Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Relations between metaphors, creative thinking and 3D structures

Design , drawing and model of Virgin Island Beach Pavilion by Barie Fez-Barringten  

Relations between metaphors, creative thinking and 3D structures ©
By Barie Fez-Barringten
www (dot) bariefez-barringten  (dot) com
bariefezbarringten (at) gmail (dot) com

As the literary metaphor, works of architecture are made with technical and conceptual metaphors which combine to become an architectural metaphor. Buildings are the products of programming, design and construction. You can look at the profession of architecture as the process or product.
Architecture: the making of metaphors is concerned primarily with the process.
Buildings seen by users, public and scholars are incidental and as beauty in the eyes of the beholder. As anything in the landscape can be received as a metaphor and perceived metaphorically. But primarily they are the result of a metaphoric process and as such are metaphors; perceived or not.
            According to (2.0) M.Gelernter in “Teaching design innovation through design traditions” he wrote learning is a kind of trial and error activity culminating in a successful solution to a pursued goal.  The process encountered in the pursuit are remembered by the learner as a kind of program, what Piaget calls a mental schema.  Now when this same person applies this same mental schema to solve another problem Piaget says the problem has been assimilated by the existing schema.  Inducing this kind of association of the familiar (2.0)mental schema for the unfamiliar is the work of (3.1)William J.Gordon (Synectics: The metaphorical Way of Knowing") .  If the (2.0)mental schema does not work and the learner evolves the original (2.0)mental‑schema to cope with the new problem Piaget says it has been accommodated to the problem.  This is the transforming characteristic of the metaphor and the metaphoric process.

(2.0)     Gelernter, M., "Teaching design innovation through design traditions from 1988, ACSA Proceedings of Seventy Sixth Annual Meeting.  (School of Architecture and Planning ‑ University of Colorado at Denver.)

(3.1)     "Synectics: The metaphorical Way of Knowing"

(3.2)The metaphoric process is based on a literary term which means "carrying‑over"; it associates meanings and emotions which would otherwise not have been related. Essences known to have a preferential or primary use (the original (2.0)mental Schema) in one context are explicitly employed in another.  Piaget claims that once the new schema has been developed it is retained as a repertoire of possible solutions to problems.  These mental (2.0)repertoire include not only material solutions to physical problems but to problems of comprehension as well.  Their is then a repertoire of solutions that provides the individual with competence to act in the world.  Examples are plenty in architecture.  Formulas, for stair's risers and tread relationships; furniture sizes; drafting techniques; indexes to information; prices; quantities; estimating tools; engineering techniques; heating, ventilating and air conditioning technologies; manufacturing sources; consultants, etc.  This list goes on and on of the many facts, figures and concepts remembered and brought to bear by the practicing architect and before, to a lesser extent, by the learning architect.  In any approach to creative work or learning the individual in process of creation encounters problems for which he either already has an  existing (2.0)schema or evolves a new one.
Creativity though is not always a "problem-solving" event.  It may be a creative one which uses the past, present and vision of the future (in the form of analysis of program) to create a work. It is an inclusive "information gathering" perceiving and reifying process. 

(3.2)     Weiss, P., "The metaphorical process"

(2.0)  Gelernter, M., "Teaching design innovation through design traditions"

Which concretises and forms by juxtaposing the conditions, operations, ideals and goals (C.O.I.G.) of a project.  It is the synapse, transformation and interrelationships of these (C.O.I.G.) which creates the composition we call metaphor.  The content of the work of architecture is the experience with these program elements that are brought about by the (4.1)technique of creativity.  "Technique reveals what content itself cannot".  These are the remembered mental schema where a prior experience is accumulated nurtured and encouraged.

