About AD065

1.Introduction to Anthropology in ArchitecturePosted on July 4, 2010 by indahwidiastuti


  • To obtain comprehensive understanding of architecture as a cultural phenomenon.
  • To focus on the anthoplogical view of architecture with specific reference to built form, place making and urban form


Amos Rapoport: “house form is not simply the result of physical forces or any single casual factors, but is the consequence of a whole range of socio-cultural factors seen in their broadest terms (1969, p:47)”

Course profile:

  1. To understand similarities and differences in the methodic approach and interpretation of physical environment and/or architecture  as object, and as a cultural phenomenon
  2. To understand the notion of “Culture” in general, and specifically related to form and use of physical environment

Syllabus AD 065 Anthropology and Architecture[1]

week Subjects Materials
1.1 Introduction to subject of Anthropology and Architecture Significance of Anthropology in Architecture studyStudy Plan (done)
I. Relationship between Culture, Society, Politics and Anthropology
1.2 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology – Anthropological view of architecture
  • The cultural understanding of architecture (done)
  • Two frameworks in architecture LN1
2.1 Relation between society and built environment
  • Theory of House-form (Amos Rapopport) and its further advancement (Victor Papanek and Nold Egenter) LN2 (14/7)
2.2 The concept of Grand-design and Folk-Design   – (Amos Rapopport LN3 (19/7)
II. Anthropology of Traditional Architecture
3.1 Kinship and House Society LN 4,(21/7), SP-1
3.2 Conception of Space : Symbolism and technology LN5, SP-2. (26/7)
4.1 perceptions of built form LN6,
4.2 Discourse 1
  • Introduction of Phenomenology in Architecture (1)  LN 7.
III. Anthropology and Place-Making
5.1 ™  First Assessment : 28 July 2010
6.1 Discourse 2
  • Introduction of Phenomenology in Architecture (2) LN 7

6.2 Martin Heidegger: “notions of dwelling” LN 8
7.1 Christian Norberg Schulze Genius Loci LN 9
7.2 Amos Rapoport: “meaning and built environment”LN 10
8.1 Jospeh Rykwert: “the ideas of house”         LN 11
8.2 O F Bollnow: Mensch und Raum LN 12.
9.1 ™  Discussion/ slide-show
9.2 ™  Second Assessment
IV. Another View of Urban Anthropology
10.1 Submission Assignment
10.2 Meaning of Urban in urban studies and urban anthropology – roles of city LN 14
11.1 Urban ethnography, primary units, major component and unit of integration LN 15
11.2 Anthropology and Contemporary Urban issues SP-3
™  Discussion/ slide-show
V. Seminar
12.1 Presentation 1 Stage 3 Assignment
12.2 Presentation 2 Stage 3 Assignment
13.1 Presentation 3 Stage 3 Assignment
13.2 Presentation 4 Stage 3 Assignment
14.1 ™  Discussion Final Reflection
14.2 ™  Final Examination (to be decided)

Teaching methods:

Lectures,   field observation with case studies, Slide-show.


  1. Joseph Rykwert; On Adams House in Paradise; MIT Press 1987
  2. O F Bollnow; Mensch and Raum, Stutgart; 1963
  3. Jospeh Rykwert – Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Form in Rome; 1976
  4. Nold Egenter; The Review of The Primitives in Architecture- Architectural Anthropology – Research Series Vol. I and II; Structura Mundi; 1992 and 1996
  5. Edwin James; Anthropology of the Citiy; Prentice Hall; 19277
  6. J Carsten and S H jones; About The House: Levi Strauss and beyond; Cambridge University Press; 1995

Required Reading

  1. Amos Rapoport: House, Form and Culture, New jersey, Prentice Hall, Engelwood-Cliffs
  2. Srivastava A.R.N Essentials of Cultural Anthropology. New Delhi: Prentice Hall-of India Private Ltd.
  3. Roxana Waterson; The Living House: Anthropology of Architecture in Southeast Asia; Oxford Press
  4. Claire Melhuish (ed); Architecture and Anthropology – AD Vol. 66 No 11/12 Nov-Dec 1996

Small Assingment : submision 19/07/2010

The Houses

1898 — A Song of the Dominions

‘Twixt my house and thy house the pathway is broad,
In thy house or my house is half the world’s hoard;
By my house and thy house hangs all the world’s fate,
On thy house and my house lies half the world’s hate.

