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Theory of Architecture

Architecture Theory Q

Architecture theory is the act of thinking, discussing, and writing about architecture. (wiki)

Theory in Architecture is hypothesis, hopes, and guesses about what happens when all the
ingredients that comprise buildings are put together in a particular way, place, and time. However,
theory isn’t the same as science. Science is a more certain and precise knowledge—such as physiology,
structure, sound transmission, and other—than theory. While science is a fact that will indeed occurs,
theory only suggest directions but do not guarantee results. This happens because theory is followed
by changes in time based on events, buildings and humans where they are too complex to be
understood and predict.
As an architect, theory is important to understand where it is going to be useful when an
architect is faced with various choice. Architecture theory will help to decide. Architecture theory are
statements that deals with what architecture is, what it should do and how to design it.

What architecture is
Theories about what architecture is are concerned with about a few variables—like space,
structure or social processes—in terms of which buildings should be seen or evaluated. To make it
easier to explain and understand what is architecture, experts often use analogies.

 Mathematical Analogy
Discuss numbers and geometry that provide an important aspect to determine
choices such as the golden section or golden number which are often used by

 Biological Analogy
“Building is a biological process, building is not an aesthetic process.”
Discuss relation between buildings, buildings and their environment or building with
their living creature. Generally, Biological analogy takes to forms:
1. Focuses on relationships between parts of the buildings or between the buildings
and it’s setting which Frank Lloyd Wright called it organic.
2. Focuses on growth processes and movement capabilities associated with
organisms which are called biomorphic.

p.s. Biomorphic architecture is design of the building directly influenced by the animal,
vegetation, human body, and anatomical structure with chosen materials to create
aesthetic harmony.

 Romantic Analogy
Discuss architecture with evocative feature that could arouse emotional responses.

 Linguistic Analogy
Buildings that are meant to convey information to those who observe. There are three
1. Grammatical Mode, Architecture are composed with elements (words) where
people are allowed to interpret and understand what the building meant.
2. Expressionist Model, Architecture is seen as a vehicle where the architect
expresses attitude towards the building project.
“Buildings can make comments about the situation, about their site, about the
problem of holding the outside out and the inside in, about the problem of getting
themselves built, about the people who use them or the people who made
them—all sorts of things that can be funny, or sad, or stupid, or silent, or dumb.”
This means that building (architecture) are based on how the architect made
his/her concept (theory).
3. Semiotic Building, Architecture that holds a sign to convey information. Thera are
two types of Semiotic Building, Buildings which are considered as:
- Ducks, Architecture which take form as things that they sell or contain so that
visitor knew what they’re going to expect. Ex: building takes form of a guitar
sells guitar.
- Decorated Shed, Architecture which take form as signs that attached to the
building and became façade. Ex: A painting that shows pediment and columns
shows that the building is a bank.

 Mechanical Analogy
Architecture is seen as a machine which should only express how they are and what
they do as the way it is.

 Problem-Solving Analogy,
“Architecture is an art which demands more reasoning than inspiration and more
factual knowledge than verve”
Problem solving analogy is a rationalist, logical systematic, or parametric approach to
architectural design. This analogy assume that environmental needs are problem that
can be solved through careful analysis and procedures—analysis, synthesis, and

 Adhocist Analogy
“It’s a waste of time and energy for most architects to invent new forms. Rather, it is
the architect’s prime duty to make the best from what already exist.”
Architecture that respond to immediate circumstances need using existing materials
without having a reference.

 Pattern Language Analogy

“Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our
environment and then describes the core of the solution to that problem.”
Solving architecture problem based on the pattern that have been experience before.

 Dramaturgical Analogy
“Human activities are often characterized as theater (all the world is a stage) and
consequently the built environment may be seen as a stage.”
This analogy is employed in two ways:
1. Point of view of an actor
Architect is concerned with supplying the user with the props and settings needed
to play out a particular role.
2. Point of view of a playwright
Architect can cause people to move in one direction or another by offering visual

Where both influences architecture condition both exterior and interior.