Architecture as Extensive Mind

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Architecture, Faculty of urban planning and architecture, Isfahan Branch Islamic Azad University, Isfahan. Iran

2 null

3 Art University of Isfahan

4 proffessor assistant


The relationship between man and architecture is usually assessed using behavioral science. However, this research intended to study architecture as a cognitive component using 4E cognition. This is different from the effect of environment on cognition which is often theorized as externalism within frameworks such as environmental psychology. This approach introduces architecture as an essential part of the mind and cognition. The main research question was: how does architecture act as the causative component of cognition? The main purpose of this study was to provide a new understanding of the nature of architecture and consequently, a new discourse to be established with architecture, particularly in the case of interactive and adaptive architectures which practically act as an extension of the body (prosthesis). At the strategic level, the research method was logical argumentation which, at the level of measures, based the analysis of architecture, as the extensive mind, on Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of embodiment, as the external logic of the argument. This study answered the research question by proving the essential role of metaphor in embodied cognition and consciousness and then, the role of architecture in generating primary and mixed metaphors. Therefore, here, metaphor is not considered a literary device but the foundation of abstract concepts and is strongly dependent on the characteristics of the body of the agent and the function of the body within the environment. The results of this study showed that architecture, as a body, acts as part of the extended mind or as an Exogram and architecture, as space, is the creator, weight-giver, and changer of primary metaphors by means of our sensory-motor behaviors and thus acts as an extensive and integrated mind.


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