iasdr [with design], Reinventing Design Modes, Proceedings of the 9th Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR 2021), the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design, Gerhard Bruyns and Huaxin Wei, editors, Springer publications, 2022, ISBN 978-981-19-4471-0, ISBN 978-981-19-4472-7, p.995 - 1008.
Kampos, a village community on the Greek island of Tinos.
DIKEMES, Athens, Greece firstname.lastname@example.org
The village of Kampos, a place of vernacular architecture on the Cycladic island of Tinos in Greece, is of a great importance to me. This importance stems from the fact that today architects, planners and designers are focused on new contemporary sustainable ways of living, which remain outside the human way of living and the complexity of architecture, or with things connected with social life, spatial qualities and the environment. Meanwhile, private ownership, along with the way the state handles ownership in general, make boundaries appear stiff and as elements of division and autonomy. Do we actually know what it is to live together with a broader understanding of the role of architecture and the environment? Despite our contemporary and highly technological way of living, this way of living and spatial understanding in the village, the continuing habits and patterns of the past, still contributes to a physiologically and psychologically balanced lifestyle in both the private and the public realms. How people live in Kampos could be a response to some of the prejudices and difficulties that affect many other cultures in our globalised world.
Keywords: community; village architecture; metaphor; narrative; fictional narrative
During the past year, the social isolation due to the Covid - 19 epidemic made us reflect more on the importance of living together. And if, as Aristotle (who builds his world around action/ praxis and life “metaxu/ in between”) claims- the greatest meaning is ultimately in what we already have in our hands, that is, in what we have in common.
This article focuses on a small community in the village of Kampos, on the Greek island of Tinos in Greece. In studying the history of the island of Tinos and its villages, it becomes evident that the relationship of the villagers to the land and the landscape is vi- tal for an understanding of the architecture and of daily life. Hierarchy and the allocation of land played an important role.
What is life like for the inhabitants of a farming landscape? What keeps this com- munity connected and living together? This cannot be answered only through architectural drawings, or by studying descriptions of the village’s architecture, nor by analysing an- thropological references. Through narratives that bring out the reality of the village, one becomes aware of the value of metaphor as the natural language of a communal life that is inextricably connected to the natural, built environment, in turn connected to owner- ship and a different perception of the value of land.
Different and more grounded versions of reality emerge through metaphor, narrative and fiction offering a deep understanding of space and, in the case of Kampos, of vernacular
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architecture. They equip architects with a way of interpreting local tradition as a contem- porary way of living and innovating, instead of responding to architecture and dwelling through form and fashion. In other words, they force architects to tap more into the social and ethical function of architecture, to engage in a “meaningful regionalism”1 in Perez Gomez’s terms that relates to humans and the environment.
The methodology of narrative, metaphor and fiction developed in this article also focuses on an aspect of the crisis facing architecture today: in the search for a highly technologi- cal, sustainable function for architecture, what is built remains disconnected from human- ity and environmental reality. In the methodology proposed, place can be perceived and understood through various versions of reality. This allows the role of architecture behind a built work to be interpreted as incorporating the wider complexity of life. Fiction and narrative through the use of phenomenology and hermeneutics, introduces another archi- tectural dialogue, based on language, words and narrative, what Perez-Gomez calls a “space of experience”2. Fictional narratives were created out of the villagers’ stories, their spaces, their life with animals, their common life. However, the various plots of these narratives and the stories’ excerpts which follow are imaginary. Through these, one becomes fully aware of Ricoeur’s claim that words in a sentence can reveal a discourse in the world, endowing language with the function of creating images.3
This methodology is introduced through three excerpts from different fictional narratives, three of the eight fictional narratives from the PhD thesis “Liminality, metaphor and place in the farming landscape of Tinos: the village of Kampos”.
Τhrough the case of Kampos and the methodology of narrative forms this paper aims to draw attention to the importance of a profound understanding of place, life and dwelling prior to/as a precondition of the praxis of architecture. In that way the architectural prax- is in a prior stage is focused on an understanding of a human way of living in any given part of the world, the ethical and social aspect of architecture and of the environment so that it may be rooted and become a part of the way people dwell and live together.