For my house and thy house no help shall we find
Save thy house and my house — kin cleaving to kind;
If my house be taken, thine tumbleth anon.
If thy house be forfeit, mine followeth soon.

‘Twixt my house and thy house what talk can there be
Of headship or lordship, or service or fee?
Since my house to thy house no greater can send
Than thy house to my house — friend comforting friend;
And thy house to my house no meaner can bring
Than my house to thy house — King counselling King.

Rudyard Kipling


Write an essay about your own house or hostel or place you stay that is familiar. Draw the plan and write anything interesting which relate to dwelling behaviour of your family, friends and yourself. Find anything particular which signify the actual function of space, objects, timing, meaning about your house. Describe anything unusual, particular, odd, and also your perception your feeling about your own house.  At the end the whole descripsion should help you to describe the meaning of house for you in very simple words. You could describe it in poetic manner, or as straightforward as posible. You can be functinal or metaphoric in yur explanation. example: “My house is a heaven”,”My house is a prison”. “My house is a mother”

Objective: to realize how you relate culturally psychologically and emphatically with place you stay, and how you can understand the cultural or anthropological  aspect about your own place to stay.

Media: A4 2-4 pages per student, free presentation

12. Mensch und Raum-“the idea of space”, O F Bollnow (1903 – 1991)

1. Against Existentialism

O.F. Bollnow’s study on “man and space” contributed towards an ‘anthropology of space’ on an argument thah studies of human experience of space is not merely a philosophical problem, but also into psychological problem, into human behavior and the conventional domains of architecture as dwelling in a building, in an apartment, in a house.

Bollnow’s philosophical standpoint is opposing existentialism. He argued that:

1. Sense of protection defines comfort spatiality.

  • dwelling implies having roots somewhere, means to be at home and protected at a particular place, and that the spatiality of man in general can be interpreted as “dwelling”.

2. Conscious metaphysics”, Global and cosmological space concepts is a secondary development

2.  The House and the Feeling of Security

Bollnow stated experiencing home as source of sense of spatiality. Many notions related to the house express a feeling of security and protection. The archaic concept of space is related to the foundation of dwellings and settlements.

  • He refers to Goethe, who, in his ‘Faust’, considered a man deprived of a dwelling to be a “nonhuman being, without purpose or rest.”
  • We can see it as that primary naive spatial confidence, where the feeling of security likes that of a child. This is contrasted with the fear of homelessness, which gives the feeling of being lost.

Bollnow postulates the polar balance between exocentric tension in the outside world and centric tranquillity in the protected house is the prerequisite for human health.

3. Sacred Space

Spatiality could evolve sense of sacredness. Bolnow idea is closely related to Mircea Eliade, but in opposition to his religious interpretation, Bollnow maintains that archaic space was centered and that such ‘centers of the world’ were marked

The historian of religion Mircea Eliade has analyzed structural principles in the world concepts of many archaic religions but interpreted them as based on “revelation” (hierophania) and thus remained in the conventional domains of metaphysics and theology, such as behavioral archetype of “centres of the world” or “axis mundi”.

In sharp contrast to Eliade, Bollnow emphasizes the spatial aspects of such religious phenomena and focuses on a wide spectrum of objective and architectural elements,

  • Example:  sacred space is closely related to the idea protected space of the house. Even the profane concept of Le Corbusier’s “dwelling machine” could not destroy this sacred meaning, which finds expression in individual and social control with regard to the private sphere. Nobody is allowed to enter a dwelling without the dweller’s consent. Private space is legally protected. “House and temple are essentially one” (Van der Leeuv).

3.  Aspects Space

Bollnow questions the concept of perceptional psychology (intentional space) and gives his own definition of space as an ambivalent “medium” which is dialectically constructed between subject and environment, between human (physical and psychological) dispositions and environmental conditions.

A. Hodological space

Hodological space is based on the factual topological, physical, social, and psychological conditions a person is faced with on the way from point A to point B, whether in an open landscape or within urban or architectural conditions [‘hodological space’ is derived from the Greek word ‘hodos’ , path, way].

Hodological distances >< geometrical distances.

