Designing vitalness at the crossroad of architecture and theatre: architectural design in the light of Stanislavskian acting

Öztek, Elif
Architecture and theater, have been encountering with each other in many aspects as they have an essential commonality: their concern about the human life. In architecture, the aim is to create spaces for the life; whereas theatre imitates and represents the life. Architects and theater practitioners are both actors and spectators of the world theater. Both disciplines consider the human being together with its phenomenal environment and contain a life with all its aspects and dimensions. This distinctive quality is referred as vitalness and is seen as the major commonality that brings those fields together in various ways. Vitalness is explained by two main components: the human being as the vital element and its phenomenal surrounding, complementing its experience and existence. This study focuses on the concept of vitalness, as the representation of all the aspects of life, and attempts to discover the phenomenal nature of this concept in the fields of architecture and theatre. Therefore, the primary aim is to define and conceptualize vitalness through its existence in those fields and secondly, to understand how similarly or differently its components are handled in creative production processes of both architecture and theatre. Following a comparison of the preparation processes of architecture and theatre, the consideration of vitalness in these processes is analyzed and human life is emphasized as the phenomenological essence of architecture or as the magic essence of acting, which requires the magic of if, referring to Stanislavski. The theater practician Constantin Stanislavski dwells on the techniques for triggering the creativity and rather than making superficial imitations, he tries to enrich the art of acting with the deep aspects of life and reality, by embodying the role upon his/her/its experience of own circumstances – or milieu. Together with architectural phenomenology, his methods create a ground to evaluate the concept of vitalness in architecture and theatre. It is argued that in order to create lively spaces -which are embodied through the magic of if-, architects turn into the actors of their imaginary stages, and empathize with the future dwellers of the place. Therefore, the creative process of actors is seen valuable to evaluate and it is believed that an evaluation of Stanislavski’s methods can inspire and enhance the creative process of the architects.


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Citation Formats
E. Öztek, “Designing vitalness at the crossroad of architecture and theatre: architectural design in the light of Stanislavskian acting,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2018.