Excerpt from Fictional Narrative 3: The local festival
“It was only 8 o’clock on Sunday morning and already there was movement in the narrow village streets formed by the walls of the street level storages and the thresholds of the stairs, which lead to the front courtyards of the houses. On the main street, in front of Nikiforos’ courtyard wall, at the area where the big walnut tree leaned against Kyra Eleni’s wall, she was already busy with sweeping the leaves that had fallen on the street in front of her house. The concrete street was framed in a white painted line of lime, an indication that it was spruced up in preparation for the day of festivity. In front of a long empty wall that was part of Kyra Eleni’s basement and the storage area of the house, her
1 Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Attunement, Architectural Meaning after the Crisis of Modern Science, Cambridge, MA, London, England: The MIT Press, 2016, p.193.
2 Alberto Pérez-Gómez, 'Hermeneutics as Architectural Discourse', History and Theory Graduate Studio 1996-98. Montreal: McGiII University, 1997, par. 5.
3 Paul Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor, The creation of meaning in language, translated by Robert Czerny, Kath- leen McLaughlin and John Costello SJ, London and New York: Routledge Classics, 2003, p. 213.
husband, Mathios, had fastened a rope on two metal rings which supported long bunches of sparta, bushes with little yellow flowers that border the edges of the roads all over Tinos. Further down the street, Nikiforos was also decorating his wall with sparta while he was talking to Simo. Most of the male villagers were doing the same job that morning.
At around 9 o’clock, the streets became busier as the priests and the parishioners walked towards the village church, where the patron saint of the village would be celebrated to- day. At the same time, the bells of Holy Trinity Church started ringing to remind the vil- lagers that mass would start in about an hour’s time. The church was sparkling. Everything was clean and polished, including the chandeliers. Every piece of copper or silver and every surface of white marble or wood was clean and shiny. The big vases that were locat- ed at the bottom and at the top of the altar were filled with long-stemmed daffodils. It seemed as if they were an extension of the altar, reaching towards the ceiling of the church. The ceiling of the church was particularly fine, painted in a light blue colour with delicate golden stars drawn on it.”
Excerpt from Fictional Narrative 4: The smell of honey was in the air
“The week passed by quickly, and the wind felt cooler and stronger every day. On Friday, most of the women worked to clean the village. They swept the narrow streets and every stone bench. They moved flower pots with beautiful geraniums to the sides of the streets so that posters could be put up in places that would guide guests to the festival . The plateia was also cleaned and decorated with yellow ribbons that contrasted sharply with the grey colour of the stone the entire plateia was made of. The plateia had a strange shape, as it was built on the ruins of an old property in that area. It looked more like a stage, made up of green greyish stone against a long white wall, standing out among the white houses of the village. Chairs were placed in one area, creating a protected cor- ner in front of a long house wall. The elderly would sit there. The stage for the band was erected with timber planks. Four big tables were placed under a sheltered area formed by a wooden canopy. These tables would host all the samples of the sweets that the women of the village had made.
The village office, where village meetings used to be held, is right next to the plateia. Α record of the issues discussed and the proceedings were always kept by the village repre- sentatives. On the day of the festival, the office served as a place to lay and organise the sweets before they are offered to the people. In a six square meter room, every year enough “extra space” is created to accommodate dishes and bowls with more than eigh- teen thousand pieces of honey sweets. Men carry benches and chairs to lay the honey sweets on different levels created by the various surfaces. Next to the village office was an empty space destined to become a shop as well, but remained empty. This place ac- commodated all the appropriate equipment so that the night of the festival, hot, crisp, honeyed doughnuts would be made for the visitors and guests. It was around midnight when we finished all the preparations. By then, the wind had died down. The streets of the village were empty as they usually were at that time and only a cuckoo could be heard from time to time. There must have been a full moon that night, because the trees cast their shadows on the surfaces of the street and the walls. A hot and difficult day would follow.”
“It was 5:30 in the afternoon by the time we left home and walked through the alleyways and narrow streets. We realised that we were the last ones to arrive. The streets smelled of honey, and a hint of cinnamon floated in the air. When we arrived at the village coffee- house, the only place where the street widens, leaving enough room to stand and look around, we met Popi with her daughters carrying melomakarona. The smell of nuts then overpowered the smell of the cinnamon that had started to dissipate in the breeze. By the time we arrived at the plateia, most of the women were already there, decorating the tables for displaying the various types of sweets. A few were also on the tiny balcony of the small village office, trying to find a place to put down their dishes. They would start by offering xerotigana, followed by pasteli and then melomakarono, melokarido and psarakia, baklava and halva. They had to be careful with the portions to ensure that there would still be sweets left late in the evening, until past midnight. Nikos, the president, brought Antonia’s pasteli and mumbled something that none of us understood. Certainly, when Antonia withdrew from the honey festival, this caused some commotion, but every- one was so busy that there was not much gossip about it.”
