Architecture as communication: An application of "semeiotic" to meaning in architecture



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Texas Tech University


The concept of architecture as communication, along with the term " semiotics," began to surface in architectural periodicals in the early 1970's. The groundwork for these studies was laid at the turn of the century by philosophers such as Charles Sanders Peirce and Ferdinand de Saussure. Comparatively recent architectural research in this area has been sparse and less than vigorous leaving architects and interpreters of architecture little reason to believe semiotics has much to offer this field.

The purpose of this study is to show that semiotics does have benefits to offer architecture, and these benefits are expressed by illustrating and supporting two hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that semiotics can help an architect to become a more skilled communicator. The second hypothesis is that semiotics can help one who experiences architecture become a more perceptive interpreter.



Peirce, Charles S. (Charles Sanders), 1839-1914 -- Language, Symbolism in architecture