A Conceptual Model of Semantic Interaction between Art and Urban Space

Document Type : Research Article


1 Architecture School, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Ph. D. in Architecture, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.


The interaction between art and urban space has been historically useful to both phenomena. However, the accelerated developments of the past century have led to formation of some challenges in the interaction between art and urban space in Iran. So that the art used in cities has an inspired and space-attached nature, rather than being popular, meaningful and consistent with space features.
Regarding the qualitative development of urban spaces, there are two major attitudes towards the art: ‘art as a means to beautify spaces’ and ‘art as a means to enhance the addressees’ mindset on urban space.’ The second attitude emphasizes on improving the meaning of urban space through art. The main concern of this research is that the interaction between art and urban space in deeper subjective and semantic layers requires the discovery of the mechanism of addressee /actor interaction with urban space and art.
This research seeks to provide a conceptual framework for explaining the optimal interaction between art and space. Therefore, having examined the semantic aspect of urban space through experts’ views and also having studied the mechanism of the transfer of meanings via art, a model is proposed to explain how the involvement of art in formation, enhancement, and regeneration of urban space meaning.
This research uses qualitative content analysis. In the first step, the initial research model is presented through a comparative analysis of the mechanism of transfer in which the  meanings are transferred through art to the urban space.Interaction contents are obtained from the model in the form of ‘artist and authorities/ body’, ‘collective addressee/ community’, ‘individual addressee/ person’. Thereafter, these contents are studied by analyzing the research conducted in the field, and the main norms, and norms concerning urban space and art are deduced.
The main norms are crystalized in three main concepts, including: ‘cultural contextualism’, ‘democracy’ and ‘everyday experience’ that are derived from the norms concerning the use of art in space as well as the adaption of space to art. Eventually, the effects of these norms on the quality of urban space are mentioned by meaningfulness.


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