Excerpt from Fictional Narrative 7: The animal I lost
“They arrived at the courtyard of the cemetery that was enclosed by a high white wall. The marble headstones created another layer against the white wall. That day, all the candles in the glass and marble framed boxes next to each headstone were lit. The ceme- tery chapel was full of villagers. The mass was also attended by villagers who no longer lived in the village. After mass, everyone from the village gathered at the courtyard of the cemetery standing at a distance from the lying tombs or waiting in front of the tomb of their deceased. They were waiting for the priest to pass and pray for their ancestors. The deep purple and pink horizon from the sunset offered a dramatic setting to the priest’s blessing. The priest visited each tomb, commemorated each ancestor by pronouncing his or her name and said a blessing and a prayer, asking forgiveness for the deceased and for repose of their soul.
Darkness had started to fall when the villagers started to walk back to the village. The commemoration would continue at the leschi, the communal room by the side of the road that separates the village from its farmlands. At the leschi, everyone sat down at the ta- bles that were
set out in the empty room with the high ceilings. The villagers whose ancestors they were commemorating began to offer sweets to everyone.
“Sto sychorio tou, Foteini,” Ioanna mumbled checking her small handbag to see if she had brought a small plastic bag with her, so that she could accept all the sweets. Manolis of- fered raki and Foteini offered xerotigana dipped generously in honey. Villagers exchanged sweets and wishes for forgiveness, and gossiped about both happy and sad things happen- ing in the village. It was around 8 o’clock in the evening that Ioanna’s fourth daughter ar- rived, looking worried.
“Where is your father?” Ioanna asked anxiously.
“My father will not come. Another cow gave birth unexpectedly, he was on his own and the calf was lost,” said Loukia.
Ioanna stood up immediately and got ready to leave without saying anything. Her forehead got wrinkled.”
Interpretations and findings:
Interpretation of the spaces in the excerpt from Fictional Narrative 3
Architecture helps us share a social communal context, which started to unfold through the villagers’ narratives. “Unless we go back to the world, space cannot be conceived,” as Heidegger states.4 In the space and topography of Kampos, cleanliness helps to shape lim- inal spaces for the social and religious events in the village. In this paper, liminal space is defined as the space of a boundary that exists between communal and public spaces, they “include layering, dissolution, blurring, and ambiguity and have the ability to transform the occupant of that space as they move through it.”5
The street and the boundary of cleanliness
For the local festival of the village all of the houses care for the cleanliness of the street that passes in front of their threshold. The street in front of the house is cleaned well and whitewashed either by villagers who undertake to whitewash certain areas in the village or by the family and is decorated by each family and their neighbours.6 As Hirschon claims, “in the wider context of social life the fundamental dichotomy of the “house” and the road, the inner and outer realms, is the point of orientation for interaction between women in the neighbourhood.”7 However, this spatial division also creates a mediating boundary between the communal life of the village and the space of the family as kinship.
Cleanliness is a long process and there is significant preparation before the celebration of the festive day of the patron saint of the church. In addition to the houses of the village and all the alleyways and the streets, which must be cleaned and whitewashed, the church must be also re-painted white. This actually represents the purification of the vil- lage space before the festival, a day of high religious importance for everyone. On the day of the celebration, everything is in order and in a state of pristine cleanliness. According to Douglas, cleanliness represents an appropriate state, and act of finding someone or something its proper location, while dirt is perceived as “matter out of place,” so the process of cleaning is actually a means of delimitation and the defence of boundaries.8 Water is used to clean the streets and the courtyards after sweeping and before the whitewashing. “Everything is dissolved in water, every form is broken through, everything
4 Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, Section 24, quoted in Edward S. Casey, The Fate of Place, a Philosophical History, (Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997), p. 255.
5 Patrick Troy Zimmerman, "Liminal Space in Architecture: Threshold and Transition," Master's Thesis, Universi- ty of Tennessee, 2008. http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_gradthes/453
6 Until a few years ago, cleanliness and whitewashing for this festive day had passed to the responsibility of the Municipality. Nowadays, this care and activity has been assigned back to the village.
