Narrative Spatial Design Essay

Narrative Spatial Design Essay

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This chapter is an attempt to define and trace the development of an emerging genre of spatial design known as Narrative. It aims also to shed some light on some theories and classifications related his issue. Understanding and analyzing previous endeavors in the area will form the cornerstone of exploring the attributes of a space which is make it capable of telling a story and conveying a message.
Nigel Coates - one of the most original and profound British theorists and thinkers in architecture, interior and product design – has written profoundly and practiced design based on what he calls a ‘Narrative’ approach to design. (Incerti, G. 2008)
In his newly published book – Narrative Architecture – (which will form the premises for this chapter) Nigel Coats stated “In exploring narrative, I have no predominant theory from which a new architecture can spring”, he also claimed that “Concepts of narrative are built into the post-millennial language of architectural debate, but relatively few of these concepts are organized in prints” (Coats, N. 2012). However, his theory and thoughts summarize an intuitive approach which he started to practice during the 70s and 80s by forming the architecture group (NATO) Narrative architecture today. His theory also offers a new way to interpret buildings, and to create new opportunities to understand, appreciate, and design spaces and buildings… differently.
In an attempt to understand the bigger picture, different spatial contexts will be introduced starting by architecture and landscaping. Later in chapter two, collected key finding will be applied on a more specific context; Exhibitions and spatial installations.
1.2 What Is Narrative Architecture?
Nowadays, the term “narrative” is used w...


... middle of paper ...


...nt resides in a system of triggers that signify poetically, above and in addition to functionality. Narrative means that the object contains some ‘other’ existence in parallel with its function.” (Coats, N. 2012)
As will be presented in the following three examples, Coats believes that it is better for the messages sent by architecture to be subtle and static than overt. He suggested that they often follow an anti-sequential order; they are always there, setting in place and waiting to be perceived by a curious visitor. (Coats, N. 2012)
These two suggestions, as they contradict to some extend with the purpose of the spatial installation, rise two questions:
How complex and hidden should the message be? And who is the targeted perceiver?
Before answering these questions, It is important to explore more about the ability of the space through precedents analysis.

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