Looking East: Learning from non-Westernised representational techniques in our globalised architectural context

Putra, Yvette ORCID: 0000-0001-8219-1872 (2023) Looking East: Learning from non-Westernised representational techniques in our globalised architectural context. In: Architecture 101: Questioning the Fundamentals, 9th-11th November 2023, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

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I disrupt the prevailing Occidentalised conceptualisations of architectural representations, by disentangling non-Westernised representational techniques from the peripheries of architectural discourse. I am motivated by how surveys, of architectural representations across history, may appear exhaustive, but they ignore non-Westernised developments. Meanwhile, studies of non-Westernised architectural representations have a singular focus that positions them as specialist research, instead of within a unified global discourse. Thus, the act of representing architecture – a deeply human impulse and global phenomenon – is incompletely understood and it is implied that only Westernised examples are valid. Secondly, architects are unaware of the many possibilities that exist for representation. These impacts are especially urgent in the current architectural context, which has ever-diversifying sites and users and must respond to the critiques of Occidental modernist hegemony and homogeneity. I rectify this exigency by studying selected techniques, of representing architecture, from outside of Westernised traditions – Chinese grave goods depicting buildings; East Asian handscrolls that convey intricate views through oblique projection and whose narratives are revealed through the scrolls’ performative unrolling; and Indian miniatures that use an aerial perspective, but are rich with human activity and detail. After identifying some significant non-Westernised representational techniques, I analyse their key attributes, including anagogic, fictive, and symbolic. On the one hand, these techniques and their attributes will be historically and culturally contextualised. On the other, they will be articulated as lessons for twenty-first-century architectural pedagogy and practice. This parallels how the advent of digital technologies, in the previous century, has shifted architectural education and processes and afforded new complexities to design and visualisation. With Westernised epistemologies overwhelmingly informing architecture, I seek to rewrite the history of architectural representation and ponder on what architectural history and, indeed, architecture, could have been if non-Westernised representations had never been historically othered.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Yvette Putra
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2023 12:21
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 12:21
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/13428

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