Spelling Space : Exploring Ideal Types for Concept Formation in International Architecture Projects


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Spelling Space : Exploring Ideal Types for Concept Formation in International Architecture Projects
Title of the conference
Tech4Dev International Conference
Pasqualini I., Bonazzi R., Shan T.
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The cultural dimension is known to be crucial for the introduction of architectonic and urbanistic standards into countries with emerging economies. Particularly, the recent presence of digital media and tools has incremented the easy assimilation of Western standards. From the architect's point of view this represents a problematic trend, not only leading to conflictual situations during the development and construction process, but also to conceptual failures caused by insufficient consideration of local values and know-how. In this paper, we propose novel ways to conceive solutions for international development projects by involving on the one hand recurrent criteria, but on the other also by exploring and fostering local values and manufacture skills.
We ground our approach onto existing models of theory building by implementing typologies or ideal types as elements of concept formation in the architectonic design process. Using a recent case study in China we will illustrate the application of such an ideal type. In the case study we describe how within a Sino-Swiss academic environment we have co-authored a project-specific architectonic language through the use of a commonly generated ontology by considering environmental and cultural issues. Great emphasis has been laid on a mutual learning effect and the involvement of a development process related to crafting prototypes. This approach has allowed us to address issues of environmental sustainability at a very early and high-level conceptual stage by involving and developing conceptual skills borne from local needs and potentials. Together with our partner we have tried to balance arguments stemming from the original contextual background and a striving for innovation. The aim of our activities is to transfer to our partner institution a frame for architecture centred on cross-disciplinary autodidactic academic learning.
Two of the prototypes issued from this ontology have been constructed and exhibited at the Beijing Design Week and Beijing Triennale 2011. In both of them, the slightly distinct approach reflects not only some of the actually existing cultural differences, but also the endeavour of creating together. This article concludes the start-up phase of an on-going project.
Architecture, Design, Conceptualization, Typology, Ontology
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26/04/2012 16:19
Last modification date
21/08/2019 6:14
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