(Hodological distances :language and culture in mountain valleys; traditional traffic conditions in mountainous regions; the structure of war landscape with its absolute focus on the front)

  • Example: Apartment withcave-like character”: In the architect’s plan of a housing project, two points in two different apartments located side by side may be just some 30 or 40 centimetres apart (separated by a wall). But, what somebody goes through in term of physical and psychological stress, to go from one of these points to the other, this is described very impressively by Bollnow. The vital condition of the hodological relation might be tremendously different from that of the architect!

B.  The space of action

‘the space of action’ : a three-dimensional ergological concept of space, structured and organized according to any type of human work (stockroom, warehouse, craft, place of study, library, etc.; see Heidegger’s notion of “Zuhandenheit”).

Spatial environments are organized by individuals to only a limited extent. We all are born into them, learn to understand the intrinsic values that govern them and adapt to them in terms of ‘orderly behavior’.

C. Space more related to Psycho-Emphatic conditions

1. Day space and night spaceSpace with regard to sight

‘Day space’ is sight space. ‘Night space’ is basically touch and hearing space (Sight is ineffective). Within these extremes, there are differentiated spectrum of twilight, dusk, and semi-dark spaces:

  • “The night created a thousand monsters” says Goethe
  • the paradoxical character of the woods, free for walking anywhere but closely limited with regard to sight, like a shade the narrow space accompanies the wanderer.
  • fog, heavy snowfall, and dusk entirely change the conditions of space.

2. The space of good and bad moods

The ‘space of good or bad moods’ relates to various external conditions

  • example: ‘narrowness and expanse’, ‘the sensual and moral effects of colour’, ‘interior spaces’

and internal conditions

  • example: ‘the stifling space of the fearful heart’, ‘euphoric space’.

3. Present space

The section of ‘momentary or present space’ deals mainly with the phenomenon of dancing and how it relates to spatial experiences.

4. The spaceproducing force of love

  • There is the merciless ‘fight for living space’ which produces clear spatial barriers and creates rivalries among humans.
  • There is the ‘creation of space through the force of love’ and the strange phenomenon that this ‘living together of lovers’ does not increase space in terms of quantity:lovers share the same space; they create a home for themselves.



11. “the ideas of house” , Jospeh Rykwert (born 1926)

1. Hut as human archetype not as object

  • “The search for the hut” is a search for not what has been lost but for what cannot but be lost (Joseph Rykwert)

The idea of hut For Rykwert, does not contain objective or denotative meaning.”Hut” is as state of mind or consciousness. It reflects the memory of an object perceived by primordial dimension of human. It is adduced not by the objects but by identifying “ceremonies and rituals” prevailed by people some still call primitive.”

  • ….. in a way that being “primitive” is not so much a historical state but social, psychological, and cultural state. We are seeing glimpses of this primitive ceremony and ritual all the time, across the centuries (Corbusier suggests).

As Rykwert notes, there is a “radical ambivalence implicit in all stories about the origins of techniques and civilization.” All ancient cultures believed in a past paradise, whether Golden Age or Eden, and an apparent decline or fall.

2. The Meaning of the Hut

To Rykwert, every questions regarding “origin” reasserts the interrelationship between ritual and the purpose of architecture, specifically the central place of the hut, because the hut is always conceived of has having been:

  • inhabited by god or hero; most commonly it is a rite of building huts which in some way resembled or commemorated those which ancestors or heroes had built at some remote and important time in the life of the tribe. … And in every case they incarnate some shadow or memory of that perfect building which was before time began: when man was quite at home in his house, and his houses as right as nature itself.

And what are these rituals?

Rituals is powerful desire for renewal by returning to origin

They are, says Rykwert, a “cosmogonic attempt to renew time by reinstituting the conditions which were ‘in the beginning’.” An intrinsic part of this beginning is the hut. The rites are an identification of self and hut, and of hut and earth. Huts are, from every viewpoint, of “unalterable value … a permanent relevance.”

  1. The “primitive” hut can be  the human projection of caves, bridal chambers, and the womb of the Mother, of Mother Earth. Thus the debate of five centuries can be resolved: the hut is indeed divinely inspired but imperfect by human skills. Architecture can evolve those skills but in the process remove us from the closeness and palpability of divine inspiration.
  2. The return to origins is a constant of human development for what architecture conforms to all other human activities.

