an exploration of spatialities and a project in modelling museum design activity

Matthews, Geoff (1996) an exploration of spatialities and a project in modelling museum design activity. PhD thesis, University of Hull.

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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


The metaphorization of space creates possibilities for modelling (epistemologically) ‘complex’ phenomena. Four generic spatialities are explored - physical, social, documentary and paradigmatic.
There are four irreducible constructions of physical space - realist, dualist, idealist and pluralist. The generic conception of social space plays off the static (pure relations) against the dynamic (contests of interests and concerns). Documentary space is the product of contingently defined formal and informational qualities. Paradigmatic space is divided into discreet regions, each defined in incommensurable terms, with the proviso that an ironic, reflexive position may exist beyond the dissolution of metaphysics.
Organization is the differentiation of space and its subsequent narrative/visual reconstruction embodied in a temporal blur. ‘Design’ has an ontologically focussed meaning - designed objects, designs as objects - and an epistemologically focussed one - design processes, design as knowledge. The museum comprises an archaeology of instit-utional forms, has an uncertain material/social boundary and is a reflexive organization.
The organization of design presents a constellation of four complex objects - product (designed object, object as design), programme (object of design), process (ideal and experienced processes of designing), and philosophy (ideology of design, design rationale). The design of museum design involves a reconstruction of ideolo-gically-charged, multidisciplinary, reflexive practice. Organizations display conserva-tive, ‘museographical’ qualities and radically-creative, ‘new-museological’ qualities.
The museum-design-organization complex places the practitioner at the ‘moment’ of forward-projecting (designerly) and backward-projecting (museal) processes of material culture. This promotes productive processes of organizational perversion, subversion and inversion. Design is an organizational virus, the museum radically adaptive because multiply infected. Through consideration of organizational and museological objects, design research may find its centre.

Keywords:Design theory, Organizational theory, Museology, Spatial theory
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V590 Philosophy not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P131 Museum studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N215 Organisational Development
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:15292
Deposited On:04 Oct 2014 19:59

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