A Walk to the Cherwell River Meadows: (Meaningfulness and) the Perceivable Form of the Urban Landscape

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Abstract

Meaningfulness in the urban landscape is guided by perception: the qualities of the environment only become meaningful if they can be experienced. Experiences are localized in the physical environment: the form of the (urban) landscape - which includes materiality as well as structure - creates the conditions, the organisation, of experience. Thus, the (urban) landscape serves as a stimulus or catalyst for the meanings/meaningfulness each of us derives from, or attributes to the environment. However, the elements of the urban landscape are not so much images with a predefined meaning, but bodily perceivable kinaesthetic events that allow for each and every urban dweller or visitor to create their own narrative, based on these kinaesthetic events being strung together in a perceptual sequence, in mutual, spatiotemporal relationships. In order to generate insights in the role of perceivable form, the position of St. Catherine’s College between Oxford and the Cherwell river meadows will be studied from the narrative, spatiotemporal perspective of the experiencing subject moving through the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-26
Number of pages15
JournalWritingplace: Journal for Architecture and Literature
Volume2022
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • meaningfulness
  • p[erceivable form
  • perception
  • urban landscape

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