A study of higher scientific credibility of architecture critique A technique to find the comprehensive meaning of architecture works

Document Type : Research Article



Urban environment affects life and the society. It encompasses architecture works, so every architecture work, as a part of a totality, affects life of the society as well. This happens through the meaning of the environment and architecture works. Therefore, the addressee of an architecture work is the society not only a person. In this regard, architecture critics are environmental supervisors who should notice their social role. They should analyze architecture works they way the society does it. On the other hand, an architecture work, as a piece of art, has different aspects in meaning that the addressee receives some of them. We are able to receive only the semantic aspects which our perceptual world allows us. This varies from person to person. It causes the perception of the addressee (also the perception of critics) about a same work to be different. The differences can make a critique sound like a personal opinion about architecture and as a result reduces its credibility. So finding a way to express the “comprehensive meaning” of every work is necessary. The comprehensive meaning of every architecture work explained in this paper refers to the meaning that has two main properties. First, it is be beyond the personal perceptual world of the critic. It makes it possible to have a meaning which everyone can understand and accept. Second, all parties of discussion agree upon it. Previous researches can be categorized into three groups. The first is hermeneutical researches that focus on the originality of critique sources. The second is researches that bracket different types of critiques and present the properties and dimensions of each. The last one is those explaining scientific techniques necessary to theorizing and logical analyzing. None of them gives a way to find a comprehensive meaning of architecture works. But, environmental psychologists’ researches can help us find a way to understand a comprehensive meaning of architecture works as social and environmental motives. So there are some researches which form up the basis of this paper. Two of the most important of these are “Predicting the Meaning of Architecture” by Hershberger; R. G. published in 1974 and “Measuring Attributes of the Visual Environment” by Sanoff, H. published in 1974. This paper consists of five parts. Parts 1-3 form the basis of the theory in this paper. The first section is about the different types of architecture critiques. It briefly explains critique criterions, interpretive critique and descriptive critique. The second part explains the scientific credibility of critiques. This part starts with the most important properties of a scientific theory and then describes the different kinds of theories based on scientific credibility grade. The third part explains how meaning is understood. General perception levels such as sensation, perception and cognition, are examined in this part. Part four summarizes the three previous parts and shapes the theory of the paper. The last part examines the theory. Question: How can we achieve the comprehensive meaning of an architecture work which includes properties wider than personal perceptions? Theory: The comprehensive meaning of an architecture work can be expressed by set of adjectives in a more precise congruous with the sensational perception of that work. To test the theory, perception of an sample work is considered as a set of adjectives, then the architecture work which is more similar to the sample work is selected via two ways: immediate perception and the set of adjectives achieved from first step. A comparison of the last two steps concludes the test. The research method is experimental. The “semantic differential method” was used to find the set of adjectives and the “logical method” to analyze the collected data. The study shows that the set of adjectives, which are collected from the addressee society to explain an architecture work, can be congruous with the sensational perception of that work. The comprehensive meaning that can be achieved this way has these important properties: • Since it is achieved through society perception, it encompasses more properties of the work than personal perception allows, therefore its credibility is beyond that of a personal opinion. • The meaning achieved this way makes the critique of an architecture work more realistic and objective as a social-environmental motive. • The meaning is re-examinable to widen its credibility limits.  Finally, because of scientific properties this technique can increase the scientific credibility of architecture critiques.