How to build and why has been the question across the ages, and if to build then what to build but the hut?

The hut is the pattern, a pattern that must be in some place which, Rykwert says, “I must call Paradise. And Paradise is a promise as well as a memory.”

3. Example:The Patterns Of Settlement

Cultural memory is an accumulation of the patterns of operations, artifacts and the natural phenomena its inhabitants perform and encounter in a given place.

  • l        From earliest urban settlements, fourth millenium in the Fertile Crescent, later in China, India and the New World cities are associated with holy mountains. Urban, ramped and corner-oriented, (like the Mesopotamian ziggurats), extra-urban, smooth and axis- orientated (like the Pyramids of Egypt) or even inverted (as they are in China) these ponderous objects anchor the city to its territory, but also define urban time and the calendar. My paper will try to investigate their explicit as well as their implicit importance to the emerging city-fabric.

Joseph Rykwert (born in Warsaw, Poland in 1926)

Selected works:

  • The Seduction of Place: The City in the Twenty-First Century (2004)
  • Body and Building: Essays on the Changing Relation of Body and Architecture edited by George Dodds and Robert Tavernor (2002)
  • The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture (1998)
  • Leon Battista Alberti’s On the Art of Building in Ten Books translated by Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach and Robert Tavernor (1991)
  • The Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Form in Rome, Italy, and The Ancient World (1988)
  • l      On Adam’s House in Paradise The Idea of the Primitive Hut in Architectural History (1981)



10. “meaning and built environment”, Amos Rapoport


  1. Architectural history, has tended to be the rigid and single meaning of the architect, or of a powerful client/patron through the architect, and rarely has considered the responses and feelings of the many users of the building or city (Rapoport,1967)
  2. Rapoport believes, architects’ values are very different from the values of the public.

When environment was built therevare four elements which are configured in variable manners to construct meaning: time,  communications,  meaning and sign.

  • Meaning for Rapoport is an active force that requires interaction and implies taking possession, establishing territories, completing it, changing it.
  • Coherence is needed to be found within the arrangment of signs in comunicative manner in order to develop the set of organisation, according to chronological time (seasons,  night-days,etc.) or psycological (age,  behavior changes,  rite de passage.)
  • Process, by which people impart Meanings to their environment refers to two basic concepts territorialization and the need to personalization.

Hierarchy/Types of meaning

1. High Level Meaning

    • Cosmologies, cultural schemata, world views, reflections of philo-sophical systems, the kind of stuff we find in traditional architecture -both vernacular and the sacred high style.
    • Non-verbal communication is the method to use, and semiotic approaches and symbolic approaches are wrong – “symbols”
    • High level meaning is never lost. We just express and communicate them today through different media, not through buildings or settlements any more. High level meanings in buildings have become less important because we can express them much more effectively through other symbolic systems. In pre-literate societies the only permanent place for high level meanings was the built evironmen (Rapoport,1992).

  • In classical Athens, you communicated democracy by building the agora.  In the U.S. today, democracy is communicated through the constitution,  the legislative and legal systems etc. You cannot communicate it any more physically, you cannot get three hundred million people to meet face to face and have a debate. That was still possible in Athens when the citizen population was small.
  • White House; it doesn’t say anything in terms of high level meanings. It just says this is an important building; that is middle level meaning. It does not communicate ‘democracy’ as a building and, if at all, only through associations. I think this is a real watershed.

2. Middle Level Meaning

    • Identity, power, status, wealth, etc., that we communicate.
    • corporate identity for office buildings, where they communicate about status; personal expression in houses,  common typology for Government buildings and university buildings.
  1. i. someone who really knows how to address the middle level meanings are the advertising people. One of the best ways for understanding housing is, for instance,  to study advertisements for housing.

3. Low Level Meaning

  1. everyday and instrumental meanings;
    • these tell you where to walk in, where to sit down, etc.
    • They have to be communicated with very much clarity, with high redundancy.

Middle and Low level meaning types are partly related to the development of other symbolic systems like writing, printing, television, and so on.


    • Interview with Amos Rapoport Arch. & Comport. I Arch. & Behav., Vol. 8, no. I, p. 93-1 02 (1 992)
    • Russ V. V. Bradley, Jr.; A Critical Analysis on Writing of Amos Rapopport; Journal of Architectural Education (1947-1974), Vol. 24, No. 2/3. (Apr., 1970), pp. 16-25.


