1st Edition

Multimodality in the Built Environment Spatial Discourse Analysis

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides an extended exploration of the multimodal analysis of spatial (three-dimensional) texts of the built environment, culminating in a holistic approach termed Spatial Discourse Analysis (SpDA). Based on existing frameworks of multimodal analysis, this book applies, adapts, and extends these frameworks to spatial texts. The authors argue that choices in spatial design create meanings about what we perceive and how we can or should behave within spatial texts, influence how we feel in and about those spaces, and enable these texts to function as coherent wholes. Importantly, a spatial text, once built, is also a resource which is then used, and an essential aspect of understanding these texts is to consider what users themselves contribute to the meaning potential of these texts. The book takes the metafunctional approach familiar from Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL) and foregrounds each metafunction in turn (textual, interpersonal, experiential, and logical), in relation to the detailed analysis of a particular spatial text.

    1. Introduction: New Perspectives on the Built Environment  2. Framing Society: Shopping, the textual metafunction, and social hierarchy  3. Structuring Relations: Learning spaces and the interpersonal metafunction  4. Extending Relations: At home in the library  5. Construing Living: Apartments, the experiential metafunction, and the role of the user  6. Individualizing Space: Art galleries, the logical metafunction, and the contribution of users’ movement  7. Conclusion: Holistic analysis


    Louise J. Ravelli is Associate Professor of Media and Communication at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    Robert J. McMurtrie is a PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia, in Multimodality and Spatiogrammatics.

    "The value of Ravelli and McMurtrie’s book lies in the rich array of tools it offers for analysing how buildings use multimodal meaning-making to structure social life and portray its values and preoccupations. It is not only multimodal, showing how architecture uses a wide range of semiotic modes, but also multidisciplinary, connecting the social semiotic approach to interpretations or architecture from other disciplinary fields such as art and architecture theory." --Theo van Leeuwen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark and University of New South Wales, Australia