"Symbolic Space: French Enlightenment Architecture and Its Legacy" by Richard A.Etlin
Richard Etlin, in his study, Symbolic Space: French Enlightenment Architecture and Its Legacy, offers his insight into the integral relationship architecture has within the activities of man. Politics, science, social organization, and religion, all have spaces unique to their own functional character. Beyond a functional character, however, there exists a deeper, more spiritual connection man has with his surroundings. The emotional role of architecture is one focus of Etlin's work. In his treatment of emotion and its relevance in architecture, Etlin relates modern designs with those of the visionary French architects during the late eighteenth century.
In understanding the role of emotion, Etlin first establishes his notion of space. Mankind has the unique ability to control, design, and shape his environment to his needs. "Architecture is concerned primarily with the creation of domains for human activity," Etlin writes. Apart from activity alone, architecture creates "spatial realms...with qualities that affect the viewer and the user." Architecture can establish a meaning and a feeling; it will affect man's mood. The mood is created and controlled by an architect's use and design of space.
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