    9. Genius Loci , Christian Norberg Schulze

    In Roman mythology a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. In the context of Modern architectural theory, Genius Loci has profound implications for matter of place-making, falling within the philosophical branch of ‘phenomenology’. This field of architectural discourse is


    • Christian Norberg-Schulz adopt ontological base of Heideger: “Light reveals the genius loci of a place.”~Aletheia
    • This understanding follows the collapse of European Order following the World-War II

    Central theme:

    • Need to expand into the meaning of architecture is done by understanding this spiritual quality that Christian Norberg-Schulz perceived as “being imbedded in the context of place”.
    • “Space and Characters” can not be interpreted in purely formal or aesthetic terms, but are intimately connected with “making”.


    • Beyond the pragmatic experimental aspects of architecture there is a specific need for a metaphysical belief in architecture, which contribute to architecture understanding of existential “meaning” of place.
    • “the unmeasured but perceived”

    1. The Structure of Place

    • A concrete term for environment is place
    • The structure of Place ought to be described in terms of “landscapes”  and “settlement”,  and analyzed by means of the categories “Space”  and “Character”.

    Space:  three-dimensional organization of the elements which makes up a place.

    The three-dimensional organization can be geometrical and perceptual

    • Perceptual~  Structure of concrete space identified by node,  path,  edge,  district,  and landmark (Kevin Lynch)
    • Geometrical ~ System of Place that roots in concrete situation (Paolo Portoghesi).  This correlate with Heidegger statement that “Space receive its being from location not space

    Space convey varying degree of extension and enclosure and figure-ground relations.  Enclosure is defined by boundary.  But “Boundary is not that at which something stops, but from which something begins its presencing”.  In many other case enclosure appear not as limit but center

    Character:  general “atmosphere” which is the most comprehensive property of any place.

    • Any real presence is intimately linked with characters.
    • A dwelling has to be protective,  an office has to be practical,  an airport has to be intelligible,  a ballroom has to be festive,  a church has to be solemn
    • Character is defined by material and formal constitution of the place – “on how it is made”  ~ technical realization (building),  creative “re-vealing”  (techne).
    • Characters kept concept of Place as a concrete engineered/designed object, not merely quality

    Space and Character are altogether constitute “Lived Space”.

    Man-made place are related to nature in three basic ways:

    1. Visualization.  It implies “expressing” existential foothold he has gained through process of understanding on environment
    2. Symbolization .  It implies that an experienced meaning is translated into another medium.  The purpose is to free the meaning immediate situation whereby it becomes cultural object.
    3. Gathering.  It implies that man needs to gather the experienced meaning to create himself an imago mundi which concretize his world

    2. The Spirit of Place

    • “Every independent being has its genius, its guardian spirit.”
    • The spirit gives life to people and places, accompanies them from birth to death. The genius denotes what it “wants to be”.

    Dwelling denotes “total man-place relationship” in which human construct in their mental and perceptual relationship between the “space” and “character” and makes it into lived space.

    In the making there are two psychological functions that is involved: “Identification” and “Orientation

    1. System of orientation: spatial structures which facilitate the development of a good environmental image world. Where the image-making is bad good image is hard to obtain, and cause the feeling of “being lost”
    2. Identification: “to be friends with particular environment”. Southeast Asian have to “make friend” with high-rainfall and earthquake; the Arab ~ sandy desert; the Nordic ~ fog and ice. It is basis of human sense of belonging.
    • “Architecture belong to Poetry, it helps man to dwell”


    Christian Norberg-Schulz, (1976),  “The Phenomenon of Place”,  in “Theorizing A New Agenda for Architecture – An Anthology of Theory Architectural” 1965 – 1995”  (1996),  Kate Nesbit (ed),  New York:  Princeton Architectural Press,  p.  412-428



    8. “notions of dwelling” , Martin Heidegger


    1. Not every building is a dwelling.

    • Bridges and hangars, stadiums and power stations are buildings but not dwellings;
    • railway stations and highways, dams and market halls are built, but they are not dwelling places.

    Dwelling extends over buildings and yet is not limited to the dwelling place.

