The Evolution of Objectifying Body in Architecture: From Anthropomorphism to the Phenomenal Body

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Art University of Tehran


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Art University of Tehran
The issue of human body has always been a concern throughout the history, having gone through various interpretations, and manifesting itself in architecture in a variety of ways. Today, we criticise the one-dimensional approach of designers to the body, particularly the emphasis on its objectivity, which seems to be influenced by the anthropomorphic views that attribute the human characteristics including human body to all areas of human thought and action including architecture.
The present study intends to analytically reread the undeniable relationship between body and architecture, as discussed in philosophy, sociology, art, and architecture. An investigation is, therefore, made about various narratives, together with an analysis of prevalent interpretations of the body – from the ‘objective body’ to the ‘phenomenal body’ – and how they are evolved. The results show that the confrontation of architectural thought with the objectifying of the body has led to the phenomenological ‘embodiment’. However, despite shifts in the interpretation of the body through lived experience, the body continues to be viewed anthropomorphically, and translated into the geometric, the formal and the numerical.


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