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Relearning architecture – sense, time, place and technology

Oliveira, Antonio Manuel (2018) Relearning architecture – sense, time, place and technology. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


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This research reflects the vision of the architect starting from an interpretation of some philosophical principles, which guide the structure of this thesis, related to the actual issue of architectonic creation, and has as a case study architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, applied to and explained by the project of Quinta da Malagueira, in Évora. I will be researching a specific period, line of thinking, school of architecture and architecture project, and the in-between modern and post-modern thinking, inbetween a regime and democracy, in-between modernity and tradition, global and individual, abstract and imagery, and also the present, the past and the future. The in-between is the route that has not yet been submitted to rigid and intellectualised principles and has not yet been brought into academia. This thesis analyses the role of the architect in contemporary society, considering the questions put in its various sectors, its relationship with the constructed world, and the implications in the structure of the present architecture with its new methodological strategies. In this context, it will try to understand the interactions between the built world, the natural, the humane, technology and space-time dialectics, achieving through this interaction, an instrumental re-reading of the whole process. So, using studies not only at a local (background) level but also in the scope of contemporaneous architectural intervention, this study will suggest an instrumental re-reading and re-learning which will favour the first creative act. Based on these phenomenological values, in this thesis a genetic connection between the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira's project 'Quinta da Malagueira' in Évora (Portugal), Siza in the context of the 'Porto School' and the work of Le Corbusier is traced. From an examination of this period (after the 1974 revolution in Portugal), poised between the Modern Movement and Post- Modernism, but with its own specific space-time, this thesis will also present an understanding of the present situation, and (acknowledging existing variety), will propose a different direction for architectonic creation, which embodies continuity and rupture, accumulation of experience and knowledge and also new ways of thinking. In order to understand how space can transgress the connection between spatiality and temporality it becomes necessary to understand the essential starting point. At a moment when society understands space and is understood in space, the author asserts the importance of new perspectives for society based on some other paradigm, in order to determine the role of individual action, and the artistic framing and ranging of both the architect and architecture.

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