    • The truck driver is at home on the highway, but he does not have his shelter there;
    • the working woman is at home in the spinning mill, but does not have her dwelling place there;
    • the chief engineer is at home in the power station, but he does not dwell there.

    In Dwelling buildings house man. It inhabits them and yet does not dwell in them, when to dwell means merely that we take shelter in them.

    Today’s houses may even be well planned, easy to keep, attractively cheap, open to air, light, and sun,

    • but-do the houses in themselves hold any guarantee that dwelling occurs in them?

    Dwelling and building are related as end and means. They are two separate activities, yet at the same time we block our view of the essential relations.

    Heidegger argues that, in our modern age, human dwelling is reduced and so, therefore, is building. Because: we manipulate and demand from our world rather than meet it an attitude of sparing and preserving


    2. What, then, does Bauen, building, mean?

    • The Old English and High German word for building, buan, means to dwell. This signifies: to remain, to stay in a place.
    • The verbs buri, büren, beuren, beuron, all signify dwelling, the abode, the place of dwelling.

    Bauen originally means to dwell. Building, in contrast with cultivating, is a constructing. Both modes of building-building as cultivating, Latin colere, cultura, and building as the raising up of edifices, aedificare –are comprised within genuine building, that is, dwelling. Dwelling is accomplished through the activities of cultivation and construction.Therefore if we listen to what language says in the word bauen we hear three things:

    1. Building is really dwelling.
    2. Dwelling is the manner in which mortals are on the earth.
    3. Building as dwelling unfolds into the building that cultivates growing things and the building that erects buildings.

    The fundamental character of dwelling is this sparing and preserving By a primal oneness the four-earth and sky, divinities and mortals-belong together in one

    It pervades dwelling in its whole range. That range reveals itself to us as soon as we reflect that human being consists in dwelling and, indeed, dwelling in the sense of the stay of mortals on the earth.

    • “on the earth” already means “under the sky.” Both of these also mean “remaining before the divinities” and include a “belonging to men’s being with one another.” By a primal oneness the four-earth and sky, divinities and mortals-belong together in one.
    • Fourfold Aspects of Dwelling

    This simple oneness of the four we call the fourfold. Mortals are in the fourfold by dwelling. But the basic character of dwelling is to spare, to preserve.

    Mortals dwell in the way they preserve the fourfold in its essential being, its presencing. Accordingly, the preserving that dwells is fourfold.


    3. Space

    “Things”/ “Das Ding”/ “Being” allow for spaces.

    Space is in essence that for which room has been made. (Room ~ Raum, Rum = a place cleared or freed for settlement and lodging).  A boundary [for space] is not that at which something stops but, as the Greeks recognized, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing.

    What is the relation between location and space?

    Accordingly, spaces receive their being from locations and not from “space.”

    • Space is locations that allow a site for the fourfold. The location makes room for the fourfold in a double sense. The location admits the fourfold and it installs the fourfold. The two making room in the sense of admitting and in the sense of installing-belong together.
    • They are so called because they are made by a process of [building] construction.

    What is the relation between man and space?

    When we speak of man and space, it sounds as though man stood on one side, space on the other. In fact we do not represent distant things merely in our mind-as the textbooks have it-so that only mental representations of distant things run through our minds and heads as substitutes for the things.

    • Spaces open up by the fact that they are let into the dwelling of man.
    • The relationship between man and space is none other than dwelling, strictly thought and spoken.


    4. Techne

    techne ≠ technology

    The making of such “things” and “web of relations” is building. In this way, then, do genuine buildings give form to dwelling in its presencing and house this presence. In this way building already has responded to the summons of the fourfold.

    The Greek for “to bring forth or to produce” is tikto. The word techne, technique, belongs to the-verb’s root tec. To the Greeks techne means neither art nor handicraft but rather: to make something appear (aletheia), within what is present, as this or that, in this way or that way.

    • “mysterious” origins of technology in techne and its capacity to embody truth, in the mode of “aletheia.” (Heidegger in Alberto Pérez-Gómez)


    • Both Thiis-Evensen (by psychological approach) and Christopher Alexander (by interpretation of pattern) believes that architecture today often fails both practically and aesthetically. Both also believe that many built environments of the past generally had a sense of togetherness and harmony.
    • Thiis-Evensen, largely emphasizes lived qualities of individual buildings. Alexander is more concerned with architecture in its larger environmental context. In other words, how can experiences and activities in buildings, spaces, and landscapes are designed in an integrated, coherent way to create places that are coherent, beautiful, and alive for their residents and users?

