Metaphor: an exploration of the metaphorical dimensions and potential of architecture, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


an exploration of the metaphorical dimensions and potential of architecture, 1st Edition

By Simon Unwin


184 pages | 388 B/W Illus.

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Each of these Analysing Architecture Notebooks is devoted to a particular theme in understanding the rich and varied workings of architecture. They can be thought of as addenda to the foundation volume Analysing Architecture, which first appeared in 1997 and has subsequently been enlarged in three further editions. Examining these extra themes as a series of Notebooks, rather than as additional chapters in future editions, allows greater space for more detailed exploration of a wider variety of examples, whilst avoiding the risk of the original book becoming unwieldy.

Metaphor is the most powerful component of the poetry of architecture. It has been a significant factor in architecture since the earliest periods of human history, when people were finding ways to give order and meaning to the world in which we live. It is arguable that architecture began with the realisation of metaphor in physical form, and that subsequent movements – from Greek to Gothic, Renaissance to Modern, Victorian to Vernacular… – have all been driven by the emergence or rediscovery of different metaphors by which architecture might be generated.

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. Simile, Cliché, Metaphor? Body Metaphors. Gender Metaphors. Tree Metaphors. Doorway Metaphors. Metaphors of Personality. Temple Metaphors. Cottage Metaphors. Architecture-Related Word Metaphors. The Genetic Metaphor. Metaphors of Sense and Nonsense. Mind Metaphors. Landscape Metaphors. Machine Metaphors. The Music Metaphor. Narrative Metaphors. Endnote. Acknowledgements. Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

Simon Unwin is Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Although retired, he continues to teach at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff University, Wales, where he taught for many years. His books are used in schools of architecture around the world and have been translated into various languages.

About the Series

Analysing Architecture Notebooks

Building on the popularity of Analysing Architecture, this new series explores major themes in architectural theory and design in greater depth. Covering a range of timeless topics, each book helps students to understand how different ideas and concepts have influenced major buildings and their architects.

Written by bestselling author Simon Unwin, the series follows his well-known style and features his beautiful, high-quality drawings. Each book starts with an introductory essay before breaking down key concepts into manageable chunks through annotated drawings and short, explanatory paragraphs.

Known for his clear, accessible style, the author has helped thousands of students learn to think as architects. His compelling analysis and presentation make books in the series ideal for students and anyone else interested in architecture.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Design, Drafting, Drawing & Presentation
ARCHITECTURE / Study & Teaching