCTIVE (THUS SUBJECTIVE) EVALUATION SYSTEM AND INTRODUCES INDUCTIVE METHODS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: E.G. 'ARCHITECTURAL ETHNOLOGY', OR 'ARCHITECTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY'


ARCHITECTURE STARTED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Amos Rapoports book 'House Form and Culture' (1969) has triggered world-wide research into 'Architectural Ethnology' and 'Architectural Anthropology'

NOTE ONCE MORE: WORLDWIDE, THERE ARE ABOUT 3 - 4000 RESEARCHERS OF VARIOUS DISCIPLINES INVOLVED WITH "TRADITIONAL DWELLINGS AND SETTLEMENTS RESEARCH" (-> IASTE, Berkeley)

The architect and the art historian still stand in the wholy spaces of their divine art-cathedral and cannot understand, that, outside, some other peoples using a slightly different language and quite different objects of study, also start to discuss about 'architecture', BUT IN SCIENTIFIC WAYS!

Why should architecture and urbanism - with their designs more and more expanding into other cultures - not be able to do scientific research and learn from the habitat of age-old traditional societies?

And, maybe, there is a new value to discover: its highly accumulated degree of reliable experience.

SIX NEW FIELDS

Six new fields related to architectural research may be distinguished:

In the following we shortly outline these six domains.

1) Extra-European architectural history

The Euro-Western history of art is still strongly focussed on its own cultural history, particularly in regard to architecture and urbanism. Publications on Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, or Meso-American 'high' architecture or urban structures are still relatively scarce.

A theory of art and architecture, insofar as it claims to be related to man in general, can only be valuable in a scientific way, if it theoretically includes the art and architecture of non-European 'high' cultures.

2) The ethnology of architecture

Architectural ethnology is a new and important field of architectural research (-> IASTE, Berkeley).

It breaks up the narrow horizon of conventional history of architecture, widens the view onto building and settlement traditions of non-European cultures such as (Egenter 1996):

First results of this world-wide research show clearly, that Western 'design-theory' is only a highly reduced section of the factual conditions related to dwelling and settlement.

Comparing non-European ways of dwelling and settling with European types opens the horizons in regard to what 'dwelling' and 'settling' really means in human life. It can show e.g. to what extent the Euro-Western concepts are abstracted from human life.

With increasing research results, architectural ethnology will increasingly question the conventional 'architectural theories' of the architects. They will appear as narrowly focussed on Eurocentric architectural history.

On the long run, architectural ethnology will doubtless provide a scientific basis for new architectural theories which will show more reliability and continuity than the present ever changing plurality of 'styles'.

3) Architectural Anthropology

Architectural anthropology is a new systematic attempt

In this framework architectural anthropology includes all what is and has been built by man and his biological relatives, the higher apes (-> Architectural Anthropology, The origins of Architectural Research, Nestbuilding behaviour of the Higher Apes)

It reconstructs the evolution of architecture with scientific research into essentially four domains or classes and related phenomena (see Egenter 1992):

With these classes architectural anthropology constructs a new continuum of architecture which includes elementary (fibro-) constructive behavior, evolution of spatial perception and organisation in close relation to the development of ideological values (aesthetics).

In the framework of architectural design theory, architectural anthropology:

But, architectural anthropology is also an anthropology. It finds new data to construct a new full-fledged anthropology:

These models were buildings (-> Semantic architecture).
The scientific Revolution of architecture (continued)
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