Qualitative embodiment in english architectural discourse: conceptual metaphors and the value judgement of space
Plowright, Philip David
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This dissertation explores the discipline of architecture through an examination of conceptual metaphors in the discourse genre of architectural theory using Conceptual Metaphor Theory as a starting premise (Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Grady 1997). While theory in architecture is known to be factional when used defend unsubstantiated positions of personal or small group ideology (Johnson 1994), the study of metaphors in texts that contain diverse viewpoints while sharing the common focus of addressing the situated building in physical space clearly presents shared values. The dissertation reveals that metaphors found in the architectural corpus have a consistent tendency towards certain types of knowledge and source domains regardless to the specific article or author. The source domains are dominated by concepts of human actions, human interactions and human capacities as well as various types of motion, all of which are mapped between domains as a way to understand the built environment. These metaphors are constructed on complex gestalts that consistently stress agency, personification, identity and control as important concepts. Metaphors using these concepts indicate a set of values and ways of thinking about the built environment that are not recognized, acknowledged or clearly addressed by architects.