Ett kritiskt förslag : modellerande av arkitekturprofessionens praktiker och mimesisteori i diskursiva subjekt/objektrelationer
Doctoral thesis, 2002

The background to this doctoral thesis, A Critical Proposal, is an interest in modes of representation like theory and prevalent visual and verbal manners of rendering within the discipline of architecture. The practices of the architectural profession, especially its theoretical discourse, are investigated from a social constructivist and discourse analytic approach, focusing on a form of power analysis. The fundamental question at issue is: By whom, why and in what manner are the practices of the profession, its identities and objects of knowledge, such as the given physical environment of an architectural project and the actual design product, created, sustained and transformed? And how could it be in a different manner? Building on two major references, the critical works of the researchers Mark Jarzombek and Jonathan Hill, it is argued in the dissertation that the architectural profession with its practices, commonly partitioned in discourse and production, can be explained and studied as a discourse, where the so-called theoretical discourse sustains the same discursive subject and object creating patterns as the conventional architectural photography. The theoretical discourse as a practice, however, has been vital for the intellectual prestige of the profession. The prevalent discursive pattern is also described historically: a major breach being identified in the late 18th Century, when the physical environment and buildings began to be articulated in psychological and linguistic terms as objects of expression to the sensuously experiencing human being. In this breach, the concept of mimesis was excluded. Mimesis is examined in its contemporary theoretical version as a critical alternative to the prevalent discourse in the form of a production theory. In conclusion, the demand for theoretical and methodical stringency in social constructivist discourse analysis, with its attention on the problem of reflexivity, is a point of entry to the dissertation’s proposal for a way of working for critical and productive research: a modelling of theory and the world, where the theoretical discourse in the culture of the researcher can be regarded as empirical material.


Magdalena Forshamn

Department of Modern Architecture

Subject Categories

Building Technologies



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 1815

Publikation - Chalmers tekniska högskola, Sektionen för arkitektur: 2002:2

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