An Experimental Research into Inhabitable Theories

PhD Thesis Abstract

The thesis was written in partial fulfilment of the requirements for obtaining the degree of a Doctor of Philosophy at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts (CAiiA), Planetary Collegium, School of Art and Media, Faculty of Arts, University of Plymouth, UK. The research was begun in the summer of 2003 as practice based research, and undertaken on a part-time basis. Its First Supervisor was Prof. Roy Ascott, and its Second Supervisor Prof. Mike Phillips.

The thesis research is situated within the field of Architecture. Its principle objective is the articulation of arguments for a new theory of architecture as an architectural poetics, and related to this, a new form of discourse as poetry of an architectonic order. The research was initiated through a series of questions that architects confront when asked to create and to speak about what can be understood to be(come) frameworks for (unknown) life. It thus deals with the question of the unknown and, related to this, the question of open form. It develops on the idea that a concept of inhabitation may be feasible exclusively on the basis of a theory that extends the well known two-valued logic that has been dominant in the Western world since the times of classical metaphysics.

Rooted in philosophy, the research extends contemporary architectural and critical theory, notions from poets such as Paul Celan, Marguérite Duras and Samuel Beckett, and research in second order cybernetics – the latter with an emphasis on Gotthard Günther’s writings on Non-Aristotelean logic. The text’s focus is on the notion of Architecture as a transcendental concept. It advances the understanding of Architectural Design as a performative process that creates borders rather than borderlines, limits rather than limitations and, is therefore, a discipline of radical communication that always seeks to extend itself towards an Other – the unknown – addressing it without previously quantifying it to render it provable.

The research furthers the field of Architecture by contributing to it a new theory in the form of an architectural poetics. It addresses questions of design with a procedural framework in which critical engagement is an intrinsic principle, and offers an alternative to existing discourses through a poetry of architectonic order that is open to the future.

[I am currently in the process of rewriting the thesis addressing a larger less specialized audience. However, if you are interested in the original and are not afraid of jargon let me know. It’s available.]


4 Responses to An Experimental Research into Inhabitable Theories

  1. behnaz says:

    where i can find the whole text ? thx

    • There is a version online, held in the research database of the University of Plymouth: Some parts of the thesis have been previously published in journals, and due to copyright issues these parts of the thesis have been taken out for this online version. Let me know in case you are interested in some of the missing parts. I could then point you to the respective official publications. Kind regards, Claudia

  2. LITRA :: says:

    There are problems with the PEARL database servers in Plymouth. It will take a few days until the file is available again.

  3. LITRA :: says:

    There are still problems with PEARL. Please give me a note if the download fails. I could make it available through other channels.

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