Thesis: Architecture for the Human Condition


An Architecture contingent on both the corporal and psychological paradigm of human reality, considered at an individual and plural level. Philosophers such as Arendt hold that the human condition is created and altered by everything that surrounds that human, thus architecture (and the urban setting in this case) as a predominant element the environment of experience acquires a moral status. Psychology has shown in many instances how there is a general pattern in our reaction to visual stimulus, be it color or geometry. Some theoreticians such as Alain de Botton link both happiness and misery to the quality of our environment: the kind of walls, chairs, buildings and streets we're surrounded by. Questions such as the ethical value of beauty, the perfect balance between mood and program, or even a psychological program, surface and gain tremendous weight.

It might turn out that we are conditioned by, and we don't condition, architectural space. However, in Architecture from the Inside Out Karen and Lepori make a compelling argument that space (regardless of its stylistic lineage) is thus impregnated with symbolism projected by the distinct combination between cultural baggage and a certain modus operandi of perception; a blank wall can potentially carry as powerful a symbolic essence as Rodin's La Porte de l'Enfer. Social interaction, which involves a varying number of people, who might or might not form a pattern, spatially, or mentally (when a perceiver understands what is going on), can modify architectural space to such a fundamental level (both subjectively and physically) that the idea of a one-way relationship of conditioner and conditioned is put in doubt.

What exactly does it mean for a human to exist within the confines of an architectural space?

In trying to answer this question there is a hope of discovering a design methodology contingent on a re-establishment of relationships between a numbers of architectural concepts.It doesn't take much of a look into the birth, evolution and refusal of ideas, ideologies and systems of thought, on architecture and otherwise, to acquire the sense that with progress there is a road towards a new paradigm. Architecture has been viewed as the art and science of building, however, the science of building was generally related to methods of construction. This thesis treats the question of science (a particular branch of knowledge about the structure of the human condition) as the predecessor to design. According to theoreticians such as Alexander this approach would have to generate design and allow for a variety of end results.