Explanation of the relationship between human and place in architecture design process by a phenomenological approach

Document Type : Research Paper


Tarbiat Modares University


Today, due to the lack of the effective use of the relationship between human and place in the creation of space, man - made environments have no meaning and identity. However the first priority of designers is to recognise and understand the environment, the relationship of human and place, and it,s application to design. Because of its ability to percept the relationship between human, environment, space and place; Phenomenology can help designers. In this paper, descriptive - analytic research method has been used. There are two approaches of ontology and epistemology in the phenomenology of place. Ontological approach has largely a spatial viewpoint and searches the meaning of the place which has been defined as the spirit of place in the architecture or Life - World. The spirit of place is created by the relationship between things and gives a special sense or character to the environment and is mostly in the field of concrete dimensions. But the epistemological approach has mostly a humanistic point of view to the subject and wants to find what the place is or Lived experience. By the study of the experience structure, they suppose that the sense of place is effective for the perception of the environment. The sense of place needs directly human and human experience to exist. In addition, it is formed as a continuous cycle in which firstly, place identity (to be recognized), then belonging to the place (desired characteristics) and finally, attachment to the place (to be attached) are formed. The sense of place involves a route from the objective field to the subjective Which controls the harder it is for designers. The results of the research indicate that the use of a phenomenological approach in the architecture necessitates the use of both phenomenological approaches to the place, namely acceptance of the origin of "life-world" with social and cultural domain as well as the "lived experience" of people. In this route, formation of a place sense starts with the perception of the life-world characters (spirit of place) and ends with the attachment to place. Spirit of place exists wherever, and is formed by a combination of "space", "order" and "time", so the spirit of place cannot be created by the design. But it is both required and possible to use the spirit of place as a guide to design process in the architecture. However, regarding the use of the sense of place in the architectural design; since the sense of place results from the interaction between the human and the built environment and it is added to the architecture over time, then it cannot be established at the design stage, but with the participation of stakeholders and users in the process of design and architecture based on their beliefs and values; the capacity to create a sense of place can be increased. In addition to we can use design process evaluating by the sense of place for measuring the effectness of the design.


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