7 Renée Hirschon, “Essential Objects and the sacred: Interior and exterior space in an urban Greek locality”, in Shirley Ardener (ed.), Woman and Space, Ground rules and Social Maps, Oxford/ Providence: Berg, 1993, pp. 72-73.
8 Mary Douglas, Καθαρότητα και κίνδυνος, Μια ανάλυση των εννοιών της Μιαρότητας και του Ταμπού, trans.
Αίγλη Χατζούλη, Εκδόσεις, Πολύτροπον, 2007, p.13. Trans. into English for the needs of this article, Maria Vi- dali.
that happened in the past stops to subsist”, nothing stays the same after diving under wa- ter according to Eliade,9 but there is a boundary on many aspects of the village life.
In the late 1960s, the police ensured the cleanliness of the streets and the village, setting strict boundaries and penalties for the violation of the oral law of cleanliness.10 Nowadays, cleanliness establishes daily issues of negotiation, especially for the village’s festive day. It is clear that both men and women work on their house’s “good image” by taking charge of different cleaning and decorating tasks , maintaining at the same time the village’s image. However, the cleanliness of the exterior space of the house defines the boundaries of the family property in relation to the other houses of the village community. Women sweep the streets, while men whitewash them. Sometimes women whitewash, too. Women pour water to clean, while men do construction work and decorate with sparta. In addition to being an act of order and purification, according to Douglas the ritual of cleaning unifies the experience of the villages: it creates social relations, while it allows this community to develop a sense of knowledge of its own structure.11
The local festivity and communal spaces
The religious festivities12 connected with the celebration of the patron saint stimulate a dialogue between the house and the church, and create a transition between what is indi- vidual and what is communal. The patron saint of the church is regarded as protector of the village and is recognised through feasts that build upon the identity of the community, while also amplifying the faith of the community. There is a big preparation before the celebration that includes whitewashing, cleaning and repainting. This represents the pu- rification of the village space before the festival.
This is the time for celebrating an annual, religious event, which elevates the villagers’ experience to a different level. It also changes their perception of space. Boundaries in- termingle because the houses are open and become communal that day, but also visitors, guests and foreigners create a domestic hierarchy of hospitality (guests, relatives, village friends, priests, foreigners and new friends). The acceptance of an invitation is always an honour for the host, the family, and the house, one that is even more valuable when the guest is a foreigner and somebody new and important for the village life.
9 Mircea Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion, trans. by R. Sheed, London: Sheed and Ward, 1958, p. 194.
10 There was a law about cleanliness, which was reinforced by the dictatorship, which really tried to apply far more strictly all the laws that already existed. Interview with Kostas Danousis, September 9th, 2016. Trans. from Greek for the needs of this article by Maria Vidali.
11 Mary Douglas, Καθαρότητα και κίνδυνος, Μια ανάλυση των εννοιών της Μιαρότητας και του Ταμπού, μετάφραση Χατζούλη, Αίγλη, Εκδόσεις, Πολύτροπον, 2007, p.14.
12 Georgios Dorizas, Η Μεσαιωνική Τήνος, Μέρος δεύτερον, Aθήναι, 1976. The main celebrations, which are
referred to by Dorizas, are communal and also unite the villages. They are: Birth, Cross, Ascension, Resurrec- tion, Assumption and Transfiguration.
Interpretation of the spaces in the excerpt from Fictional Narrative 4
This fictional story is based on the property of air as a right to use and as an element of negotiation and division. It also demonstrates how honey can be an element of negotiation and unity among the villagers.
The honey festival
The honey festival is organised with the participation of all the women of the village and the support of the island municipality . For the festival to take place, the municipality and the local women must work together. This festival was organised eight years ago after the village representative submitted a proposal to the municipality which was scheduling food-based festivals around the island. Honey production was rich in Kampos and there were a few farmers who were good beekeepers. As a result, honey became the basic in- gredient of a communal event that elevated the daily life of the villagers and the village’s “image” into a series of unprecedented actions, given that tourism and local visitors were unknown in this area. Before this festival, Kampos was strictly a farming village. Thus, within the structure of an inward-looking village, where villagers lead typically quiet lives, a large festive event brings the villagers together for the purpose of this festival. At the same time however, boundaries are crossed. A connection with the outside world is also experienced. Men appear as providing women the passage into the public world,13 the mu- nicipality and the village’s president provide the honey to women, however women appear as having a leading role in the honey festival, the boundaries of the village’s social realm seem to fluctuate.
