Reconceptualizing the architectural precedent: textual models of reading

Beşeli Özkoç, Heves
The aim of this thesis is to reconceptualize the “architectural precedent” in a way to reveal its potentials as an instrument for architectural design and education. The main concern is to use the architectural precedent as a source of knowledge and form generation, but not as a model for functional problem solving. In order to generate new knowledge and form, the precedent should be read textually rather than formally. While formal reading reveals existing knowledge underlying the precedent, textual reading produces new knowledge, which can be utilized for generating a new form transcending the original object. In order to read buildings textually, the architectural precedent should be reconsidered as a trans-historical concept. This thesis is concerned with both the methodological aspects of textual reading as a generative act and the epistemological aspects of the knowledge produced by these processes. It is argued that the methodology of textual reading is inherent to the object’s process of making and that there is no single method for reading all buildings. Therefore, this thesis proposes three models for reading precedents: textual-analytical model, textual-transformational model, and textual-decompositional model. It is argued that textual reading of precedents is also a generative act rather than merely analytical. It is stated that reconceptualized as a trans-historical concept, the precedent has the potential to initiate design process. Defining the precedent as a catalyst for creativity and invention rather than a barrier against it, this thesis discusses the educational potentials of the architectural precedent and textual reading.


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Citation Formats
H. Beşeli Özkoç, “Reconceptualizing the architectural precedent: textual models of reading,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.