Conception of place for architects and non-architects

Document Type : Research Article



Nowadays discussion about different conceptions of place and how it is perceived by users of the place is an important debate in architecture and urbanism, especially in the area of behavioral sciences. In this vein, one of the most important concepts associated with this area especially in the discussions about environmental psychology is the conception of place. By recognizing different conceptions of place, its formation process and also parameters contributing to the perception of people of place, it is possible to create a desirable environment, which is the ultimate goal of architecture and urbanism. The main thrust of the present study was to extract and measure the factors contributing to the conception of architects and non-architects of place and the distinction between the two through a place narrative analysis. This was accomplished by a case study carried out in two main bus stations located in Isfahan. For this purpose, two concepts namely "thinking content" and "thinking modes" were separately investigated and compared for architects and non-architects, using closed and open questionnaires and in-depth interviews with people in two terminals (i.e., Kaveh and Soffeh) in Isfahan. The sample was 174 people. Out of this sample, 100 were non-architects and 74 were architects.  The results were indicative of the fact that both architects and non-architects consider individual factors as relevant to the formation of conception of meaning. However, according to non-architects, individual factors are more relevant to individual needs and to the degree to which these needs are met, given the facilities in the environment whereas architects express individual factors in terms of recognition of behavioral patterns and also the existing conditions and quality in the environment. In terms of thinking mode, the findings indicate that non-architects have an emotional, empirical or relative thinking towards place and the conceptions in it, but architects have abstract and conceptual thinking in understanding place conceptions.


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