This fictional story vividly demonstrates what Dubisch has said about the role of man and woman in small rural societies in Greece, i.e. that “both men and women bear burdens in the agonistic arena of Greek village life, they bear them differently. Men carry the brunt of public competition in the “outside” world, the world of the caffenio and the agora, while women maintain the solidarity of the “inside”, the world of the domestic life en- tered in the house, and experience the restrictions this task imposes.”14
In this fictional story, women take on an important role for the organization and imple- mentation of the festival, as Dubisch (1983), Herzfeld (1986) and Hirschon (1983) have claimed, i.e. that “both men and women have public as well as domestic roles.”15 Women look as serving mostly the “inside”, the interior of the house and the family, while it is also evident that they mediate and also have their role in the “outside”, the social world of the village.16
13 Jill Dubisch, ‘”Foreign Chickens" and Other Outsiders: Gender and Community in Greece’, American Ethnol- ogist, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 272-287, (Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association,1993), p.277.
14 Ibid., p. 276. 15 Ibid., p.276. 16 Ibid., p. 277.
The night of the honey festival
The night of the festival has a monumental meaning for the villagers of Kampos, since it can be described as the projection of the village into the social world of the island. The women of the village appear to extend their role from the house to a public space through a social event in which every individual woman is represented at the table where the hon- ey sweets are displayed in the sheltered area of the new open square. In a communal ef- fort to hold the honey festival, their roles intermingle with those of the men in village’s new square. Furthermore, honey is an object of negotiation and mediation for the local festival and the identity of the village. Local conflicts are mitigated through honey. As Merleau-Ponty explains “indeed our experience contains numerous qualities that would be almost devoid of meaning if considered separately from the reactions they provoke in our bodies. This is the case with the quality of being honeyed.”17
As Merleau-Ponty further describes “honey is a slow-moving liquid while it undoubtedly has a certain consistency and allows itself to be grasped, it soon creeps slyly from the fin- gers and returns to where it started from. [...] What is more, it reverses the roles by grasp- ing the hands of whoever would take hold of it. The living, exploring, hand which thought it could master this thing instead discovers that it is embroiled in a sticky external object.”18The villagers of Kampos that night manifest their bond with the village commu- nity and with the space of this communal life by possessing and being possessed by their communal space and the honey festival. Hannah Arendt refers to the koinon, that which is common to all. Only the existence of a public realm and the world’s subsequent transfor- mation into a community of things, which gathers people/individuals together and relates them to each other, depends entirely on permanence.19
Interpretation of the excerpt from Fictional Narrative 6
The cemetery and the leschi
The Mera ton Psychon takes place the 2nd of November in the Catholic tradition. Within the religious life of the village, there is a different type of ritualistic movement as the vil- lagers proceed to the cemetery, where the entire community comes together to commem- orate their deceased loved ones. This involves an expansion of the village boundaries. Af- ter the memorial mass, the community gathers in the communal room of the village and offer each other sweets, through which they ask for the forgiveness of the soul of their fellow villagers. Through this event, a different sphere between life and death permeates their world. In this communal village event, life and death are celebrated through forgive- ness in a very particular way. This is a social and religious duty that also connects every- day life with death and the loss of family members.
17 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The World of Perception, trans. by Oliver Davis, Routledge, Taylor and Francis e- Library, 2004, p.60.
18 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The World of Perception, trans. by Oliver Davis, Routledge, Taylor and Francis e- Library, 2004, p.60. pp. 60-61.
