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Keshavarz, Sam (2008) Sagt & gjort. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

This thesis was written during the autumn 2007. I wanted to understand the situation of the contemporary architecture in a perspective broader than merely the Swedish. I asked myself what remained of architecture if one would eliminate purely functional, aesthetical and ecological aspects. With help from literature I interviewed theorists in architecture, practitioners and a philosopher to hear their thoughts regarding what architecture can or should be about. The result of the interviews and the literature studies constitute the two initial parts of the thesis. In the third and last part I try to apply the previous parts in a project which is a garden for an exhibition in Trädgårdsföreningen in Gothenburg. The exhibition will be on display during the summer of 2008. Initially I will conclude and precise the three parts of the thesis. Architecture as a part of society is closely connected to its' time and values. As the society evolves these values develop too. New technologies offer new ways of living, ways which also tend to become more diverse and complex. Notions and perceptions of the current conditions are therefore never static. In architecture this could correspond to our perceptions of human lifestyles, perceptions of nature and culture or what a notion such as function actually means. An interesting question to ask oneself might be how actively architects update their perceptions of the current conditions of the society. With some experiences from architectural offices and studies I dare to say that the practice many times is not reflective enough. A conclusion is that philosophy can be helpful in finding new ways of understanding our world. This is discussed in the interviews with philosopher Sven-Olof Wallenstein and landscape architect Anders Mårsén at Naturorienterad Design, NOD. Regardless of which perceptions one might have of architecture and society, they will decide the architecture. To be aware of this therefore becomes highly relevant. The second part of the thesis presents offices that in different ways try to update their view upon architecture. To realize ones' theoretical approach to a practice can be difficult. There is not just one answer, however there are some aspects that are worth mentioning. The Dutch office UNStudio sees the architect as an expert in common knowledge. As such one has to be an active part of society. They emphasize the importance of working across disciplinary boundaries. At their office they work in team with people with different qualifications adapted to the specific project. In our diverse society it is important that the architect is aware about the social, economical, historical and cultural context. This is stressed by both the architect critic Ola Andersson and theorist Fredrik Nilsson. Another example of a progressive method of working is to have a clearly defined agenda. The architects at NOD (Nature Oriented Design) starts their projects by asking themselves some basic questions. This helps both themselves and their customer to understand the assignment. Experiences and knowledges extracted from the process are documented and become a part of the offices' further education. According to NOD there is also a great quantity of knowledge that can be gathered from other fields such as philosophy, the advertising business and corporate development. To get inspiration from a wider spectra is something that I think is becoming more inevitable and makes architecture more interesting as well. In my garden project I have tried to be aware of new approaches and methods of working. It has resulted in a greater understanding of what possibilities architecture have. To try to comment our surrounding through architecture is in my opinion one of the most essential aspects of the profession. All architecture is of course reflections of the society, sometimes however, one might suspect that for example the customers' economical restrictions, rather than anything else, is what is being expressed. Hence the possibilities vary, but to be aware of them and to seize the oppurtunities when given, is important. I reflected on what a garden really is. Is it possible to create a garden, and meet demands on functional, aesthetical and recreational values, with other materials than the traditional? There is a frequent demand for flexible solutions in architecture. Another question was therefore how to make the garden more adaptable and adjustable to different requested situations. The thesis cover a vast field of subjects, from philosophical reasoning to the practical reality. This is perhaps the main surplus of the thesis. The intention is not to describe a philosophy, but rather to explain how theory can be of use to a practitioning architect or a student of architecture.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Arkitektur, arbetsmetoder, filosofi, förhållningssätt, teori, praktik, NOD, UNStudio, arkitekturteorier
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Sam Keshavarz
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:00
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2280

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