Vladimir Stevanović
University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture


This paper, in terms of analytic aesthetics, conducts a meta-discussion on the ways of using the term and notion of phenomenology in the discourse of architectural theory. The assumption is that one cannot argue with precision and certainty that the theorists who concern themselves with phenomenological thinking in the context of architecture target the same topics and problems. If in the architectural theory there is a parallel development of a number of different phenomenologies, the central issue becomes their mutual compatibility. Analysis conducted will open the possibility of consideration of the cases in which these phenomenologies are instrumentalized for the purpose of advocacy and promotion of certain stylistic and morphological architectural concepts. Such explicit sympathies for some architects and styles mostly evidence an affirmation of personal taste and subjective preferences of architectural theorists of phenomenology. Identifying, examination and interpretation of contradictions in of architecture, and then of their instrumentalizations, shall be conducted in relation to a broader theoretical and social context, starting from the second half of the twentieth century. This period chronologically determines the discussion, for it is then when the constitutive interaction of phenomenology and architectural theory happened. In this respect, variations in the phenomenologies of architecture shall be considered in their relation to: 1) architectural theories and practices of high modernism and postmodernism such as positivism, semiotics, abstraction and figuration; 2) socio-historical context that includes the dominance of liberal capitalism, consumerism, the consequences of technological progress, mass culture and populism, as well as media hyper production.

phenomenology of architecture, spirit of place, body, poetic imagination, tactile experience



SAJ Vol. 6, 2014, No. 1