19 Ibid., p.55.
As du Boulay reports after carrying out research in Ambeli, a village in Euboea, similarly in the village of Kampos, the “remembrance of food” is a “distribution that no one, friend or enemy, is omitted, and only in the rarest circumstances would anyone refuse it or fail to say, as they take it, ‘May God forgive (Θεός σχωρέσει).”20 In both places, the food/sweet serves as the medium, through which the dead’s soul is commemorated, forgiven and liv- ing in heaven.21 There is a negotiable boundary between the sphere of reality and a meta- physical state and I will agree with du Boulay when writing that “this relationship with a world outside that of the tormented world of humanity is felt so deeply that the experi- ence breaks out of the purely metaphysical sphere, and manifests itself in the social struc- ture as a positive demonstration of social solidarity.”22
This boundary is manifested through religion as well as in the gathering of the community members and the duty/obligation of forgiveness. The cemetery, as well as the leschi, cre- ates a religious, social map,23 which extends the physical village boundaries. Also, this type of movement in the landscape of the village, a movement that is also ritualistic, is an “enactment of this sort is always reenactment, a consequence of which is the annulment of temporal distance, as if experience now were the same as then”, as Leatherbarrow suggests.24
The ritual of death is an event of private concern for the family, as is the memory of death. In the village society though, it involves the participation of the whole community. It becomes a reaffirmation of the village order, through the community’s involvement and solidarity. This is also true of the ritual of the memory of death. The burial of the dead overcomes a very strong barrier between the living world and the otherness of death. On Mera ton Psychon, the villagers and the family of the deceased stand at a distance while the priest prays over the tomb. The villagers face another ontological situation, since their participation in the ritual, from the house to the chapel and in our case specifically to the cemetery, confirms the event of death. But it also confirms community bonds and the vil- lage order through the passage from life to death. That day, during the ritual for the for- giveness of the deceased and the memory of their death, the cemetery, but also the com- munal room where sweets are offered in the memory of each family’s decedents, mark the village areas a transitional space between the world of the dead and the living, a re- minder of this separation but also a reminder of the deceased’s passage from life.
According to Sourvinou - Inwood “there is a relationship to the archaic sema.25 Mnema/ tomb undoubtedly pertains to memory and to things that preserve memory, while sema
20 Juliet du Boulay, Portrait of a Greek Mountain Village, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974, p.59.
21 Ibid., p. 59.
22 Ibid., p.60.
23 Shirley Ardener, “Ground Rules and Social Maps for Women: an Introduction,” in Shirley Ardener, (ed.) Woman and Space, Ground Rules and Social Maps, Oxford/ Providence: Berg, 1993, p. 3.
24 David Leatherbarrow, Topographical Stories, Studies in Landscape and Architecture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, p.203.
25 Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘Reading’ Greek Death, To the End of the Classical Period, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995, p.112.
concerns the physical creation of the tomb.”26 The chapel of the cemetery and its court- yard that day pertains to memory through symbols and the commemorative ritual, while at the same time it becomes part of the village order made up from the present, past and future movement of its inhabitants. There is a communal time created by the villager’s movement in the village structure through the rituals. The manifestation of life through the festivals and the manifestation of death through the memory of the burial ceremony and the deceased of the village become a time for renewal for the village time and order.
This small community helped me develop a perception of what life is in the spatial and social complexity of their village architecture. I believe that this could not happen only by tracing architectural drawings or examining studies and architectural descriptions of vil- lage architecture, or by studying only anthropological references. Through narratives con- nected either with the reality of the village or with the imaginary world of its inhabitants, the value of metaphor was revealed as a natural language of sharing a communal life con- nected with the natural and built environment. Do we as architects understand enough about life and dwelling before we introduce a new piece of architecture in specific parts of the world?
Through this research, it was revealed how the reality of the village could be understood as a series of liminal spaces, but also how architecture can be perceived behind the built work as a result of the complexity of life. Through the above methodology, the collection and creation of narratives, my experience in the space of the village and my understand- ing of communal space acquired roots. The understanding of the locals’ perception of communal, public or private space and the communal life through which they see the world , in which order and conflict coexist as a reminder of a communal life in a psycho- somatic equilibrium related with the environment and architecture, was of great value to me before introducing a new piece of architecture to this place.
Metaphor, narrative and fiction are presented as architectural tools for a broader under- standing of what the world that we design for really is, as opposed to being preoccupied with whether the world conforms to contemporary social and political edicts. As Pérez- Gómez describes, it is “an ethical promise”, emotionally and reasonably communicated.27 “Hermeneutic and poetic language”, as he also suggests, can free architecture from the obsessions of fashion and form and urge architects’ imagination allowing them to under- stand, reconnect and reconcile with local cultures, beyond political and social preoccupa- tions .28
26 Ibid., p.140.
27 Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Attunement, p.191. 28Ibid.
For architects it is extremely important to develop an understanding based on the differ- ent experiences that take place in the village structure or any other architectural or urban structure. These can lead to architecture and design that is closer to a human way of liv- ing and closer to the actual complexity of life. “Happy the architect who can give rise to itinerance among the vestiges that have been turned into testimonies to the stories of life inscribed in the places of life” as Ricoeur reflects in Architecture and Narrative. 29
Thinking of architecture today and the search for novelty in architectural projects in con- temporary and traditional societies, language and narrative forms can become tools for understanding and revealing the truth of these societies in relation to architecture and the environment.
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