History and Precedent in Environmental Design by Amos Rapoport

By Amos Rapoport

This publication is set a brand new and diverse method of drawing close and learning the background of the equipped surroundings and using ancient precedents in layout. despite the fact that, even supposing what i'm featuring is new for what's presently referred to as architectural historical past, either my method or even my conclusions aren't that new in different fields, as i found while i tried to discover aiding facts. * actually, of all of the disciplines facing a number of features of the examine of the prior, architectural heritage turns out to have replaced least within the methods i'm advocating. there's at the moment a revival of curiosity within the historical past of structure and concrete shape; the same curiosity applies to conception, vernacular layout, and culture-environment kin. After years of overlook, the examine of historical past and using old precedent are back turning into vital. in spite of the fact that, that curiosity has now not ended in new ways to the topic, nor have its bases been tested. This i attempt to do. In so doing, I speak about a extra rigorous and, i'd argue, a extra legitimate method of ancient facts and for that reason of utilizing such facts in a concept of the outfitted surroundings and as precedent in environmental layout. Underlying this is often my view of Environment-Behavior stories CEBS) as an rising concept instead of as facts to assist layout in line with present "theory. " even supposing this may be the topic of one other e-book, a precis assertion of this place could be worthwhile.

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5) quotes John Disney making that point about archaeology in 1849! , pp. 5-7). See also discussion in Chapters 3 and 5. 22 1 HISTORY OF WHAT? that the buildings discussed (and that is usually all that is discussed) were produced for architects or critics. Yet by asking the basic and apparently trivial questions-Why does one build? -one realizes that they are for users. They are also most often by users, and even designers need to be seen as essentially surrogates for users (Heath 1984). Environments are built to be supportive of users' dreams, wants, needs, and activities (instrumental and latent); to satisfy users; to help guide behavior and co-action; to remind people of social rules and situations by acting as a mnemonic (Rapoport 1982a), and to suggest new possibilities by acting as a catalyst (Rapoport 1983a,c).

I have argued for quite some time, repeatedly and at length, for the absolute need to dismantle global concepts and to do so carefully; to identify their constituent parts, to study their interrelationships, and then to reassemble them (Rapoport 1976, 1977, 1980a, 1986c, 1990). Although a fuller discussion of this topic will be more relevant to a discussion of theory elsewhere, a few points need to be made very briefly. , Rapoport 1977, 1980a) about housing (Rapoport 1980c), and about culture (Rapoport 1977, 1986c, 1990).

In any case, I do not wish to argue this point at length, particularly because my emphasis is not on the use of history per se but on the use of data of the past. Note, moreover, that Popper's argument has not gone unchallenged. In fact, a past critique (Wilkins 1978) argues that Popper's extreme views on history are not valid. One of the arguments Popper uses is the lack of the possibility of experiments in history. I have already suggested that the use of historical data is, in effect, a form of experiment.

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