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Linguistic, psychological, and cognitive sciences:architecture:metaphors
by Barie Fez-Barringten   
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Last edited: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Posted: Saturday, August 04, 2012

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Communication between disciplines is facilitated by metaphors, in general; and metaphoric axioms directed at facilitating multidiscipline communications and understandings, in particular. Linguistic, psychological and cognitive science’ metaphors apply to multidisciplinary communications and creating works of architecture which is inherently a multidisciplinary discipline.
Early monographs were steeped in deductive reasoning since we could not find new information pertaining to metaphors. Many of my monographs included analyzing and explaining the syllogism:
• Art [9] is the making of metaphors
• Architecture is an art[9]
• Therefore architecture is the making of metaphors.

                           The below is predominantly developed from a study of “Metaphors and Thought” by Andrew Ortony, and, is in addition to over forty years of my work about “architecture as the making of metaphors” (please see background after the monograph for your information). The commonality of all arts 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 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. 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 [G] [9] 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. Keywords: metaphor, architecture, thought, commonality, commonplace, dubbing, cognitive, knowing, stasis, art [9] , linguistic analogy, equilibrium, equipoise, topoi, top-down, frame conflict, appreciate, conduit, parte, design system, modified culture, mapping, structure, domain, signs, apparatus, spaces, volumes, shapes, forms, metaphorical mappings, invariance principle, alive, dead, onomatopeics, surrogates, appetite, desire, mind, indirect use, direct use, vision, gestalt, formulae, grand design, psychological, processes, metaphor comprehension, memory, mnemonics, encoding, mapping, categorizing, inference, assimilation, accommodation, attribution, inferential import, structured programming, stability, referential specificity, general acceptance of terms, vividness thesis, difference, identity, comparison sensible, communications.multidisciplinary, discipline,interdiscipline

Biographical note: Columbia University coursework in behavioral psychology under Ralph Hefferline and others in voice/linguistics, Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute and Master of Architecture from Yale University where I was mentored in metaphors and metaphysics by Dr. Paul Weiss. For research I founded the New York City not-for–profit corporation called Laboratories for Metaphoric Environments.

In addition to authoring over fifteen published monographs by learned journals I have spent 20 years in Saudi Arabia and have written a book containing pen and ink drawings on perceptions of 72 European cities. Institutional affiliation: Global University ;American Institute of Architects; Florida Licensed Architect; Programming Chairperson for the Gulf Coast Writers Association; National Council of Architectural Registration Boards; Al-Umran association of Saudi Arabia, American Society of Interior Designers; and founding president of Architects International Group of the mid-east.

Introduction In 1967, during the series of colloquia at Yale on art, Irving Kriesberg 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. 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 3.0 topoi (A traditional theme or motif; a literary convention.) which we can use to describe architecture. 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. 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. 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?

1.1 Generative metaphor: A perspective on problem-setting in social policy: by Donald A. Schon Generative metaphor and the “parte”. 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. 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 2.0 WJ Gordon called the Metaphoric Way of Knowing and

2.1 Paul Weiss 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” approach later followed by designs which meet the parte. The parte may follow the design process and be presented to sell the product. 1.2 The conduit metaphor: A case of frame conflict in our language about language: by Michael J. Reddy.

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. 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. 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.

1.3 In Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture about Glasarchitektur Ulrich Conrad' writes:

1.3.1 “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?” 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.

1.4 The contemporary theory of metaphor by George Lakoff 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.

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:

1. 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).

2. 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.

3. 1.4.5 Metaphor is fundamentally conceptual, not linguistic, in nature. 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.

4. 1.4.6 Metaphorical language is a surface manifestation of conceptual metaphor. As language is to speech so are buildings to architecture where each has a content and inner meaning of the hole 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.

5. 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. 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 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.  






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