Employing Grids: A Discursive Account of Spatial and Performative Skills

Gürpınar Cürgen, Hatice Cansu
Süreli Yayın başlığı
Süreli Yayın ISSN
Cilt Başlığı
Graduate School
As a net thrown into the space, a curtain drawn to the eye, a method coded into the mind, grids are omnipresent and repetitive in every stage of spatial design and order. Grids are forms of repetition and are also repeatedly related to the most immanent discussions of architectural theory, as in originality, modernity, rationality, autonomy, typology, functionality, and temporality. This study focuses on grids' repetitive and operative employments and diverging roles in architectural and spatial design projects. Grids as concepts are problematised in this approach, generating interest due to blurring boundaries in their roles as both a design tool and a designed outcome. Grids are associated with a wide range of attributions, adjectives, and performative qualities for their design roles. Based on the findings of the preliminary genealogical study of what the word "grid" refers to, the research interest is directed towards grids' relation and contribution to the production of architectural knowledge. How do they become performative, thus operative in design processes and within a larger context of cultural, political, and social practices? Aiming to explore the interrelations of varying performances and skills of grids when they are employed in different stages of designing and maintaining spaces, the methodical trajectory of this research follows the principles of the grounded theory approach, starting by cultivating examples of spatial grids under various rubrics. I examine the literature throughout the second chapter in order to analyse it under the emergent categories in the following chapters. An extensive survey in geology and history of settlements, art and representation history, scientific and technological engagements, graphic design, philosophy, and architectural design guided the emergent categorisation of grids' operational capacities. Drawing upon two strands of their skill sets, the hard and soft skills, the third and fourth chapters aim to determine these emergent and divergent roles and attributions assigned to grids in designing and governing spaces. Accordingly, the hard skills cover an array of grids, operating in different stages of the design and envisioning spaces; they are employed for projection, composition, calculation, compilation, contemplation, and emancipation. Whereas the soft skills are concentrated on spatial conditions envisioned and created by the grids, the chapter focuses on their regulative, administrative, and captive roles, through which a particular spatial organisation is exercised. Critically engaging with grids through their spatial implications and theoretical reflections, I cross-read and position grids' agency in producing and affecting architectural knowledge and spaces in the last chapter. Examining spatial gridding practises in dialogue with power/knowledge structures, this dissertation discusses how and through which technologies the grid has become an available apparatus for forming and disciplining architectural thinking and its praxis. As a part of its findings, this study suggests evaluating grids as dispositifs, xx particularly in formations and validations of Western architectural conceptions and their dissemination.
Thesis(Ph.D.) -- Istanbul Technical University, Graduate School, 2022
Anahtar kelimeler
grid, modern architecture, modern mimari, grounded theory, gömülü teori, postmodern architecture, çağdaş mimari, critical theory, eleştirel kuram