    THE WALL AND WINDOW AS EXAMPLES (Thiis-Evensen,1987)

    Based on studies on human archetypes, that is concealed potently in human perception that reflect the dialectic relationship between inside and outside, Thiis-Evensen points out that windows are “always an expression of the interior to the world at large”. It is much more than a wall opening in a sense of insideness and outsideness:

    1. the frame of a window is important because it makes a setting for the inside space and brings it toward the viewer on the outside. The frame is important, therefore, because it leads the inside out.
    2. relation of experience quality and shape of opening: both vertical and central windows suggest a movement coming from inside out, while a horizontal window suggests an inside lateral movement that is separate from the person outside.
    3. three various shared existential qualities — insideness-outsideness, gravity-levity, coldness-warmth, and so forth

    The result might be a building whose formal qualities resonate with its practical needs. The possibility becomes greater that human beings and their built world are reconciled and the quality of dwelling strengthened.



    7. Introduction of Phenomenology in Architecture (1)

    A. Introduction

    Principle: Phenomenology is the interpretive study of human experience.

    The central focus of phenomenology is the way people exist in relation to their world.

    In conventional philosophy and psychology, the relationship between person and world has been reduced to either an idealist or realist perspective (Heidegger 1962) in Being and Time,.

    Aim in study research: to examine and clarify human situa­tions, events, meanings, and experienc­es “as they spontaneously occur in the course of daily life” (von Eckartsberg, 1998, p. 3).

    Goal in study/ research: “a rigorous description of human life as it is lived and reflected upon in all of its first-person concreteness, urgency, and ambiguity” (Pollio et al., 1997, p. 5).

    B. Central focus of phenomenology in Architecture

    Environment-behavior researchers have used Phenomenology to draw on three central notions:–lifeworld, place and home in examining peoples’ intentional relationships with their worlds.

    1. Lifeworld: The lifeworld refers to the tacit context, tenor and pace of daily life to which normally people give no reflective attention. The life­world includes the routine and the unusual, the mundane and the surprising.
    2. Place: place is prior to involuntary displacement.
    3. Home: home and at-homeness are another way in which the situation of people immersed in world is often expressed existentially.

    For the case of architecture Phenomenology is an intellectual approach to comprehend architecture as a cult [ure-] ivated objects (something that naturally emerge), not as constructed (something that ideologically or theoretically constructed).

    C.  Position of Phenomenology in Types of Knowing and Knowledge Approaches:

    Phenomenological approach offers an innovative way for looking at the person-environment relationship and for identifying and understanding its complex, multi-dimensioned structure. It is  practically based on person-world intimacy in a way that legitimately escapes any subject-object dichotomy.


    1. the world consists of external evidence and internal interpretation
    2. Meaning  is not inherent property of building but interpretation derived from interaction with the architecture

    There are three types of knowing: Subjective, Objective and Intra-Personal. In the diagram of “The relationship between Carl Rogers and Juan Bonta “(in Rudd, 1985), we could see the difference among the three ways of knowing:


    • Subjective :  knowing through its focus on the internal frame of reference
    • Objective : knowing of the self depending on External frame of references
    • Intrapersonal : knowing through empathy with other; joining objectivity of ontology with subjectivity of psycho-personal.
    (a) Things interpreted in-dependent of the self (b) things interpreted by self (c) Things interpreted by the self through empathy with another
    TYPE OF KNOWING Obejctive Subjective Interpersonal
    MODEL OF KNOWLEDGE Obejctive Subjective phenomenological
    CONDITION OF EMPATHY With peer gorup With themself With another self
    LOKING AT A PERSON behavior psychoanalysis self-actualization
    LOCUS OF REALITY Physical Personal Cultural
    MODE OF INTEPRETATION Being Liking/ Disliking Meaning

    As an approach of knowledge, Phenomenology could be differentiated from other approaches (Rationalism, Empiricism, Structuralism, Functionalsm, and Pragmatism), and characterized as follow  :

