"Concept" is an important word in nowadays architectural education, often considered as the attachment point between idea and design, input and output of architecture.
"Concept", before any description, definition or meaning, is a word which has entered architect's language. Words enter a language on some bases. I'm curious to know how and why this term was brought into architectural discourse.
Thanks, Peiman Amini
108. A ready-made article ;|
The doctrine that,
Or abstract concepts,
Have an objective or absolute,
Meaning that is hidden,
On implied rather than explicitly stated,
A traditional Jewish title,
For a man who is not a rabbi,
A step-shaped recess,
Cut in a piece of wood,
Forming a match,
To the edge or tongue,
Of another piece.
It's nothing but an idea -- the basis of your thought process -- a gist/essence of your design. It can be a word, a feeling, a piece of art, music... anything that inspires and gives origin and meaning to the final product.|
All acts have a reason, in fact, we apply reason in our day to day interaction with situations and with people. Example, when someone insults you: you have a choice of insulting him too (this may lead to a fight or keep him quiet), beating him up (may keep him quiet for longer but not forever), walking away (he may continue, but will soon get tired of it)... it's your choice of handling the situation. It's your concept of dealing with a bully, that makes your reaction, how do you see the problem?
It's priciples: what guides you? Designing is problem solving -- a problem can be solved in a number of ways -- it is which way you choose and your reason for it. Which is why different architects come up with different design solutions for a single problem. The way they see the problem and their choice of solving it differs from person to person.
Example: cafeteria design. One can see it as just a place to eat (any room with tables and chairs will do), a place where people come together and interact and socialize (design may become more intimate with importance given to the way people sit and face each other etc.), a place where one comes to take a break (design may encourage an atmosphere for the mind to just wander and dream-importance given to nature,light)... How do you see the problem of cafetaria design? Most of the time students fear this little word, as they feel it has to be "complex" to be good. But even the greatest of architects use simple logic and reason to explain their design.
When someone asks you, "why have you done it this way?" and you answer, giving reason and logic for every line and every single move, then... the "concept" enters.
A concept to me is an image of an idea that a designer percieves of a design problem or activity. It is not hypothetical, but born of the combination of various parameteres specific to that design problem. The word "concept" would probably then be a part of any creative exercise, architecture included. Today, I think it may also be used in trying to explain what did not happen for a project, rather than what did. E.g., "you know, something like this was the original concept..."
Concept has become an excuse for mediocrity and more and more it is divorced from LIFE (the thing we are in). |
If you are referring to architecture or your own work, I suggest the following motto from the Russian Constructivists:
NOT THE OLD, NOT THE NEW, ONLY THE NECESSARY!
I share this same idea with you, but I think when we use a word we must first define it. In Iran University we use this word for everything that we want to make.
When in Farsi we use ELHAM OR EEDEE (transl. "idea"), we are correctly using a word like concept, but these are different things. The difference between this method and its use in art is that an artist uses "concept" to create, but others use aspect of it; we use proportions, they use formulas. Like the difference between poems and novels, classic painting and new art. It's the art of music. We can't build a building just like a bird, but we can have a concept from it to use.
Concept is imbeded in the building. As soon as a hierarchy is introduced, it can be said that the building has acquired a concept. Whether the Architect calls it a concept or something else, is not really important.|
Like the Japanese belief that the Golden ratio is inherent in everything, whether it is consciouly included or not, concepts are the same.
To me, a building may also contain many concepts. On the abstract, practical or technical level, ideas and reason are the basis of Architecture and these are concepts.
Please ask the Archnet Forum administrator for my email address and I will be able to answer your question. :)))
Read Hegel, on the notion of 'concept'.|
Also read, Jurgen Habermas, "Philosophical discourse of modernity' and see under what influences people are perpetuating the idea of 'concept'.