Bogdanova / Places Built by a Character

Places Built by a Character Transforming a Literary Tool into a Design-oriented Perspective Multiplicity

Author: Viktorija Bogdanova, University of Ljubljana

Supervisor: Tadeja Zupančič, prof., University of Ljubljana; Paul O Robinson, doc., University of Ljubljana

Research stage: final doctoral stage

Category: Paper

DDR Statement

DDR statement (Bogdanova)

Poem-drawing is a highly individual route of the phenomenological approach; it helps the researcher to temporarily experience the place of research from the inside, stepping into the skin of the inhabitant. It creates an emphasis on the embodied presence of the researcher in the place of research. It teaches one to believe in one’s own senses during the immediate encounter with the environment. Trying to understand and integrate the life stories of the people who inhabit/inhabited/will inhabit that place, the researcher’s lived or desired/designed experience is what moderates the research flow. The receptivity and reflectivity of the architect may be sharpened by applying literary devices in the visual expression.

From an “epistemological” point of view, the phenomenological approach resembles the routes “against method”1 that the dissertation follows: interpretative paradigm, antipositivism, and scientific anarchism. The artifact (poem-drawing) is never the same: it is site-specific, person-specific, and time-of-creation-specific, and therefore—recipes, generalizations, formulas are prevented from the very beginning. Since the “artifacts” are never identical, the dissertation emphasizes the varieties between them.

In other words, the dissertation’s epistemological approach follows a personalized scientific anarchism2 and a “poetic” understanding of the “essence of logos”—Poetica filosofica3. This approach includes self-similar “methods” such as fragility: “weak man”4, “weak architecture”5, “performative contextualism”6, “imaginative empathy”7, softening of the subject-object dichotomy: dialogic imagination8, “third place9, “space of desire”10, I-Thou relationship11, urban literacy12 and practical poetics in architecture13.

  1. Feyerabend, Paul (1975|1993): Against Method: An Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge. London, New York: Verso, Third edition.
  2. ibid.
  3. Trias, quoted in Vallejo, F. P. (2013): “La Poética filosófica de Eugenio Trías” . Available at (accessed May 2017).
  4. Tarkovsky, Andrey (dir.) (1979): Stalker. Film. Moskow: Mosfilm Studios.
  5. Solà-Morales, Ignasi de (1996): Differences: Topographies of Contemporary Architecture. Massachusets Institute of Technology. Trans. Graham Thompson from Differencias. Topografia de la arquitectura contemporanea (Barcelona 1995).
  6. Druot, Frederic, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal (2007): +PLUS. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili,.
  7. Pallasmaa, Juhani (2015): “Body, Mind, and Imagination: The Mental Essence of Architecture”. In S. Robinson S. and J. Pallasmaa (eds.), (2015): Mind in Architecture: Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Future of Design. Cambridge MIT Press, 55.
  8. Bakhtin, Mikhail (1983|1975): The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. University of Texas Press, Slavic series.
  9. Soja, Edward. W (1996): Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers..
  10. Pérez-Gómez, Alberto (2006): Built Upon Love: Architectural Longing After Ethics and Aesthetics. Cambridge: MIT Press,.
  11. Buber, Martin (1937): I and Thou (Ich und Du). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.
  12. Havik, Klaske Maria (2012): Urban Literacy: A Scriptive Approach to the Experience, Use and Imagination of Place. Delft: TU Delft Library.
  13. Van Schaik, Leon (2002|2015): Practical Poetics in Architecture. John Wiley &Sons.