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The human body as a building architectural colossi and their metaphors

Politakis, Charalampos (2013) The human body as a building architectural colossi and their metaphors. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The human reception of architecture is interpreted through the human body. The form of the human body has therefore been used as a model and metaphor for architecture since antiquity. The research will be based on the relation of the human body and architectural structures and especially how the human body has been the inspiration for the exterior form of architectural colossi and buildings. The investigation examines the human body in architectural history and theory, the role of Platonic and Cartesian philosophy and how through phenomenological approach philosophers such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and theoreticians such as Frascari and Pallasmaa have seen, described and analysed the human body and the role of architecture and perception. The references and the literature review were considered important for the researcher in order to investigate the role of human body and its relation to colossal architecture and sculpture. The research employs theoretical ideas of Venturi and others to consider the examples of anthropomorphic colossal monuments of Claes Oldenburg, the architecture of Frank O. Gehry and the skeletal forms of Santiago Calatrava. Therefore, the paradigms of the architectural and artistic practice of the selected case studies were chosen based on the use of the human body to shape the exterior form of the structures. The analysis focuses on the contemporary practice of the phenomenon of anthropomorphism in architecture and also identifies the contemporary application in society of the metaphor and imitation of the human body through the artistic, architectural and philosophical practice and perspective.

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