"Learn with Metaphors":
            Architects learn to learn; and, learn to research, program, analyze, develop sources and resources, dimension, scale, volume, limits, boundaries, scope, depth, movement, context, etc where none existed before.  The maker of architectural metaphors sees in an "open-ended" seamless situation very specific parameters where the inexperienced fails.  It is in the phenomena of his 1a prior; holistic experience with (4.1)techniques of making that the individual with all the elements is able to take a new content into yet another metaphor.  A new metaphor which never did exist before yet is based upon every known experience of architects, his or her's profession, the school they attended the way they learned and knowledge they accumulated.  Each is unique yet well related by the commonality of the uniformity of the information, the contexts, etc.  experiences, contexts, teaching foundation, schools of philosophy, family and social.
1)    Dodds, G., "On the place of architectural speculation"
1.      a priori: from the former, deductive; relating to or derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions; presupposed by experience; being without examination or analysis.  Formed or conceived beforehand.  Presumptive as compared do a posteriori : from the latter, inductive, relating to or derived by reading from observed facts.
The exercise prepares future architects to be in their own time, with their own history, venues and contexts and yet be able to originate works of architecture which are both peculiar, particular, tailor-made, and indigenous.  Such transcends but adapts well to culture, tradition and heritage.

(4.1)It is the metaphor that reveals the content.  It is the metaphor that was composed of the content that has all the cues, limits, bonds, and sense stimulants so organized on the basis of the program that, when perceived, recalls the content to users.  This remaking is a restoration of knowledge that does not resemble the original so much as it leads to the essential condition of the 1referent.   The 1referent may include every experience of the architect, the process of creating this very project, and all the elements which form the building.  Indeed the process is 2heuristic as a restoration or remaking of a condition that is no longer present.  The metaphor too reveals whatever does not bring itself forth.  This is the mission of the composer which is endued in the residue of his experience: the metaphor.  It all is an extension of his identity and the vehicle by which he is (manifests, asserts, confirms, tests, and again becomes) the architect.

(4.1)     Dodds, G., "On the place of architectural speculation"

1.         referent: the "thing" that a symbol stands for.

2.         heuristic: to discover; as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial and error methods.  It is exploratory self-educating, and improves performance.

"The metaphor's correlations"
Collage by Christina Fez-Barringten
Can a metaphor composed by one be read by another?  If both have been similarly cultured by the same experiences the reader and composer may communicate through the work.  No two people, even in identical situations perceive and retain in the same way.
            Mark Gelernter explains that (2.0)the individual culture gives explicit guidance about which solutions work and which solutions other members of the culture will understand.   Certainly this is true for the standard expectations any society values its' neighborhoods, building types and styles.  These become the measures by which an individual values his or her success and accomplishments, and by which he or she can compare him or herself to others in society.  It is a primary function of any metaphor and the metaphors in a society which cue us toward our relative positions.    This is a function of both art, architecture and all other metaphors. It enters the culture's general repertoire.  (2.0)Cultural traditions provide rapid competence when recurring and familiar problems are faced, and when new problems emerge they provide the essential base of knowledge from which new ideas are derived.
Indeed there are many published standards for graphics, layouts, detailing, design organization, specifications, contracting, management and construction.  These are never meant to be copied, but along with manufacturer, context, site, program and personal specific information metaphorically 1created to produce the appropriate and relevant metaphor.  They can be emulated.
For any one individual “Architecture: The Making of Metaphors” is predicated by a personal encounter of both sense and mind.  Kant’s phenomenon philosophy and Berleant’s approach to aesthetics-view object as it is perceived by the senses. So after having derived and developed the ideas of architecture as the making of metaphors it still behooves readers to realize the phenomenon and epiphany enjoying both the process and read of design and the environment.  Architecture: the making of metaphors is more than an idea but phenomena and as such is the immediate object of awareness in experience. In earlier monographs I quoted Husserl and others noting the Dasein of the metaphor and the epiphany of the revelation that architecture: the making of metaphors.  However, without the combination of life experience of perception and design that transforms; where neither time, neither space nor substance matters except the sanctified and set apart aesthetic experience of creation. It is that special awareness during design and inhabiting buildings where the phenomenon of the architecture and metaphors lives. When you get it you know that you know, when there is an eclipse of the process with a product that achieves program:metaphor.  So are the relations between metaphors, the creative thinking and 3D structures.


Barie Fez-Barringten is the originator (founder) of “Architecture: the making of metaphors(architecture as the making of metaphors)"
First lecture at Yale University in 1967
First published in 1971 in the peer reviewed learned journal:"Main Currents in Modern Thought";
In 1970, founded New York City not-for-profit called Laboratories for Metaphoric Environments (LME) and has been widely published in many international learned journals including Springer publications, MIT, and Syracuse University.  
The book “Architecture: the making of metaphors" has been published in February 2012 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in New Castle on Tyne,UK..

