Monday, 24 December 2012

Recalling the Aesthetic Spirit of Architecture (R. T. Meeker) II

"The aesthetic sense is a synergetic capacity involving intellect, emotion, motivation, memory, communication, and perception. The magic of the aesthetic experience, in both nature and art, exists in the marvelous potential for communion between kindred spirits. Since belief in this notion has little currency in our time, we nostalgically turn to works of art fashioned in more spiritually imbued times and cultures. When spiritually impregnated, nature and art may raise consciousness and arouse the soul by charging the emotions, stimulating the intellect, stirring old memories, firing the imagination, provoking us to act, to reach out, to communicate. We are moved by the aesthetic experience because it reconfirms our belonging in the cosmos, in nature, in the community, and ultimately in ourselves.
A critical method for evaluating architecture aesthetically should account for and examine all of the parameters of the architectural problem holistically: people and their purposes, physical and cultural contexts, historical and topical precedents as well as functional requirements, building technology, and budget constraints. Then, when the critic refers to what is "appropriate, right, and fitting" about a building, these terms may credibly refer to one or more parameters of the problem. Parametric analysis as a critical method raises the critique above the level of tastes by addressing the whys and wherefores of our personal preferences. After all, the critic can only persuade; he cannot dictate an aesthetic evaluation. This method situates aesthetic evaluation where it belongs: among the contending values, intentions, and impulses of the designers, builders, observing participants, and historical precursors, whose mindsets and world views may be compatible or irreconcilable. Parametric analysis further permits the critic to relate his subjective considerations about architectural intangibles-such as light, shadow, space, ambience, vista, proportion, harmony, beauty, formal dynamics, and other aesthetic terms-to the architectural tangibles expressing the built form in response to the parameters of that particular problem."

Meeker, Robert T. (1983) "Recalling the Aesthetic Spirit of Architecture". Journal of Aesthetic Education. pp 97.

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