Inhabiting the Image: architecture and social identity in the post-industrial city (Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy)

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Show simple item record Melhuish, Elizabeth Clare 2012-05-03T09:05:47Z 2012-05-03T09:05:47Z 2012-05-03
dc.description.abstract The research presented in this thesis is intended to reveal the layers of social and cultural meaning invested in a building conventionally regarded as a work of abstract aesthetic modernism, and one which has been evaluated, within the framework of a national heritage preservation policy, as an architectural landmark of the post-war era of urban reconstruction. By combining the research methods of architectural history (archival) and of anthropology (ethnographic) I have located and interpreted the architecture of the Brunswick within a larger social story that demonstrates how the lived experience of a particular environment exists in parallel with the more objective official discourse that invests a work of architecture or art with cultural significance. The thesis traces the architectural inception and complex evolution of the building, its critical reception, and the proposals for redevelopment that culminated in a major refurbishment and transformation of the shopping precinct in 2006. It goes on to present an ethnographic account of the Brunswick as a social, as much as an architectural space, and an anthropological interpretation of the relationship between identity and place in terms of the specific qualities of the built environment. It shows that the material environment becomes real and vivid to people as an embodiment of the social dimensions of their lives, and that the boundaries between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ – the private space of the home, and the layered sequence of public spaces extending through the building to the city beyond - are not objectively fixed, but subjectively perceived and negotiated in different ways. Although the Brunswick exerts considerable power as a unique architectural image, its boundaries do not define an integrated social space, nor a unified experience of the place as a living environment. Nevertheless, repeated interaction and sensory experience make it a tangible architectural framework for everyday and domestic life which evidently shapes the view from the inside looking out. The research aims to make a significant contribution to knowledge at a meeting-point between anthropology and architecture, which might help to inform future understanding of the interaction between people and the built habitat in modern urban societies. en_US
dc.subject Architecture en_US
dc.subject Urban landscape design en_US
dc.subject Cultural meaning of architecture en_US
dc.subject Architectural history en_US
dc.subject Urban reconstruction en_US
dc.subject Brunswick en_US
dc.subject Shopping precint refurbishment en_US
dc.subject Anthropological interpretation en_US
dc.title Inhabiting the Image: architecture and social identity in the post-industrial city (Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy) en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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