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Integrative Journal of Conference Proceedings

Social Character of Space, Lived Experiences and Storytelling in Architecture

Sevinç Kurt1*and Ahmet Saymanlier1

1Faculty of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture,Cyprus International University,Cyprus

*Corresponding author: Sevinc Kurt,Faculty of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture, Cyprus International University, Cyprus

Submission: December 02, 2020;Published: January 18, 2021

Volume2 Issue3
January, 2020


For Lefebvre, space is always loaded with social values, and hypothesized that social connections are repeated day by day. He also discusses the idea of spatial configuration and pictures it in human activity by using the term ‘spatial practice’ [1]. He also claimed that built environment has been created according to many constraints; most of the time in reference to ‘lived experience’ (1991, p. 190). Relatively, Kahn L [2] defined architecture as “…the thoughtful making of spaces.” Parallel to Rasmussen SE, et al. [3] and Bachelard G, et al. [4] idea of describing space as experience, the claim of the architectural design for the fulfilment of human needs is evolved from the “scenario” of the events that are directly related to human actions and human relations.

The relationship between architecture and space advances serious number of philosophical questions in various disciplines such as methodology [5], perception [6], and phenomenology [7]. Foucault M, et al. [8] stated that the effects of materiality and space cannot be ignored, even if they are not deterministic. Hence, Heidegger M, et al. [9] characterizes space as it is neither an outer nor internal experience additionally it isn’t foreordained and settled. Likewise, the relationship between environment and the space is substantial. Therefore, space can be examined within the subject of environment as smaller part of it. As the central of design, space is connected everything interrelated to the existence itself. In another words, “the built environment provides the setting by which we live our lives, and impacts on our senses, our emotions, participation in physical activity and community life, our sense of community, and general well-being” [10]. Meanings are generated by buildings and spaces, which we ‘read’ as we pass through them. Places are created and shaped by those in control of resources and with certain interests, which affects our degree of access to, and the way we use, those spaces” [11].

Psychologists and philosophers highlighted that perception, experience and interpretation are three phenomenon which cannot be separated. Architecture influences perception than creates experience, which has a direct impact on interpretation as well as mental image creation [12]. For Gawlikowska AP, et al. [13], to communicate, architecture uses visual symbols and elements which are like languages, able to articulate, along with other elements of architectural grammar, like typology, function, structure, form, character, context, etc. Marche JL, et al. [14] pointed out that types act as devices for recording time, history, cultural and collective values, ideas, and beliefs and, if used as the basis for architectural design, would support and allow the local community to live their conventional lives in ways they saw fit. Relatedly, “Language is a medium for storing.... Material forms and the immaterial spaces determined by the forms, and their mutual relationships, are the means of architectural communication” [6]. In this respect, architectural space, which involves human interaction as an active component of its existence, has also cultural character.

Storytelling is an intentional procedure of composition which modified to convey a message. In architecture, storytelling embodies a precise approach to design which associated to the human experience. Besides it supports to configuring and the montage of spatial sequences with specific communicative aims [15]. Ricoeur P, et al. [16] conceived that narrative structure could intersect the temporality of architecture with the spatiality of tale and define the communicative and psychological values of spaces. He stated: “We can state that in the starting situation of duplex parallelism between tale-architecture and time toldspace constructed, it is possible to found an absolutely primitive reason to not abide by the simple realization of difference between storytelling and architectural design, this reason is the fact that neither the time of tale nor the space of architecture are simple portions of universal time or geometrical space” [16].

Eco U, et al. [17] stated that there are two main functions of an architectural design as: denotation and connotation. Hence, the architectural design would be perceived in two ways as a physical structure and more importantly, with its emotional values which contain anthropological, historical, aesthetic values of the space beside the previous memories and experiences of the user. The term narrative indicates a level of meaning that substantiates the object, and yet contains an active inner quality, which interprets human actions in relation to place [18].

Therefore, storytelling in architecture could be a fundamental composition system based on the notion of experience. Considering the contemporary scenario; it could be an interesting device to analyze and to understand architecture. The notion of a dynamic time-space dimension, characterized by an open field of possibilities of interpretation, creates a structure of narrative patterns, which stimulate perception, thoughts, and associations. In this way, the experience of architecture is not simply visual, but is based on a real interactive communicative model, which is transformative and fused with the temporal dimension [15]. Statement by Norberg S, et al. [19] clarify the importance of designing architectural spaces which could communicate with its users; “making buildings only functional is no longer makes us satisfy, we want our buildings to have a meaning at the same time”.

The architectural space and its users are in constant communication. Thus, the message provided by space is delivered by its organization both in physical and mental way. Therefore, users get attached with space in various levels. Lived experiences and attitudes of inhabitants are a part of the story of that place. Thus, the space tells story, the stories tells the space what to be.


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