• 27/06/2022

How Can Architecture Be Used As A Language


Oct 8, 2021

Although architectural aesthetics is a historical construction, it is often viewed as  mere beautification. Not only is this view superficial, but it also overlooks the semiotic historical nature of architecture. The use of any language implies the conscious or involuntary aim of conveying meaning. This is also true of architectural language. Language necessarily involves a sender or addresser, and a receiver or addressee.

In architecture, the addressee is generally assumed to be the public of users and beholders. As for the addresser, certain duplicity exists. Whereas in European architectural history, the architect occupies a major position, in the African and Islamic world the architectural planner is rarely presented as the author or beholder. This alone speaks a lot about the culture of these people, no individualism is in existence.

As a language, architecture must be investigated in all its linguistic aspects. The first aspect is the context in which architectural signification operates. We can identify this context as both the architectural culture shared by the addresser and the addressee and the social context in which they live. In this sense, taking into account the context is an efficient methodological tool of investigation for art historians in general.

As these contexts of production and reception change over time, they acquire different meanings for the people who view and interrelate with them. This perfectly illustrates the changing relationship between signifier and signified described by Barthes: ‘Signifieds pass away, signifiers persist.’ Furthermore, the interpretative work of art history consists partly in recreating past architectural contexts for the monuments it seeks to analyze, and these contexts are incrementally enriched, if not radically changed with every new analytic attempt, and every disciplinary innovation in the field of history.

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I write about the human condition:what make's us who we are,who we can be and how to perfect ourselves.

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