    JAE, "Beginning Again", ACSA/ EAAE

    Five Types of Thinking Approaches (F, Downing and J, Gribou), JAE, "Beginning Again", ACSA/ EAAE

    1. knowledge is essential and embodied in phenomena
    2. Method: by suspensions and judgment, existence is said to be bracketed.
    3. Procedure : descriptive analysis through suspension of judgment to the ontological or existential status or the object of consciousness
    4. Truth : is intuition that is able to go beyond pre-conception
    5. Beauty: aesthetic experience
    6. Meaning: phenomenological knowledge
    7. Assumption: reality is awareness, the world is constituted by consciousness
    8. Modes:
    • reducing subjectivity and objectivity
    • involvement of temporality
    • Transendency

    D. Three specific phenomenological methods of Enqury:

    (1) first-person phenomenological research; first hand-experience of

    (2) existential-phenomenological research; Commonality could be observed through

    1. Homology~ Parallelism through similar principle
    2. Metaphor ~ Parallelism through similar Appearance
    3. Essence of types and typology

    (3) hermeneutical-phenomenological research.

    Hermeneutics : the theory and practice of interpretation, particularly the interpretation of texts, which may be any material object or tangible expression imbued in some way with human meaning‑-for example, a public document, a personal journal, a poem, a song, a painting, a dance, a sculpture, a garden, and also Architecture

    Aim :understanding of material environments, whether furnishings, buildings, cultural landscapes, settlement patterns, and the like ,

    The issue of reliability first of all involves interpretive appropriateness: In other words, how can there be an accurate fit People of culture share as many more things in common as they have difference.


    1. Phenomenology (Architecture), Wikipedia
    2. Jorge Otero-Pailos, Phenomenology in Architecture: Of Places and Lifeworlds Beyond Intention
    3. Seamon, D., Phenomenology, Place, Environment, and Architecture: a review of the literature icon
    4. David Seamon,Robert Mugerauer; Dwelling, Place and Environment: Editors’ Introduction To The 2000 Edition
    5. F, Downing and J, Gribou), JAE, “Beginning Again”, ACSA/ EAAE

    Amos Rapoport

    Interview with Amos Rapoport

    6. Perception of Built Form (Colonial/Modern and Indigenous)


    When western Colonial people  came to Southeast Asia, they  found  most  of  the  vernacular  and  primitive  building are inhuman  because  they  were dirty,  dark, unhealthy. They  consider:

    • Dark because  of  not sufficient opening,
    • Unhealthy  because of  having  no  too  much  smokes  from  the  hearth, and too many people living in house
    • Dirty because  it  mixes  human  and  domesticated  animal  activities

    But  for  the people:

    • Dark  because  it  need  special  construction  and  they  are  not  necessarily  need  it because  their  main  activity  is  outside.  They  came  into  house  when  they  sleep
    • Full  of  smokes,  because  house  is  for  ritual  that  attribute  hearth.  Smoke  visualize  spirits,  and  spirits is  believed  to  be  able  to  heal  many  kinds  of  disease
    • Family is more important than comfort, comfort is in family-hood
    • Animal  life  is  inseparable  to  human  because  they  are necessary  and   meaningful  for  life

    Three Different Perceptions on Builty FOrm

    Major changes happened, and altered some framework on seeing house:

    • Primitive Architecture to Vernacular Architecture:  when the primitive architecture was advanced to accommodate more functions and equipped with higher state of structure,  and more meaning
    • Pre-Colonial architecture to Colonized Architecture:  when the vernacular architecture assimilate with more technical and functional necessity brought by the colonist
    • Pre-Modern Architecture to Modern Architectures:  when the vernacular architecture is altered by Modern Architecture

    The following are examples that show different manifestation of Dutch perception in built form in how they elaborated local architecture into their structure

    The right illustrations are indigenous architecture in Indonesia which was elaborated by Dutch architect in for Modern Building

    Even different Dutch and British has each of  have their own concept and approach  in how they elaborated local architecture into their structure. Dutch was more experimental technical while British was more to aesthetic and theoretical.

    Example of architectural transformation of indigenous architecture by Dutch (Bolgaty Palace, Cochin) and British (Napier Museum, Trivandrum)


    Waterson, Roxana, 1990. The Living House – Anthropology of Architecture in Southeast Asia, Singpore: Oxford University Press