Architectural codes

Irini Sakellaridou
This study addresses, on an analytical basis, the issue of meaning attribution in architecture, and examines the building as a meaningful artifact. Even though the built environment serves primarily a utilitarian purpose, i.e., the housing of human activities, it can also be seen as a system of signification, as a stage, and medium, for society to express orders and values, and to materialize its own image. Values are expressed through the formation and articulation of the building; the user
more » ... iphers, modifies or transforms the meaning through his experience. Meaning attribution is seen as part of the understanding, experience, and action on the built environment. The thesis proceeds with the examination of different approaches concerning meaning in architecture, and the establishment of the conceptual framework for the study. Codification, as the act of code creation and operation, is understood to be an integral part of meaning attribution. The cognitive basis of architectural codification is examined through the analysis of the design activity. The nature of design, as the conscious act of meaning attribution, uncovers the specificity of architectural meaning, as expressed through the systemic operation of certain identifiable codes. These codes, defined as the architectural codes, are further examined. A classification of them is suggested in two distinct levels: first, the codes of expression, which interpret the formal and material composition of the building; second, the codes of content, which interpret the building in historical, stylistic, and socio-cultural contexts. The use of these codes as tools for semiotic analysis is demonstrated in a preliminary approach. Analysing the architectural object the codes can be identified, and, through their systemic operation, reveal the meaning of the architectural signs. The thesis concludes, that architectural codes, as a particular instance of the act of codification, are tools for the identification of the meaning of the architectural object.
doi:10.14288/1.0095136 fatcat:qiuiniwgq5djzaf26z5ra2edc4