Tectonic Indexicality and Architectural Semiosis

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    A work of architecture occupies a delicate position between functional performance and production of certain meaning and experience. The design of architecture becomes stifling when an architects attempts to harmonize the two facets. Modernist architects argued that a building should express materiality and assemblage in the most direct, “honest” way without embellishment. This view suggests that architecture should be designed so as to demonstrate the logic and efficiency of materials and assembly, the techné as embodiment of Aristotelian causalities. Postmodernist architects insisted that a building consists of “signs” that are applied to functionally generic structure. This view suggests that the meaning of architecture depends on the cultural context and architecture must augment the legitimacy of the given cultural discourse. As such, architecture may be made to express many different meanings
    while the fundamental technics remain the same in each instance. In this poster, I will describe a tectonic-indexical approach to the design of architecture. I will first approach Peirce’s triadic sign system (icon, symbol and index) and its application to
    architecture. Next, I will discuss and link together indexicality, extra-somatic construct and tectonic aggregation in the context of architectural semiosis. In the process, I will argue for the view of architectural work as “instantiation” of semiotic assemblage that is driven by the intimate combination of tactility and algorithmic abstraction that epitomizes today’s apparatus-centric semiosis. In the process, I will demonstrate how architecture can be designed in a symbiosis of tactile and visual composition specific to the tooling and assembly of materials and forms, and how such construct opens up to new potentialities of producing meaning in architecture. I
    will conclude the paper with a speculation of a new environmental criticality. On a larger context, I foresee the post-human semiotic architectural composition in which material ontologies of human-specific culture take a new turn.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
    Event16th Annual Gatherings in Biosemiotics - Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: 4 Jul 20168 Jul 2016


    Conference16th Annual Gatherings in Biosemiotics
    Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
    Internet address


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