The column: Ask The Concept Of Phenomenology In Architecture As Developed By The Norwegian Theorist Christian Norberg-Schulz. This is the advice given to Troubled in Toronto who asked about dealing with a 12-year old daughter joining Facebook:
Many may find themselves curious as to why we “need” a comprehensive theory of architecture as a phenomenological concept. Of course, the intellectual abstractions of theory cannot—nor should they—ever replace the direct sense-experience of architecture in our daily lives. The philosophy pioneered by Christian Norberg-Schulz—considered “one the most impressive intellectual edifices any architect ever produced”—was never intended to compete with perception. However, by organically combining such materials as Gestalt psychology, information theory, the work of Martin Heidegger, linguistic analysis, and semiotics, we can move toward a more correct and profound experience of architecture, with a renewed sense of the “meaning” of structures, both in the buildings we construct and the loci within which we live. Only when examining what the form represents as a manifestation of higher objects can we be said to be discussing a real architectural experience. Even when examining purely formal (aesthetic) properties, there can be no sound basis for the discussion of structural forms without theoretical insight, because the very concept of architecture transcends the formal aspect.