Micro-geographies between Text and Object: A Bibliothèque for Immanuel Kant

By Levent Kara.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Architectural making is an act of speculation to the degree that the architectural construct offers a new way of seeing and framing things in the way it narrates a life in an expanded field of consciousness, a micro-geography. The narrative possibilities of architectural space, the way the architectural object interprets life in its narration, are directly related to the structures of our lived experience where spatio-temporal consciousness is inseparably tied to our socio-psychological sense of being. However, the mainstream conceptions of architectural experience in contemporary literature mostly orbit around an idea of phenomenological consciousness which views our engagement with architecture at the level of a subject – object relation. The subject, however much her intentionality is embedded in her surroundings and life traditions, is still a subject as a hermeneutical node confronted with architectural objects. On the other extreme, there is also a strong literature in contemporary theory that dismisses the notion of experience altogether from the field of architecture. This latter view, in direct opposition to phenomenological approaches to experience, tends to understand architectural making solely based on socio-historical codes as part of a larger cycle of cultural production. My presentation aims to show that neither of these extremist views can fully account for the speculative nature of architectural making and constructed micro-geographies when we understand architecture as a narrative field of intervention in the event space of life above and beyond a subject – object relation or a socio-economic determination. In the narrative flux the object generates, our self-understanding moves in an interpretative space that also embodies the memory of the other in its unfamiliarity.

Keywords: Architecture, Making, Design, Process, Text and Object, Image, Kant, Interpretation, Aesthetics, Hermeneutics

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.75-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.586MB).

Dr. Levent Kara

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Community Design, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Dr. Levent Kara joined the University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design in 2010. He received his B.Arch and M.Arch degrees from Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi (Turkey) and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Dr. Kara is a registered architect in Turkey where he practiced for several years before coming to the University of Florida for doctoral studies in 2002 with a full four-year Alumni Fellowship. His practice in Turkey involved commissioned design work, competition entries, and construction supervision. Prior to his appointment at USF, Dr. Kara taught design studios and theory and history courses in the School of Architecture at the University of Florida as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Dr. Kara’s research investigates architectural design as a critical practice in the production of culture. To this end, his scholarship mainly concentrates on the epistemology of design thinking, from the fundamental modalities of architectural design in terms of the relation between thinking and making, to the contemporary dilemmas surrounding the theory / practice dichotomy. This main focus on the epistemology of architectural design is further supported by lateral research on the interfaces between architectural design and other modes of cultural production including formal philosophical investigations in natural epistemology, aesthetics and culture theory, and pedagogical investigations in architectural design and theory. Dr. Kara’s writings range from formal philosophical subjects in epistemology, aesthetics, and culture theory, to architectural design, theory and criticism, and architectural pedagogy.