Researched Publications: Refereed and Peer-reviewed Journals: "monographs":

Barie Fez-Barringten; Associate professor Global University

1. "Architecture the making of metaphors" ©
Main Currents in Modern Thought/Center for Integrative Education; Sept.-Oct. 1971, Vol. 28 No.1, New Rochelle, New York.
2."Schools and metaphors"
Main Currents in Modern Thought/Center for Integrative Education Sept.-Oct. 1971, Vol. 28 No.1, New Rochelle, New York.
3."User's metametaphoric phenomena of architecture and Music":
“METU” (Middle East Technical University: Ankara, Turkey): May 1995"
  Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
4."Metametaphors and Mondrian:
Neo-plasticism and its' influences in architecture" 1993                               Available on Academia.edu since 2008
5. "The Metametaphor© of architectural education",
             North Cypress, Turkish University.     December, 1997

6."Mosques and metaphors"                         Unpublished,1993
7."The basis of the metaphor of Arabia"      Unpublished, 1994
8."The conditions of Arabia in metaphor"   Unpublished, 1994
9. "The metametaphor theorem"                  
Architectural Scientific Journal, Vol. No. 8; 1994 Beirut Arab University.    
10. "Arabia’s metaphoric images"                Unpublished, 1995
11."The context of Arabia in metaphor"      Unpublished, 1995
12. "A partial metaphoric vocabulary of Arabia"
“Architecture: University of Technology in Datutop; February 1995 Finland
13."The Aesthetics of the Arab architectural metaphor"
“International Journal for Housing Science and its applications” Coral Gables, Florida.1993
14."Multi-dimensional metaphoric thinking"
Open House, September 1997: Vol. 22; No. 3, United Kingdom: Newcastle upon Tyne
15."Teaching the techniques of making architectural metaphors in the twenty-first century.” Journal of King Abdul Aziz University Engg...Sciences; Jeddah: Code: BAR/223/0615:OCT.2.1421 H. 12TH EDITION; VOL. I and “Transactions” of 
Cardiff University, UK. April 2010

16. Word Gram #9” Permafrost: Vol.31 Summer 2009 University of Alaska Fairbanks; ISSN: 0740-7890; page 197
17. "Metaphors and Architecture."© ArchNet.org. October, 2009.at MIT 

18. “Metaphor as an inference from sign”;© University of Syracuse
    Journal of Enterprise Architecture; November 2009: and nominated architect of the year in special issue of  Journal of Enterprise Architecture explaining  the unique relationship between enterprise and classic building architecture.

19. “Framing the art vs. architecture argument”; Brunel University (West London); BST: Vol. 9 no. 1:  Body, Space & Technology Journal: Perspectives Section

20. “Urban Passion”: October 2010; Reconstruction & “Creation”; June 2010; by C. Fez-Barringten; http (colon) //reconstruction.eserver (dot) org/;

21. “An architectural history of metaphors”: ©AI & Society: (Journal of human-centered and machine intelligence) Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Communication: Pub: Springer; London; AI & Society located in University of Brighton, UK;
AI & Society. ISSN (Print) 1435-5655 - ISSN (Online) 0951-5666 : Published by Springer-Verlag;; 6 May 2010 http://www (dot) springerlink(dot) com/content/j2632623064r5ljk/
Paper copy: AIS Vol. 26.1.  Feb. 2011; Online ISSN 1435-5655; Print ISSN 0951-5666;
DOI 10.1007/s00146-010-0280-8; : Volume 26, Issue 1 (2011), Page 103

22. “Does Architecture Create Metaphors?; G.Malek; Cambridge; August 8,2009
Pgs 3-12  (4/24/2010)

23. “Imagery or Imagination”:the role of metaphor in architecture:Ami Ran (based on Architecture:the making of metaphors); :and Illustration:”A Metaphor of Passion”:Architecture of Israel 82.AI; August 2010 pgs. 83-87.

24. “The sovereign built metaphor” © monograph converted to Power Point for presentation to Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 2011

25.“Architecture:the making of metaphors”©The Book;
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Published: Feb 2012

Newcastle upon Tyne

United Kingdom
Edited by
Edward Richard Hart,



Continuous line drawing with wash by Barie Fez-Barringten
Also, “Gibe” which documents his founding of international Earth Day along with John McConnell (deceased Oct 20 2012).